I’m so frustrated and I don’t know what to do. I lost a tooth. I did some research and decided I really don’t want a removable partial denture, which is what my dentist recommended. I’d really like to have a dental implant, but she absolutely refuses to give me one. She said she never gives them to smokers. Isn’t that discriminatory? Am I going to be stuck with a removable partial denture?
I can completely understand your desire for a dental implant. They are the ideal treatment. However, I understand your dentist’s concern. While I’m certain you can find a dentist who would be willing to give you a dental implant even as a smoker, it may not be in your best interest. You wouldn’t want a dentist who will just give you a procedure for the money, would you?
Why Smoking and Dental Implants Don’t Mix
There are two big reasons for quitting smoking before getting dental implants. First, smokers have a much higher than normal instance of gum disease. Periodontal disease puts you at a greater risk for infection, which is the leading cause of gum disease.
A second reason is restricted blood flow. When you smoke, it inhibits the gum flow in your gums. In turn, that makes healing much more challenging. Without timely healing, your dental implants will fail.
What Alternatives Are There?
In general, the two big alternatives for a dental implant are a removable partial denture or a dental bridge. You’ve already mentioned you don’t want a removable partial denture, which is understandable. They put a lot of stress on your adjacent teeth anyway. With you being at high risk for gum disease already, I’m not sure I’d recommend that anyway. A dental bridge will likely be your best alternative.
If you have any intention of whitening your teeth to get rid of some of those smoking stains, do it before getting your bridge. That way the bridge can be made to match your fresher smile.
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