If one were to pick one of the most important developments in dentistry, dental implants have to be one of the top, if not the top. Implants have been a lifesaver to many, from helping those who cannot chew to chew once more to offering the jaw support that’s needed to maintain one’s facial aesthetic.
That being said, while dental implants are generally designed to be permanent, that doesn’t mean that they will never fail. For example, if you have dental implants and you are also a smoker, then you have a cause for concern.
Let’s talk about dental implants and smoking—how smoking can affect your implants:
How Does Smoking Affect My Dental Implants?
While it can affect your dental implants in various ways, here are just some of the negative effects it has:
1. Stainless Steel Dental Implants Can Become Corroded
Smoking can actually corrode dental implants. It turns out that nicotine is actually a corrosive agent. What happened was that nicotine actually leached into the human body and into the dental implant.
The result? The liquid environment in the mouth combined with the presence of the corrosive agent nicotine caused the degradation of the surface of the implant. What is more challenging for dental implant patients is that the degradation of the surface of the implant was likely hard to notice. Thus, this means that dental implant patients have to be diligent in keeping their dental implants clean.
2. Dental Implants Can Become Unstable
Nicotine can also cause the glue holding dental implants in place to become unstable. This can lead to dental implants failing. Another study conducted in Sweden revealed that nicotine is a vasoconstrictor. This means that nicotine restricts blood vessels. As such, nicotine has a weakening effect on dental implants.
3. Tobacco Smoking Can Affect Bone Grafts
Tobacco smoking can actually affect the bone. Dental implants are essentially fixed on top of the jawbone. For that reason, for dental implants to be effective, you need to have enough jawbone underneath the dental implant.
There are those who want to know if there is a safe amount of nicotine for dental implants.
Is There a Safe Amount of Nicotine for Dental Implants?
After all, nicotine is found to be a vasoconstrictor. This means that smoking a few cigarettes every now and then (or smoking just as a social ritual) might not have a significant impact on dental implants. However, smoking excessively is something that you should be wary of.
If you need to smoke for any reason, then it is recommended that you do not smoke more than five cigarettes a day. That way, you don’t take too much nicotine into your body and hurt your dental implant. But of course, not smoking at all is the best way, so if that is at all possible, avoid smoking! It’ll help you in more ways than just keeping your implants in good shape.
All in all, if you are a smoker, then you are putting your dental implant at risk. You need to be wary not just of smoking but also of the other things you do. For example, avoid drinking from bottles, using straws, and also using your teeth to pry open cans. Doing these can damage your dental implants or even cause them to fail. As always, it is best to consult with your dentist about ways to keep your dental implants in good shape. That way, you know what you and cannot do to keep your implants in great shape for the longest time possible!
Chelmsford Dental Specialists Group is a leading family dentist in Central Massachusetts, dedicated to helping patients enjoy the best oral health possible. If you’re interested in getting dental implants in Chelmsford, get in touch with us today!