I’ve been interested in getting two dental implants, but the last two dentists I saw about it said to get back with them when I quit smoking and wouldn’t even consider me as a patient until then. Can they actually do that? Do they had the right to turn away patients? Will anyone treat a smoker?
Let’s start with whether or not the dentist has a right to deny a service. As an analogy, let’s say you bought a plot of land which turned out to be a swamp, yet you kept contacting builders asking them to construct a house on it. They’d be perfectly within their rights to say no because they know there’s a pretty good chance this will fail.
This is the thinking when it comes to dentists who say no to giving you dental implants because you are a heavy smoker. They don’t want you to invest in a procedure that is likely to end in dental implant failure.
Will you be able to find a dentist who will do the procedure for you? Probably. But, should you go ahead with it? Well, that depends on how much of a risk taker you are.
Why Does Smoking Put Dental Implants at Risk?
One reason is reduced blood flow. When you smoke you inhibit the gum flow to your gums. This slows down your body’s ability to heal well. Often, this results in an infection. I bet you can guess what the leading cause of dental implant failure is. That’s right…infection.
Smoking also increases your risk of gum disease. If you have gum disease, you are not a candidate for dental implants. There isn’t a reputable dentist anywhere who will give a patient with gum disease dental implants.
In fact, you may want to check with your dentist about whether or not you have gum disease. It does lead to your teeth falling out. As you’ve already lost some, you’ll want to make sure that’s not the reason why.
This blog is brought to you by Portland Dentist Dr. Mo Saleh.