Getting Past Your Dental Fears And Learning About Technology

Several years ago I decided to take a trip to the dentist after skipping multiple appointments for over 15 years. I truly had a dental anxiety and had a hard time getting over my fears. Thankfully, my dental visit went smoothly with only four cavities identified. What I did find from this dental visit was that there was a great deal of new information and technology that I had been missing out on. Laser-based technology and digital imaging are just a few examples. With this blog, I want you to understand that you can get over your fears and learn about this new technology like I did, so enjoy the information.

How Smoking Affects Dental Implant Surgeries

Dentist Blog

If you are missing some teeth or getting an extraction, you may want to replace the gap with a dental implant. Dental implant surgeries usually have good success rates and are a great way to get a permanent restoration. However, if you are a smoker, you may wonder if you can get an implant. Read on to learn more about how smoking affects dental implants and how to improve your success rates.

Why Is Smoking an Issue for Implants?

When you smoke, carbon monoxide enters the bloodstream and lowers the oxygen levels in your blood. Nicotine also slows your immune system's defenses since it restricts the flow of oxygen and blood to oral tissue. After implant surgery, sufficient oxygen levels are vital to your recovery, otherwise, you may heal too slowly and the implant may fail.

Smoking also affects osseointegration. Osseointegration is the process where the implant fuses with the surrounding bone tissue. Tobacco and nicotine can hinder osseointegration, which again, can cause an implant to fail since implant posts need to be supported by strong bone tissue.

Lastly, smoking can increase the risk of peri-implantitis, an inflammatory condition of the gum and bone tissue around the implant. While peri-implantitis is reversible, unchecked inflammation can reduce implant retention and cause implant failure.

How Can You Improve Your Success Rates?

Although smoking can affect your implant surgery, there are things you and your dentist can do to increase your success rates.

Ask Your Dentist About Biologic Coatings

Before an implant is placed, your dentist may place a biologic component, like morphogenetic protein, on the device. These types of biologic components can improve healing and increase bone regeneration after surgery.

Temporarily Halt the Habit

In order to proceed with a surgery, your dentist may ask you to temporarily abstain from smoking. You may only need to quit the habit one week before surgery as well as a couple months after as you heal. Some patients take this time to start a smoking cessation program. Even if you decide to return to the habit, stopping for a short length of time still improves your implant success rates.

Keep Up with Proper Oral Hygiene

Your dentist will prescribe an antibacterial mouth rinse after your recovery so that you can prevent infection and peri-implantitis. It's important that you follow the aftercare instructions to improve your success rates. When you can return to normal brushing and flossing, you may also want to use a water flosser, as these tools can help loosen plaque and debris around the implant.

Call Your Dentist if You Experience Problems

Your dentist will give you aftercare instructions that will go over the normal side effects during recovery. However, you should reach out to your dentist if things aren't healing like they should or you experience new symptoms. Your dentist will be able to tackle issues before they get out of hand.

For more information about dental implants, talk to your dentist today.


9 November 2020