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14 August 2023

Dental Implants In Woodford – The Unfiltered Truth About Smoking And Implants

Dental Implants in Woodford

For those residing in the Cheshire area, including Woodford, dental implants have long been the gold standard for anyone looking to replace lost teeth. Their unrivalled strength, durability, and functionality far outweigh any other form of tooth replacement.

Yet, despite their unparalleled success, dental implants have an “Achilles heel” – smoking!

In truth, the detrimental effect smoking has on newly placed implants can be devastating, but before we talk about that, let’s remind ourselves why implants are such a game-changer in the first place.

Dental Implants – Raising the bar

Unlike conventional bridges and dentures that rely on either soft-tissue support and suction or the stability of nearby teeth, implants are a standalone appliance effectively replacing both the crown and the missing tooth root.

Once an implant is anchored into the jawbone, it fuses with the surrounding tissue over time using a biological process known as osseointegration (bone-to-implant fusion). After the implant is fully integrated into the jaw, it effectively becomes part of the mouth.

Essentially, bone-to-implant integration ensures greater stability, superior functionality, and increased longevity for implants and their artificial teeth.

So what does this mean for patients?

Implants offer significantly improved oral health and an enhanced quality of life that is unsurpassed by any other form of missing tooth replacement. For this reason, implant-based restorations are the preferred restoration of choice by many dentists and patients.

To put this into perspective, the pursuit of dental excellence is such that the current global implant market shows no signs of slowing and is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 9.8% year on year. 

By 2030, the industry is estimated to be worth a little under 10 billion with around 5 million dental implants being placed every year.

The Implant/Smoking Paradox

While dental implants offer unparalleled solutions, the achievement of such a procedure is heavily influenced by oral hygiene, overall health, and lifestyle choices such as smoking. The latter, in particular, emerges as a substantial hurdle in the fight for implant success.

Our Church Road dentist explains:

Nicotine, the addictive substance found in cigarettes, wreaks havoc on our oral health in ways we might not even realise.

Firstly, it clogs up blood vessels that would otherwise carry much-needed oxygen and nutrients to the gums and bone tissue supporting dental implants. As a result, the restricted blood flow to the gums and bone tissue impedes the healing process, thus increasing the risk of failure following dental implant surgery.

Secondly, a cigarette contains on average, around one million bacteria per gramme of tobacco. This includes a concoction of moulds, yeasts and microbial toxins. An influx of bad bacteria in and around the implant site is potentially fatal for a newly placed implant, as infection is by far the most frequent and avoidable cause of implant failure.

Finally, smoking is known to disrupt the healing process. This is the vital part of the implant procedure that rebuilds bone and provides stability once the titanium post is anchored into the jaw.

Smoking does this by restricting essential bone-building cells known as osteoblasts which slows the action of bone remodeling. This, in turn, leads to weakening bone density which compromises the overall stability of the implant.

To put all of the above into perspective, in one particular study, the implant failure rate of smokers compared to non-smokers more than tripled from 6.6% up to 22.3%.

Similarly, a larger long-term study indicated that when dental implants were placed into smokers, the failure rate was 140% higher vs. non-smokers.

While the two studies show varying results, they equally suggest that smoking in any form, heavily impacts dental implant success. These results mirror those of countless other studies.

But there’s more…

Not only does smoking increase the chances of implant failure, but it also increases the risk of peri-implantitis, an inflammatory condition affecting the tissue surrounding a dental implant.

For these reasons, if you are considering dental implants in Woodford and you currently smoke, you will need to make sacrifices.

So, what can you expect?

Dental Implants Near Woodford – A collaborative effort

Essentially, the road to a perfect smile requires a unique collaboration between you and your implant dentist. For smokers, quitting smoking before dental implant surgery is essential and something that every smoker must do.

As a conscientious dental implants dentist in Cheshire, our job is to ensure you do that by providing all the tools and contacts necessary to help you quit.

If you cannot see yourself stopping altogether, a temporary smoking cessation protocol must be followed. Your dentist will work with you to ensure this happens by building it into your treatment plan.

While there is no one-size-fits-all timescale for cessation, patients can expect to quit for the one to the two-week period immediately before implant surgery through to the period after the implant has fully stabilised in the jaw.

This is the point where an implant becomes less vulnerable and can take up to six months to complete depending upon the healing ability of the patient and the location of the implant.

However, typically, a two-month cessation plan is the norm.

Essential facts smokers should know – A summary

When in pursuit of a flawless smile, understanding the impact that smoking has on dental implants is paramount. The intricate relationship between tobacco and oral health cannot be underestimated as it directly influences the outcome and longevity of any implant-based restoration.

While the idea of dental implants is understandably alluring for many, the harsh reality is that smoking poses formidable challenges for those wishing to undergo the process.

By opting to quit smoking, either completely or temporarily, patients can take positive steps towards a future where a perfect smile is less of a pipe dream and more of a reality.

Want to know more about dental implants in Woodford and their tricky association with smoking? Talk to our experienced team at Cheadle Hulme Dental and Cosmetics.

Situated just ten minutes down the road in Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, our caring team will work with you enabling us to deliver the healthy smile you deserve.

Book a consultation online or by calling 0161 486 0743

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