Cosmetic Dental Options for Smokers
Learn about options for repairing the cosmetic damage done by smoking.
Thanks to the efforts of the surgeon general over the past few decades, today it is common knowledge that smoking is hazardous to your overall health. But did you realize that smoking carries specific risks to your oral health? These risks include:
- Increased risk of oral cancer
- Increased risk for gum disease
- Diminished blood flow to gums
- Receding gums
- Sensitive teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Increased risk of tooth loss
Fortunately, the world of cosmetic dentistry offers options to help correct the aesthetic impact of many of the ill effects of smoking, though some of these options cannot be utilized without quitting smoking for a significant period of time.
Teeth Whitening: Over time, tar and chemicals in cigarette smoke can cause teeth to become significantly discolored. One way to brighten teeth for a younger, healthier look is to get professional teeth whitening treatments from a skilled cosmetic dentist. Professional treatments are much safer and more comfortable than at-home remedies and tend to provide a better result as well. If you continue to smoke, you will have to continue getting whitening treatments frequently to help keep staining under control.
Veneers: Whitening alone may not be enough to correct severely stained teeth and give you the color you desire. Fortunately, you have an alternative, namely covering up those stained teeth with beautiful and natural-looking porcelain veneers. While porcelain veneers are virtually impervious to staining, you may see some staining around the edges of the veneers if you continue to smoke. You should also be aware that if you continue to smoke you may experience gum recession that will make the edge of the veneer more obvious.
Crowns: Because smokers are at increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay, you may find that a tooth becomes so riddled with cavities or so infected that a root canal and crown is needed to save the tooth. At California Dental Group, we work with an excellent crown provider that can provide a perfect match to your natural teeth.
Bridges: If you end up losing a tooth due to complications from smoking, naturally you will want to replace this lost tooth to preserve a beautiful smile and keep your cheeks from looking sunken. A bridge is an excellent option for someone who plans to continue smoking because it does not involve surgery.
Dental Implants: Of course, the healthiest and most attractive way to replace a missing tooth is a dental implant. However, this is a surgical procedure, and proper recovery will require you to quit smoking for several months before and after the surgeries. If you do not quit smoking, the nicotine in your system will interfere with proper delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your gums and interfere with healing.