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Dental Implants and Smoking Prove a Challenge for Dentist and Patient – Case Study

This case illustrates the implications of smoking and dental implants. Brian from Hyndland in Glasgow was referred to Dr Murphy for dental implants by his dentist in Glasgow’s West End.

He had been struggling to adjust to a removable, acrylic denture which he found loose and uncomfortable.

Dr Murphy first placed two dental implants which you can see here.

two dental implants in place

view of two dental implants from below
He then added abutments and fitted porcelain implant crowns.

gold abutments on dental implants

Brian's porcelain implant crown

Matching Dental Implant Crowns in the Lab

As you can see, the appearance of Brian’s teeth was affected by a history of smoking which causes long-term staining.

However we managed to achieve a perfect match between the new crowns and the old ones with the help of our porcelain ceramicist. Our dental laboratory partners are very good at matching porcelain crowns to the patient’s own teeth.

Brian has now given up smoking to prolong the life of his dental implants and remaining teeth.

Dental Implants and Smoking

Care for your teeth is not the only reason to give up smoking but getting dental implants might be enough to push some people towards giving up cigarettes. Research into implants and smoking has suggested smoking cigarettes leads to more bone loss around dental implants.

This is particularly true where there is peri-implantitis – an inflammation and infection of the gum and bone to which the implants are attached. This ultimately can lead to accelerated implant loss.

If the idea of completely and suddenly stopping smoking seems a tall order, how about consulting your doctor about a supported stop smoking programme? The NHS has a Smokefree support programme.

At the very least it is a good idea to stop smoking a week before the implant surgery and a couple of weeks afterwards. The best solution of course is to give up completely and this is what Brian did. Implants and smoking just don’t mix.

Brendan Murphy

A highly-respected cosmetic dentist in Glasgow, Dr Brendan Murphy is a graduate of dentistry from Glasgow University, he has worked with dental patients in the city for more than 20 years. He has a particular interest in dental implantology as well as considerable experience in many kinds of cosmetic dentistry. However, regardless of the treatment services required, Dr Murphy is, first and foremost, motivated to deliver the results his patients want and need.

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