Can people who smoke get dental implants?

Picture of two dentists working on a patient

Improving the appearance with treatments like dental implants and braces has grown in popularity over the years. People no longer have to suffer from a lack of confidence in their smile because of missing, misshapen or cracked teeth. But what about those who smoke? Is it worth their while getting dental implants, or does the habit mean that this kind of treatment can’t be beneficial?

The good news is that smokers can get dental implants, and that indulging in this activity doesn’t exclude patients from getting an improved smile.  Any expert dentist will advise against continuing to smoke, but even if the patient does decide to do so, they can still be eligible for implant treatment.

Making an informed choice

A good dentist will not lecture their patients on smoking, but they will be open about the potential risks associated with maintaining the habit. They have an obligation to explain how smoking can affect the patient’s health and the results that can be expected after treatment if smoking is continued; as well as the impact of the habit on the teeth in the long term.

Smoking is a major cause of gum disease, and this can result in tooth loss which necessitates dental implants to help the patient restore their smile. Although people who remain smokers can still get the treatment, they should be aware that the long term outlook of dental implants. Gum disease can cause implants to become loose or fall out in the same way as teeth.

If the bone structure of the jaw has been affected by smoking, some patients will need to have grafts in preparation for implant treatment. If grafts are needed, it is best for the patient to stop smoking beforehand in order to maximise the chances of success. Some dentists will not offer grafts to patients who are unable to stop smoking.

What impact does smoking have on dental implants?

When implants are placed, they integrate with the bone and gum to keep them in place just like natural teeth. The nicotine in cigarettes causes the blood vessels to narrow, and the result of this is that the tissue inside the mouth has a reduced supply of oxygen – and the flow of saliva is also impacted by this. The result of all this means that the smoking patient is likely to take longer to recover from treatment; and is more likely to suffer from infections in the recovery period and beyond.

Despite the risks associated with continuing to smoke and getting this kind of treatment, it can still result in a successful and satisfactory outcome for the patient – so smokers should not be afraid to consult their dentist if they feel they would benefit from dental implants. Many smokers find that deciding to have their smile improved in this manner actually increases their desire to quit – and it can be a very useful means of motivation to pack in the cigarettes and enjoy better results from dental implant treatment.

How to Help Children Enjoy Trips to the Dentist

Child getting a checkup from the dentist

As adults, we understand that seeing dental professionals is for our own benefit, but if your child is scared or nervous about going to their dental appointments, it can cause stress for the entire family. The good news is that there are steps you can take to make everything a whole lot easier, and you may find that your child will actually look forward to the next time they have an appointment to have their teeth checked.

Start them young

Many people mistakenly assume that they don’t need to book a dental appointment for their children until they have teeth. Parents should register their child with the local dental practice as soon as the child is born. Appointments can be made when the child is just six months old, or whenever the dental professionals advise. By taking a child for check-ups from an early age, not only are you allowing the baby to become familiarised with the dental environment, but any problems they may have with their gums or jaw can also be detected as early as possible.

Stay positive

It is all too easy to tell your kids about your own terrible experiences with your teeth, but this is merely passing your fears onto them. Refrain from being negative, and instead educate your children about the benefits of regular dental appointments and good dental hygiene. Although most dental practices give children stickers after an appointment, it would be worthwhile providing your own treat after each visit. Steer clear of edible treats and instead reward with a trip to the park or extra time on their favourite game.

Lead by example

Children can be anxious when experiencing something different, especially if that something different involves having someone poke at their teeth! If possible arrange to visit the dental practice before the child’s appointment so they can see there is nothing to worry about. This is best done during a parent’s check-up rather than during a through treatment session. When your child sees you are comfortable having your teeth checked, it is probable your child will have their fears alleviated.

Adults with dental anxiety

Knowing that regular dental appointments are in your child’s best interests can motivate an adult with dental anxiety to address their own fears. Although it may not be as simple as rewarding yourself with a treat after each appointment, there are efficient ways to make each visit easier. Speaking with a dental professional can help to ease your anxiety and ensuring the practice is aware of your nervousness allows them to put certain procedures in place. If pain is your prevalent fear, ask about Wand Painless Injections as this computerised solution allows patients to be anaesthetised without experiencing the bee-sting effect that can occur when fluids rush into a confined area of tissue. This is also an excellent solution for patients with a fear of syringes as the anaesthetic is administered using a device that looks like a pen.