The Scarsdale location is now closed, and patients are referred to Mt Vernon and Hartsdale locations.

Why You Shouldn't Smoke During Dental Implant Treatment

One of the most commonly asked questions after a dental implant surgery is whether one can continue smoking cigarettes. Well, we all know smoking is bad for your health and general well-being. While your dentist can never control your tobacco intake, here’s is what you should know:

Smoking Increases The Risks Of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a situation where the gum’s soft tissues are infected with bacteria. This is by far the biggest threat brought by smoking cigarettes. The bacteria attack the gums from the roots of a tooth from plaque growth when one doesn’t brush his or her teeth well. When this plaque dries and hardens, since it hasn`t been properly removed, there is the formation of tartar.

Several recent studies have shown that smokers have a higher concentration of tartar than non-smokers. This is because smokers have declined saliva in the mouth which provides the perfect environment for the plaque to dry up and become tartar.

You should know that saliva is the body`s natural antiseptic against tooth decay as it helps in washing away food debris and bacteria. Unfortunately, with smokers, the salivary glands are destroyed therefore they experience a decline in saliva production.

When left untreated, gingivitis may affect the jawbone structure which supports the teeth. It would be a useless job done if you have dental implants only for your jawbones to be damaged. The implants would be compromised. It would also cause the implant post holding the prosthetic teeth to fall out and if not, become loose. Smokers are at higher risk, than non-smokers, of having their jaw bone deteriorate.

Smoking Affects One’s Healing Abilities

Dental implants are dependent on the jawbone and the gum tissues for support. This process is known as osseointegration. During the first few days after surgery, the osseointegration process is at its baby stages and any change into the chemical composition around the gums would greatly affect the process.

Cigarettes contain chemicals like tar and nicotine. These chemicals when ignited substantially compromise the process and may lead to increased chances of infection or lead to implant failure. These chemicals also block blood capillaries in the gums especially nicotine. They in turn interfere with the flow of oxygen in the gums which is essential for the cells to repair and heal themselves.

How Long Should One Quit Smoking After Treatment?

For the general health of your body, you should consider quitting smoking permanently. Not only is smoking hazardous for your dental health, but also bad for lungs, trachea, mouth and throat health. Tar in the cigarette leads to discoloration of teeth and dry mouth.

If you do not plan to quit completely you should consider quitting at least a week before your dental surgery and at least two to three weeks after surgery.

Since dental implant surgery is a sensitive procedure, you need to find ways on how to quit smoking before and after the treatment. Working closely with a professional dentist will greatly improve your chances to fight off this vice, hopefully for good.