Can You Get Dental Implants if You Smoke?

You Can Have Dental Implants

Upon hearing about dental implants in their treatment plans, many patients quickly dismiss the possibility of having their teeth restored with implants. These patients are convinced that they can’t have implants due to the fact that they smoke, have a medical condition or their age. The good news is that there are only a few medical conditions that would prevent a patient from having dental implants placed, and when it comes to dental implant treatment, age isn’t a restricting factor.

Smoking and Dental Implants

Most smoker’s CAN have treatment with dental implants with the understanding that the success rate of implants in smokers is lower than it is in non-smokers. The reason for this decrease is because smoking constricts the flow of blood and in doing so it can affect the dental implant healing process. In addition, the act of smoking causes the pressure inside your mouth to rise (think about when you pucker your lips to give someone a kiss on the cheek) and this consistent excess pressure can affect the healing process.  If we are working with a patient who smokes, we recommend that the patient try to stop smoking for a time period before and after the implant placement procedure so we can maximize the chance of successful healing. Of course we’d discuss your specific situation on a case-by-case basis.

Medical Conditions and Dental Implants

Many people in today’s society are being treated for common conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, anxiety and depression. As long as these types of conditions are well controlled by diet or medication, they usually won’t prevent you from having a dental implant placed.

Of course, we would want to speak with the physician to make sure that the blood pressure and blood sugar are in a healthy range (as we would for any surgical procedure).

Osteoporosis Medicine and Dental Implants

Patients who take certain medications (called bisphosphonates) for osteoporosis should try to have dental implant treatment before starting their treatment regimen, or many years after stopping osteoporosis treatment. The reason behind this logic is that bisphosphonate medications (such as Fosomax and Boniva) work by limiting the speed at which your bone remodels, thereby slowing down the bone loss from osteoporosis. However, when these drugs are used, they can also slow down healing; in extreme cases, they can prevent healing and lead to infections. Thus, while being on an osteoporosis medicine will not explicitly prevent you from having treatment with dental implants, it’s essential that you tell us that you are on these medications (as well as any other medications), so we can consult with the physician and make an informed treatment decision.

Age and Dental Implants

Age doesn’t matter. The only real limitation with age and having treatment with dental implants is that you will need to make a number of visits to the office to have the implants placed and restored. Other than that, there’s no reason why age will prevent you from having implants. In fact, dental implants are fantastic for patients who have loose lower dentures, as implant-retained dentures can be life-changing for many.

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