Can You Get Dental Implants If You Smoke?
In the past, smoking was a contraindication for dental implants. Today, however, more and more smokers are able to get tooth implants and have pretty good success rates. You'll have to talk with your dentist personally to see if you qualify for implants, but there are some things you can do to improve your chances.
Look into a Bone Graft or Sinus Lift if Bone Density is Poor
Smoking can be bad for implants because it can constrict your vessels, meaning you'll have poor circulation and longer healing times. Smoking can also be bad for tooth implants because it can decrease bone density. If your dentist says that your jaw bone isn't strong enough to support and implant, ask about a bone graft or a sinus lift. A sinus lift, or augmentation, is a type of surgery where the sinuses are lifted so more bone can be grafted in the upper jaw.
You have many options for bone grafts. Some grafts can be harvested from your own bone, like the hip, from animals, like cows, or from cadavers. While it may be gross to think about grafts from cadavers, keep in mind that all grafts are processed and sterilized so you will only be receiving healthy tissue. If you are able to get a bone graft, then you very well may be able to get dental implants as well.
Ask Your Dentist About Protein-rich Plasma
During an implant procedure, your dentist can lay protein-rich plasma (PRP) at the implant site. PRP is great for stimulating bone growth and encouraging healing responses. Since PRP can be harvested from your own blood and processed, you shouldn't have to worry about infections being transmitted.
Similar to PRP, some dentists can coat the actual implant with antibacterial films or bioactive films that speed healing and reduce infection. If your bone density is in good shape, then these technologies can be used to speed your healing.
You Can Increase Your Success Rates by Stopping the Habit
While it can be hard to quit, some people take the implant procedure as a starting point for their road to recovery. After all, your dentist may require you to stop smoking immediately before and after the surgery. And even if you cannot quit, stopping for just a brief period of time can still make a difference and increase your success rates.
If you are missing teeth, don't let your smoking habit hold you back. Look into tooth implants so that you can smile with a full set of teeth.