I have been into my dentist to discuss my options to replace a missing tooth. After listening to all my options, it sounds like the dental implant is the best replacement option for the long term. But my dentist refuses to do it unless I quit smoking. Oh how I wish it were that easy. I have been trying more often as I get older, but haven’t been able to do it. Why would I have to quit? Shouldn’t I still be able to choose the best treatment option whether I’m a smoker or non-smoker? So give it to me straight. Will he be able to tell if I really quit? I mean what’s the worst that could happen from a dentistry perspective? I know the health risks. Trust me I’ve heard it all before.
– Benjamin in Connecticut
Communication and honesty are of utmost importance with your dentist. Although you are the one selecting and ultimately going through the procedure, he is responsible for you and the success of your dental implant. There are some dentists that will still place a dental implant if you are a smoker, but there is good reason that he wants you to quite. Think of it like this… If you were going to invest in building your a new home, would you build it on a hill or in substandard soil? You know the answer there! The foundation of the home wouldn’t support the structure. It would fail, thing will break, or crack. Maybe not at first. But in the long term, the house would have problems. Well, that is a good illustration in placing a dental implant in a smoker.
You could be dishonest and tell him you’ve quit when you haven’t. But there is a good chance he would know. Fuzzy tongue, bad breath, stained teeth, and other oral symptoms may give it away. Ultimately, he’s concerned with the success of the implant. It sounds like you know how bad smoking is for your health which is why you have tried to quit in the past. Smoking also has negative effects to your oral health including a higher risk for periodontal disease, risk for infection, increase in tooth decay, and in your case, complications with the dental implant.
Hopefully this shed some light on his recommendation.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS.