The impact of tooth loss can be emotional, stressful, and expensive; and for patients who smoke, worries about the ability to receive implant-supported denture treatment — such as All-on-4® — may also add to the list of tooth loss worries. Smoking negatively impacts a patient’s health, but how does it specifically impact a patient’s candidacy for All-on-4® treatment? Below, we’re discussing what smokers should know before seeking permanent teeth replacement from their local oral surgeon. |
Understanding All-on-4® Treatment
All-on-4® is an implant-supported full teeth replacement treatment. All-on-4® is a more stable alternative to traditional dentures, that prevents slipping and sliding while chewing or speaking. Qualifying patients must have no natural teeth, or an oral surgeon must extract any remaining teeth in order to place the implants. Four titanium posts (tooth implants) are placed equally along both the upper and lower jaw. These implants are the solid foundation that gives All-on-4® dentures a firmer, more natural-feeling bite. A prosthodontist or general dentist can then place full upper and lower sets of custom-created teeth to achieve the most natural look and feel for your smile. To be successful, implants require a long healing period. This allows a unique biological process, called osseointegration, to take place. Osseointegration is when your jaw bone tissue accepts the titanium implant, and grows and develops around it, strengthening and securing its spot in your bone. For many patients, this requires several months.
How Smoking Can Inhibit All-on-4® Treatment
Osseointegration, and the healing process after All-on-4® placement, can be inhibited by issues that smokers are likely to face, such as: aggressive oral bacteria, weak bone tissue, or other systemic conditions that slow or prevent healing. If osseointegration does not occur successfully, the implant may become loose, create uncomfortable side effects or discomfort, or even become detached from the bone. Dental implants have a success rate of more than 90%, however, there is always a chance that the procedure will not heal properly. This risk increases for patients who smoke. For example, one Spanish implant study of 66 patients found that the average rate of failure for implants was 1.4 percent, but for smokers, the rate increased to 15.8 percent.
This is because smoking negatively impacts many different areas of your health. Smoking weakens your body’s immune system and makes it more difficult to fight off oral bacterial infections. Smoking also constricts blood flow in the mouth, which can slow the recovery process after implant placement.
Improving Your Chances for All-on-4® Placement
In order to improve your chances for a successful All-on-4® placement, quitting smoking is recommended. This will not only help improve your overall health, but will allow your body to heal more quickly after surgery, and prevent complications down the road with bone density loss, aggressive periodontal disease, and more. However, for those patients who cannot quit, your oral surgeon will most likely recommend that you cease smoking for certain periods during the recovery process, such as the first one to two weeks following surgery. For resources on quitting smoking, visit smokefree.gov or yesquit.org, a service of the Texas Department of State Health Services.
If you’re looking for All-on-4® treatment in the Colleyville or Dallas-Fort Worth area, look no further than Dr. Chris Tye. For over 25 years, Dr. Tye has been helping North Texas patients receive dental implants that restore beautiful, functional smiles following tooth loss. For more information, contact our Colleyville practice at 817.552.3223.
Related Articles -
All-on-4®, teeth replacement, permanent dentures, oral surgery, restorative dentistry,