“You gave me back my smile” is not something I expect to hear each and every time from patients, says Dr Mohit Dhawan, Co-founder and Dental Implants specialist at ADC™ - Centre for Restorative and Implant Dentistry.
"When our patients say this to us or write about their smile in online reviews, they are often just not referring to the smile effects of teeth implants but refer to the cumulative effects dental implants had on their daily lives by transforming the appearance, ability to chew well, and belief of self confidence". However few of the common questions asked by my patients are:
- "Can I have implants if I smoke?"
- "Will my implants be a success if I Smoke?"
- "Is the Long term success a possibility if I am a Smoker?"
- "What are the complications I can expect, If I am a Smoker?"
Smoking is Certainly not a Barrier
"We always cherish good results at ADC but are also aware that many people falsely believe that they have to quit smoking before having dental implants and henceforth lead an edentulous life depriving themselves of a possible improvement in quality life.
No, this is not true! Everyone is well aware about dangerous effects of smoking on health ‒ it increases the risk of a possible lung cancer to heart problems ‒ but we also don’t believe that smoking should prevent our patients having the Dental implants," says Dr Dhawan.
Analysing the Risks
"We talk straight and upfront with patients and let them know the risks of continuous smoking and what negative impact it will have on their health and surgical outcome as well as the long-term prognosis for their teeth", says Dr Dhawan.
"Smoking causes periodontal problems (gum disease) for both teeth and Dental Implants, damaging the Jaw bone, and results in halitosis (bad breath) and stained teeth. Smoking increases the chances of infections also termed as peri-implantitis. We also educate patients how the smoking habit will affect the success rate of dental implants, but we’re non-judgmental and don’t force our patients or bully them into quitting."
"However, if patients need to have bone augmentation, soft tissue grafts along with Dental Implants surgery, we avoid going ahead if they smoke heavily as smoking has been a dominant factor to cause a high failure rate."
“Another important consideration that patients should remember is that if they do not quit smoking, it will exponentially increase the chances of infections, bone loss around the Implants resulting in total implant failure.”
What if smoking has already caused significant damage to jawbone?
In good 95% cases, even if there has been a lot of bone loss, we can use All on 4 Dental Implants. In patients with excessive bone loss, a Zygoma or cheek-bone implant can be used,’ says Dr Dhawan.
How smoking affects Dental Implants?
‘Companies manufacture dental implants from titanium and when we them in jawbone, both bone and soft tissues integrate with the implant and hold it firmly,’ says Dr Dhawan.
‘However, nicotine Vaso-constricts small blood vessels in the Jaws, depriving the soft tissues in oral cavity of oxygen and essentials nutrients, and also remarkably decrease saliva flow rate, which slows down and delays the healing process. Smoking also decreases body immunity and capacity to fight infections.
Studies have been well documented, that Dental Implants success rates with smokers is approximately 72% as compared to 98% success rates in non-smokers. This means success is still predictable and hence smokers shouldn’t refrain from having dental implants.’
Many patients commit themselves to quit smoking before making huge investments in their new teeth.
‘All on 4 Dental Implants makes our Patients look and feel younger and it gets rid of the infections in their oral cavity. Many patients realize that smoking doesn’t fit with their new confident image. That’s why we encourage and support as much as we can, to help them quit smoking before having Dental Implants and suggest they speak to their family doctor about help in quitting smoking.
Patients often use tablets and nicotine patches (Cipla), Nicotine chewing gums, inhalators, nasal sprays and electric cigarettes to quit smoking, Often these patients encounter emotional and habitual disturbances in their lifestyle. We refer such patients to a physiologist or a clinical hypnotherapist to combat phobias, emotional and psychological issues.
‘Whether you’re a smoker or non-smoker the professional team at ADC™- Centre for Restorative and Implant Dentistry looks forward to meeting you and discussing how we can help you to have a smile you’ll love,’ says Dr Dhawan.