I’ve lost a tooth and I’m seriously embarrassed about it. I’m thinking I should get a dental implant, but I read that smokers shouldn’t. Why is that?
Looking at the picture above, you can see that the dental implant must be completely integrated with the bone. Without that, there is nothing to secure the implant in your jaw. It will become loose and fall out. When that happens, your dental implant procedure has failed.
Smoking actually contributes to bone loss making it much harder for the bone to integrate. A second negative factor with smoking is blood flow and gum disease. Smoking leads to gum disease. Gum disease leads to tooth loss and dental implant failure. Additionally, it constricts your blood flow which is essential for healing. One of the leading causes of dental implant failure is an infection.
If you’re a heavy smoker, you may have difficulty finding a dentist willing to place an implant because of the factors outlined. Even if you found a dentist willing to take your money, the chances of failure are significant.
That leaves you with two choices: quit smoking or find an alternative solution for your tooth replacement.
Dental Implant versus Dental Bridge
An almost equally viable option to a dental implant is a dental bridge. Generally, I only recommend a bridge when one of the adjacent teeth needs a crown. That way you’re not unnecessarily grinding down healthy tooth structure.
However, it’s better to get a not completely necessary crown than to have a surgical procedure which is destined to fail.
You didn’t say what caused you to lose your tooth. There are many things which can lead to tooth loss. Tooth trauma is one of them. But, so is gum disease or untreated decay. The best way to prevent that is with regular care. It’s honestly more affordable than the treatment after it’s too late.
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