Can I Have Dental Implants if I Smoke?

There are many reasons you might be turned away for dental implants. In some cases, it’s down to the anatomy of your mouth and issues such as insufficient bone density. In other cases, it could be health conditions that would make you an unsuitable candidate. And sometimes, it’s down to your lifestyle choices.

Smoking is one of the risk factors that would make you unsuitable for dental implants. Let’s explore this common reason for turning away prospective dental implant patients in more detail.

Why does smoking prevent me from getting implants?

If you are a smoker, you would have an increased risk of the implants failing. To help avoid disappointment, your dentist will encourage you to commit to quitting before you start the treatment.

This needs to be a lifelong commitment, as smoking will always be a risk factor for causing implants to fail. If you quit for the treatment but then start again once the implants are healed, you are putting yourself at risk of developing a condition known as peri-implantitis.

This is an infection in the socket that supports the implant that causes inflammation. When the socket is inflamed, the implant can become loose. Smoking increases your risk of this condition as it causes the mouth and gums to become very dry as your mouth stops producing saliva.

Saliva is essential for tackling bacteria in your mouth, so without it, you will be at increased risk of developing gum disease, which can then lead to issues with your implants.

Will my dentist know if I smoke

Will my dentist know if I smoke?

Your dentist will usually know if you are still smoking, so it’s not something you can really lie about. If you decide to lie to your dentist about smoking, it’s likely that they will be able to see the evidence on your teeth, your fingers and also smell it on your breath.

It’s not a good idea to lie about something like this, as it ultimately means that your treatment won’t work. Your dentist will be able to carry out the procedure, but it has a very high risk of failing, so there’s little sense in wasting time and money on a treatment that won’t work for you.

Smoking also increases your risk of oral cancers and lung cancer, so it’s in your best interests to quit smoking anyway, regardless of your dental implant plans.

What help is available to help me stop smoking

What help is available to help me stop smoking?

If you are determined to get dental implants, and therefore determined to quit smoking, there is help available. Unfortunately, switching to vaping won’t be sufficient, as this creates the same dry mouth conditions.

If you are determined to quit smoking, we recommend a visit to your GP. They can help point you in the right direction for resources and tools to help you quit smoking for good.

Once you have quit smoking, return to the dentist for a dental hygienist visit. This will help to remove the staining caused by smoking and allow you to enjoy a brighter smile and hygienic mouth. Once your oral health is back on track, you can then start to explore your options for dental implants.

Final thoughts

Smoking will get in the way of your dental implant journey, but it doesn’t have to be this way. If you are determined to quit smoking, there are resources available to you that will help. Once you have kicked this habit, you can then start to think about improving your oral health in preparation for your new dental implants. This transformation will do wonders for your confidence.

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