Can a dentist refuse to give me a dental implant? Aren’t they legally obligated to treat patients? I’m a smoker. I recently lost a tooth and did some research. I know a dental implant is the best tooth replacement. That is what I want to get, but my dentist said unless I quit smoking he wouldn’t provide me with one. Why is that so essential? As it is me who will face the consequences, shouldn’t he let me take the risk?
Yes, you’re the patient. But, you wouldn’t want a medical doctor to do a procedure which had a high likelihood of failing if there was an alternative. In this case, the alternative would be a dental bridge. Think of it as a contractor. Someone owns property and has a foundation built. Unfortunately, the foundation they built is broken and crumbling. Would you still be willing to build a house on that which puts the customers at risk? Probably not.
That’s how your dentist feels. He knows your smoking habit will cause problems that could very well lead to dental implant failure. He’s trying to protect you from this. I’m sure you’ll be able to find a dentist who would be willing to take your money and provide the dental implant without caring about the results. But, most would at the very least encourage you to quit smoking first.
Smoking and Dental Implants
One of the biggest problems with dental implants is the blood flow restriction. When blood doesn’t flow properly it contributes to two problems. The first is gum disease. People who smoke are at a much higher risk for gum disease. If a patient develops this, they’re no longer a candidate for dental implants. At its advanced stages, it leads to tooth loss and dental implant failure.
The second problem is slower healing time. With restricted blood flow, it is harder for your body to heal. This causes infections, which is the leading cause of dental implant failure.
It’s up to you. You can quit smoking and increase your chances of success or you can find another dentist willing to risk dental implant failure.
This blog is brought to you by Decatur, AL Dentists Drs. Drake and Wallace.