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Why should my dentist care if I smoke?

I’m trying to get dental implants, but my dentist won’t place them if I’m still smoking. I say it’s none of his business if I smoke. I’m paying him, he should place the implants.

Stanley W. – Arkansas


I understand your line of thinking. Your dentist is a contractor. You’ve hired him to place dental implants. He should do the job and let you worry about the statistics.

Look at it this way. If you were a building contractor and someone wanted you to build a house over something that was likely to have a sink hole, you might hesitate to build.  Even if the people were willing to sign something saying you were not liable for any damage to their home or person, you might have moral concerns about putting them in danger.

When you smoke, it does more than damage your lungs.  You also have reduced blood flow in your gums.  Not only will this increase the likelihood of dental implant failure, but can lead to complications in recovery from the surgery portion.

You’ll be at increased risk of infection all while healing at a slower rate. To put it short, it is more dangerous for you.  It’s possible your dentist is so concerned about the risks to you, he is unwilling to profit from the procedure.

To me, that says you have a dentist who cares about your health and not just his bottom line.  You have two choices. 1. Quit smoking (yes, I know that is easier said than done) and stay with a dentist who is obviously ethical and not just out to make a buck.  or 2. Take a risk with a dentist who is willing to give you implants regardless of the chances of failure and risk to your health post-operative.

This blog is brought to you by Naperville Cosmetic Dentist Dr. David Newkirk.