One of the best things about dental implants is their low failure rate. In fact, they fail just 1.4% of the time. Unfortunately, however, this doesn’t apply to smokers, who have a much higher failure rate of 15.8%. There’s no question that dental implants in Texas City are a wonderful investment in your smile and overall health. But, like any investment, you want to help it perform as well as you can. Keep reading to learn how smoking affects implants and how you can increase your chance for success as much as possible!
How Does Smoking Affect the Success of an Implant?
Generally speaking, one of the most important factors that affect implant success is the health of the surrounding gum tissue. Although implants can’t get cavities, they still need healthy gums to support them and keep them in place, just like natural teeth do.
This is where smoking comes in. Tobacco use is a significant risk factor for gum disease, which can indirectly lead to implant failure.
In addition, smoking interferes with proper healing, and the success of an implant depends on how well you heal after it’s placed.
However, the good news is that there are ways to improve your chance for success and help your dental implants last a long time. When you maintain them properly, they can last several decades or even a lifetime!
How Can You Increase Your Chance of Success?
It goes without saying that quitting smoking is crucial to your oral and overall health. But, as anyone who’s been addicted to nicotine can attest, it’s easier said than done.
With that said, the reward is still incredibly worthwhile. And there are many smoking cessation aids that can make a big difference, so talk with your doctor about which one is right for you.
In addition to quitting smoking, here some other steps you can take to prevent implant failure:
- Get regular checkups – Regular professional care is crucial for having your implant regularly monitored. This way, potential problems are found and treated as early as possible.
- Maintain good hygiene –Brush gently but thoroughly at least twice a day and floss at least once. Be sure to ask for a demonstration of proper flossing technique, as it’s different for implants. You might also benefit from an oral irrigator to flush out plaque and bacteria from around an implant.
- Choose a qualified dentist – The chance for failure goes up if you don’t have a well-trained, experienced, and qualified dentist perform your implant surgery.
- Address any concerns early – If you notice any problems such as tender, bleeding gums, or a sensation that the implant is loose, schedule an appointment right away. In many cases, these issues can be successfully treated before they lead to implant failure.
- If needed, wear a nightguard – Clenching and grinding put a huge amount of force on both natural teeth and implants, which can cause an implant to become unstable or loose. A custom-made nightguard can prevent these issues.
Implants look, feel, and function more natural than any other tooth replacement option. By caring for them properly (including not smoking), you’ll be able to enjoy these benefits for many decades!
About the Author
Dr. John Hackbarth (aka Dr. H) is an award-winning dentist and a graduate of the University of Texas Dental School at Houston. He wants to help people enjoy their implants for as long as possible, so he always educates his patients about the best way to maintain them. If you have any other questions about dental implants in Texas City, he can be reached via his website.