On the 11th March this year it’s National No Smoking Day, raising awareness around the risks of smoking and providing support to those who need help to quit.
Not only is smoking bad for your overall health and linked to a number of cancers and heart disease, but it can also have detrimental effects on your dental health – including your dental implants.
Smoking and dental implants
If you or someone you know is a smoker and are considering dental implants, it is important to be aware of the potential impact smoking can have on the implant’s lifespan.
There is a higher probability that dental implants will fail if the patient is a smoker, and this is down to the adverse effects of smoking. At Premium Dental Implants, your dental health is a priority to us. Leading dental Implantologist, Dr Nigel Jones, spoke to ASH Wales about the impact smoking can have on oral health and more specifically, its effect on dental implants:
“The main way in which smoking affects dental health is that nicotine reduces blood-flow within existing blood vessels, and the formation of new blood vessels.
“Smokers take three times as long to recover from wounds, and therefore have three times as many infections.
“Major studies by Bain in 2002 and Albreksson in 2015 demonstrate that smokers have two to three times as many dental-implant failures as non-smokers.”
In particular, the first few weeks after having dental implants is crucial in terms of their lifespan. During this initial healing time, osseointegration begins. Osseointegration is when the jawbone fuses with the titanium screw implant, which is the post upon which the ceramic false teeth are attached. Smoking during this time can have a huge effect on the healing process following the implants, increasing chances of infection which in turn can lead to implant failure/loss.
We would highly recommend that smokers stop smoking altogether if they are considering dental implants to reduce the likelihood of implant failure or loss.
Tips to quit smoking
If you’re thinking about taking the plunge this No Smoking Day, below is some helpful advice on how to start your quitting journey. For more information, visit the NHS website.
Consider why this is the time to quit
Whether you’re stopping smoking for your own health, to protect a family member from second-hand smoke or to enjoy being active again, by pinpointing your reasons you can then use these as motivation to keep going throughout your stop smoking journey.
Check in with your GP
There are so many methods out there to help you quit smoking that it’s all the more important to discuss with your GP the best options for you. They will be able to provide you with advice on support groups, apps and even medication if it’s necessary.
Look after yourself
Quitting any addiction isn’t easy, so it is really important to focus on your wellbeing throughout the process. Practice activities that help you to relax, read more, listen to your favourite music, meet up with friends or reward yourself once you hit an important milestone.
Beware of triggers
Smokers who are on a journey to quit can lapse when they hit a trigger. Triggers tend to vary from person to person, from drinking alcohol to eating out. If this is the case, try and identify your triggers and find an alternative to distract your mind, whether it’s popping for a coffee instead of an alcoholic beverage or heading to a fitness class.