What are the effects of a serious smoker getting implants?

I am a long-term smoker, diagnosed with bad gum disease. A few of my teeth have already fallen out, and I’m tired of looking so bad. I want to pull my remaining visible teeth, and get implants or dentures…anything to look better. What are the effects of a serious smoker getting implants?

– Paul in Ohio

Paul,

Cigarette smoking has long been associated with a variety of negative oral conditions, especially periodontal disease (gum disease). Advanced periodontal disease is horrible, as it slowly deteriorates your gums until your teeth get loose, leaving no choice to repair but instead remove them. Dental implants are an effective, long-term way of replacing natural teeth. However, any behaviors that wreak havoc on your gums will likely do the same to your implants. Smoking greatly increases the risk of post-op complications and dental implant failure. It affects the implant integration with the bone. Getting multiple dental implants is a hefty investment. Spending that time and money on restoring your mouth doesn’t make much sense if you’re engaged in habits that will sabotage it. Any experienced implant dentist or oral surgeon will likely tell you as a long-term smoker you are not a good candidate for implants. Short term: invest your time in ways to quit smoking. Once you have that under control, move forward with restoration efforts that will now have a chance to succeed rather than fail.

This post is sponsored by Phoenix dentist Arthur Chal Esthetic and Reconstructive Dentistry.

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