Smokers have an increased risk of developing dental caries, and gum disease. They may also suffer from dry mouth, plaque accumulation and poor circulation, all of which can increase the risk of dental problems. They may also be more likely to suffer from complications after undergoing the dental implants procedure.
When a dental implant is placed in the socket of a missing tooth, the bone begins grow around it and secure a foundation for the final restoration. This complex process, which is known as osseointegration, can be impeded by the more than 4,000 toxins in cigarette smoke. Nicotine, which is a vasoconstrictor, reduces blood flow, which interferes with nutrient delivery.
According to a study performed at Brazil’s Guarulhos University, smokers were less likely to develop adequate bone structure around recently placed implants. The study examined 13 smokers and 11 non-smokers. A single subperiosteal dental implant was placed in each study participant. A course of antibiotics was prescribed for a week to reduce the risk of infection. Two months after the implant procedure, the participants were examined. Although all implants were considered clinically stable, significant variations in bone density were present between smokers and non-smokers. Non-smokers were considerably more likely to have well-developed bone tissue around the newly placed implant.
If you are a candidate for dental implants and you smoke, our Los Angeles dental implant specialist may recommend that you quit before the procedure and remain smoke-free throughout the healing process to reduce the risk of complications and ensure your dental implant fuses properly with the bone. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your appointment.