Shelby Township Dentist Answers Questions about Smoking and about Implants

Question: My husband has been smoking for many years, but when he plays golf with his buddies he smokes cigars. I am concerned about this. Are cigars safer to smoke than cigarettes?

Answer: Cigars are not a safe alternative to cigarettes. Even if you do not inhale cigar smoke, you are still at risk for oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancers.
Like cigarette smokers, cigar smokers are at increased risk for periodontal (gum) disease, a leading cause of tooth loss.
In addition to the health risks, cigar smoke (and cigarette smoke) can cause staining of the teeth and tongue as well as bad breath.
There are numerous programs out there to help stop this habit. The most important factor for him to quit is his willingness to kick the habit.

Question: I have some concern about implants. I have a loose lower denture that has been getting worse. I use the powder and even the cream adhesives but they are messy and really stick making it difficult to remove. I visited my dentist and told me about implants. He told me about some small implant to stabilize my denture. Could you explain?

Answer: Implants are small “man-made” roots that are inserted into the jawbone. The bone grows into the implant and on top of the implant different structures can be made to replace teeth, hold dentures in place, or act as anchors for bridges. They are very successful (greater than 93%) long term as long as they are used and designed properly by the dentist. Typical implants are slightly smaller than the diameter of a drinking straw. There is more research being done in the implant field than any other field in dentistry and because of it many options are being made available.
The small type of implant that your dentist told you about is called a mini-implant. With just numbing these very small (1.8 mm) diameter implants are simply placed directly into the bone and can be used immediately. The lower denture is relined with special inserts that snap onto the mini-implants. The result is a much more stable lower denture that eliminates the denture adhesives. The mini-implant has some advantages over the traditional implant:
• There is no waiting period for bone to grow into the implant therefore the results are instant.
• The cost is substantially less that the larger implant.
• It can be used on those patients who can’t have surgery because of health problems.
• There is little or no pain associated with the treatment.
• If the existing denture is in good condition it can be reused.

Implants are a very exciting treatment option that can make a huge difference for those who have loose dentures or missing teeth and want to eat better.

Shelby Township Dentist Answers Questions about Smoking and about Implants

If you have questions about smoking or implants, please give our Shelby Township office a call at 586-247-3500.

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