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Smoking and the Dentist’s Role

Smoking and the Dentist’s Role
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Smoking is a bad habit, but what is true is that it is a problem that has remained to threaten lives of many people. It starts with a puff. Usually, a person tries it, and he could like it right away or cough out frustration. And then he tries it again, and again…and the rest is history. Eventually, the person is hooked and those who become a victim of cigarette addiction, serves a lifelong sentence.

Some people smoke because it soothes them. Some people smoke because it’s an activity they very much enjoy. Regardless of the reason, one thing is true, smoking is bad for people and dentists share the burden, not only of educating the smoker of its ill-effects, but in convincing him to quit altogether—to abandon the habit.

Smoking: Stains and Bad Breath

In the dentist’s office smoking is detected through the heavy stench emanating from a smoker’s mouth. If this has been properly masked by candy, mouthwash or toothpaste, the habit is presented through dark gums, discolored teeth and heavy stains. Nicotine stains can cover pearly whites and give the teeth a brown, menacing color. They are extrinsic stains and are painstakingly scaled away from the teeth surface by sharp tools.

While the dentist is scarping through the stains, he can educate the patient about flushing with water after enjoying a smoke or if he is bold enough, he point out the ugliness of stains and tell him he is definitely better off without it,

Smoking and Post-Surgery

In a more serious setting, a dentist will come face-to-face with a serial smoker and he will have to declare a no smoking rule following a surgical procedure. Unlike the presence of stains during a routine oral prophylaxis, this order to stop smoking is no longer a suggestion, it is a post-operative instruction to stay away.

Smoking retards wound healing and after surgery, patients are given the instructions to stop smoking, for at least a week, to allow the tissues to heal in its proper course. A patient will follow, for fear of infection and unnecessary complication.

Smoking and Dental Implants

In an even more serious setting, a dentist may be forced to tackle smoking as it is a straight contraindication for dental implant placement. A smart dentist will be honest to tell a smoker that unless he stops, he may never be a candidate for implants. Dental implants fail due to the harmful chemicals of cigarettes. First and foremost, it retards the healing of tissues and bones, which basically determines the success of implant placement—and much further into the lifespan of implants, smoking can definitely cut it short.

Smoking is bad for your health—it says right there on the package. In the dental setting, smoking poses as a significant culprit but one needs to realize is that the danger begins from the very first puff.