How Does Smoking Affect Your Dental Implants?

How Does Smoking Affect Your Dental Implants?

March 13, 2023

One of the most common oral problems to date is tooth loss. Unfortunately, even in the 21st century, many patients lose their natural teeth prematurely. While poor oral habits are to blame for many tooth losses, dental experts at Platte Valley Dental Clinic have provided different solutions to counter this oral problem. You can now rely on solutions like dental implants to replace lost teeth.

What are Dental Implants?

They are small screw-like metal posts featuring titanium metal that replace lost teeth. Dental implants in Nebraska typically replace the roots of lost teeth before restoring the exterior. Therefore, getting dental implants is more invasive than other alternatives for replacing teeth.

What Happens During Dental Implant Procedures?

An implant dentist near you must first prepare you for invasive surgery. Therefore, the initial steps entail numbing your mouth with local anesthesia, so you undergo a pain-free process. Further, dentists love to incorporate sedation dentistry that calms your nerves and lets you relax during the treatment. Afterward, the following steps will occur:

  • Gum incision – the dentist in Kearney, NE, will make a small incision on your gums to expose the bone tissue underneath.
  • Drilling – entails creating a hole in your jawbone, usually sizeable enough to accommodate the metal implant.
  • Implantation – the dentist will take the dental implants near you and position it keenly in your jawbone. (S)he will then secure it by suturing the gums in place.

Immediately after implantation, the implant dentist near you will have you go home to recover. Typically, dentists place a temporary crown over the implant to protect it during healing. It should take between 3 and 4 months before you visit your dentist for the final step of the tooth replacement process.

  • Crowning – the dentist places a crown over the tooth implant to restore its exterior. Aside from dental crowns, dentists can opt for dental bridges or dentures, depending on the situation relative to the number of lost teeth.

What Happens After Dental Implants?

The recovery process after implantation surgery can be long and overwhelming. It takes between 3 and 4 months to heal well, a process that can be nerve-wracking if you do not know what to do. Usually, implant dentists will give a rough guideline of dos and don’ts during the recovery time to ease and speed up the healing process. They include the following:

  • Rest – avoid vigorous physical activity for the first 3 to 4 days after surgery. The first week is very crucial as you can exacerbate bleeding.
  • Cold compress – to alleviate swelling and decrease discomfort on the affected side of the mouth.
  • Take prescribed medication – your dentist will prescribe pain medicine to help manage the discomfort during recovery.
  • Eat soft foods only – you may need to avoid hard foods for a few weeks until your gums and jaw have healed properly. Besides, avoid hard foods that can damage your newly replaced tooth even after healing.
  • Avoid drinking from a straw – it invites dry air into your mouth that can cause significant dental pain.
  • Keep a clean mouth – good oral hygiene prevents infections that may compromise healing.
  • Avoid smoking and other tobacco usage.

Why Is Smoking Bad for Your Dental Implants?

Generally, smoking had detrimental effects on oral and general health. Therefore, all medical experts advise against smoking. Dentists are stricter with this restriction because smoking directly impacts oral health. The stakes are higher when you have dental implants.

Smoking can heighten the risk of implant failure, even though implantation surgeries typically stake a 98% success rate. The reasons smoking is bad for your oral implants are:

  • It slows healing – it already takes too long to heal from an implantation surgery. The last thing you want is to lengthen the recovery process because you insist on smoking.
  • It inhibits osseointegration – the process of bone tissue regeneration to support the dental implant. The new bone tissue grows around the titanium metal post, integrating it into the jawbone. However, smoking tobacco prevents osseointegration, which may cause implant failure.
  • It heightens the risk of infection – especially since tobacco smoking limits good oral hygiene.

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