Smoking & Vaping Pose Significant Risks To Dental Implants

added on: July 23, 2020

In our Shelby Township dental office, one of the many services we offer is the start-to-finish process of dental Implants. This includes diagnosis, implant placement and restoration (final teeth) in one convenient location with a priority on comfort. Oral or IV sedation (twilight sleep) is provided as appropriate to the procedure and the patient.

To reassure individuals interested in having dental implants during the COVID outbreak, we can assure advanced measures for safety throughout each appointment, right down to the air you breath in our facility.

In this safe and complete process of modern tooth replacement, we are trained and skilled to help each patient enjoy a successful result. Here, implant dentistry care entails …

1). determining the number and type of implants that are best suited to the patient’s needs and goals;
2). the placement of each implant at a proper depth and angle;
3). careful monitoring of the implants placed as they integrate with the patient’s living bone;
4). attachment of the final replacement teeth and their proper alignment for a bite that supports surrounding teeth; and
5). guiding the patient through thorough at-home care and regular cleanings to minimize vulnerability to inflammation or infection from oral bacteria accumulation.

As the preferred method of tooth replacement, dental implants have become the ideal method to restore the look, feel and chewing stability like that of natural teeth.

With up to a 98 percent success rate, today’s dental implants enjoy one of the highest success rates for any implant-in-bone procedure. We intend for every dental implant we place to have a successful outcome. However, smoking or vaping poses unique challenges to the success of implants; challenges that can complicate the healing process and the ability to enjoy implants for a lifetime.

Like anything that’s not a natural part of the body, there is a potential for failure. For implant success, this begins with good periodontal health when treatment starts and then maintaining it. For people who smoke or vape (using e-cigarettes), keeping the gums healthy has some particular challenges that are often unknown to those considering implants.

When it comes to oral tissues, researchers have found that tobacco smoke interferes with the body’s natural ability to fight disease and promote healing because of the chemicals that interfere with blood flow to the gums and in slowing the healing process.

According to a study at Temple University, pipe and cigar smokers and users of smokeless tobacco (“chew”) are just as prone to implant complications than cigarette smokers. The study showed three times the amount of moderate to severe gum disease as that of non-smokers.

Research indicates that dental implants in smokers are less able to fully complete osseo-integration with the bone. This is the process in which the bone surrounding the implant grows around it to secure it in place. Added to this challenge is a reduced ability to fight off infection after implant placement.

Not only does tobacco use diminish the ability of gum tissue to heal. Some studies show that smokers are 15 percent more likely to have dental implant failure compared to people who do not use tobacco because of this.

Studies have also shown that people who smoke have more calculus (or tartar) than nonsmokers. Calculus is a cement-hard buildup on teeth, which is actually a concentrated mass of oral bacteria. When gums are weakened by an over-accumulation of bacteria, successful integration of the implants with bone is compromised.

In studies, smokers were 3 – 6 times more likely to develop gum disease than nonsmokers. One reason is because the chemicals in cigarette smoke are very drying to oral tissues and decreases saliva production. Less saliva leaves the mouth with less of its natural ‘rinsing’ source that reduces bacteria in the mouth. Without saliva’s rinsing action, higher concentrations of oral bacteria exist.

Dry tissues also cause slower healing in the mouth. The longer it takes for tissues to heal, the greater the potential for bacterial complications.

In one study, it was found that smokers were twice as likely as non-smokers to lose teeth in the five years after completing treatment for gum disease. Smokers are also shown that smokers respond less favorably to oral surgery treatments due to slowed healing.

Although perceived as less harmful than smoking because it produces no smoke, vaping is no friend to dental health. Because vaping is ‘smokeless’, some people feel vaping is a much better option. However, whether smoking cigarettes or vaping, both vehicles deliver nicotine.

Nicotine, regardless of how it is delivered, is detrimental to healthy blood flow. This means the soft tissues in the mouth get less oxygen and nutrients. Vaping can also cause the gum tissues to recede from the base of teeth. This leaves tooth roots and supporting structures beneath the gums vulnerable to bacteria and infection onset.

Ideally, a smoking or vaping patient will quit the habit before beginning dental implant treatment. For those who cannot, however, we strongly urge a reduction in use during the healing phase so the implants are better able to integrate with bone. All implant patients are carefully overseen so they have the best potential to enjoy the many lasting benefits of their dental implants.

And, dental implants are well worth the commitment! For people who have struggled with dentures or partials, in particular, dental implants restore the ability to bite and chew comfortably, speak and laugh confidently in social settings, and halt the changes to an aged facial appearance by preserving jaw bone mass.

There are few things that last a lifetime. We want to help you reap the full benefits of dental implant treatment. If you smoke or vape, let’s discuss your potential and determine what may be best for your individual needs. This conversation is available at no charge and takes place in a private consultation room in our beautiful Shelby Township dental office.

Call 586-739-2155 to schedule or tap here to begin. During your visit, we can also discuss comfort options, payment plans, and insurance coverage.