Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and restore the look, feel and function of your natural smile. However, if you are a smoker, it is essential that you understand the negative effects smoking can have on your dental implant procedure and its long-term success.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the negative effects of smoking on dental implants and overall oral health, and why quitting is essential for the best possible outcome.

Negative Effects of Smoking on Dental Implants

Smoking has been proven to have several adverse effects on dental implants, including:

  1. Increased risk of infection: Smoking reduces blood flow to the gums, making it more difficult for your body to fight off infections. This puts implant patients at a higher risk of developing peri-implantitis, a condition that leads to inflammation, gum recession, and bone loss around the dental implant. This can result in the implant losing bone integration, which may ultimately require the removal of the implant. 
  2. Impaired healing process: Smoking interferes with the body’s natural healing process, delaying the healing timeline of the surgical site. This hinders the implant’s ability to fuse properly with the jawbone, a process known as osseointegration, which is a crucial component of successful dental implants. If the implant and bone do not fuse the implant will need to be removed. 
  3. Bone loss: Over time, smoking can cause bone loss in the jaw, reducing the bone quality and quantity needed for dental implants to be successful. This may lead to a higher risk of implant failure or result in the need for additional bone grafting procedures. Bone grafting procedures around an implant that has lost bone due to smoking are expensive and not predictable.
  4. Higher failure rate: Numerous studies have shown that smokers have a significantly higher rate of dental implant failure compared to nonsmokers. Implant failure can lead to the need for additional surgery, a longer recovery process, and higher overall costs. In general, the failure rate of implants in smokers is four times greater than non-smokers.

The Benefits of Quitting Smoking for Dental Implant Patients

Quitting smoking will significantly improve the success of your dental implants, both in the initial healing stages and long-term, as well as improve your overall oral health. Some benefits include: 

  • Improved healing: Quitting smoking allows your body’s natural healing process to function properly, increasing the chances of successful osseointegration and a quicker overall recovery.
  • Decreased risk of infection: Better blood flow to the gums reduces the risk of infections, which can result in decreased implant complications and failure.
  • Healthier teeth and gums: Quitting smoking leads to healthier teeth and gums, reducing the risks of gum disease (periodontal disease), tooth decay, and tooth loss that can complicate dental implant procedure.
  • Prolonged success of implants: By quitting smoking, you increase your chances of a successful dental implant outcome and prolong the lifespan of your implants, allowing you to maintain a healthy, functional smile for years to come.

Quitting smoking is critical to the success of your dental implants and overall oral health. If you need help quitting, speak with your oral surgeon or healthcare provider for resources and support. 

Dental Implants Boulder CO

If you are considering dental implants and would like more information on the procedure, call (303) 444-2255 or complete the online booking form. The team at Foley & Le Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons is here to answer your questions and help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. 

If you are searching for dental implants near me, trust the experts at Foley & Le. Dr. B. Foley, Dr. D. Foley and Dr. Thao Le are experienced oral surgeons in Boulder, CO, dedicated to providing outstanding care that meets your individual needs. 

Frequently Asked About Dental Implants

What Is the Success Rate of Dental Implants for Smokers?

The success rate of dental implants for smokers is significantly lower than it is for non-smokers. Studies have shown that “implants placed in smokers present a 140.2% higher risk of failure than implants placed in non-smokers.” The implant failure rate increases with the length of time that someone has smoked and the number of cigarettes they smoke per day.

How Long Before Dental Implant Surgery Should I Quit Smoking?

It is recommended that you quit smoking at least two weeks but ideally 6 weeks before your dental implant surgery to ensure the best outcome. Quitting smoking will help improve blood flow to the gums, reduce the risk of infection, improve healing time, and increase the chances of a successful outcome. Ideally, you should quit smoking altogether, as this will give the implant the best chance of healing.

How Long After Dental Implant Surgery Can I Smoke?

It is recommended that you do not smoke for a minimum of four to six months after implant surgery. Ideally, patients never smoke again following implant placement. Once your dental implant procedure is complete, it is essential that you take the necessary steps to ensure its long-term success. This includes maintaining a regular oral hygiene routine and avoiding smoking. Quitting smoking not only increases the success rate of dental implants, but it also has numerous benefits for overall dental health.

What Happens if I Smoke After Dental Implant Surgery?

If you smoke after dental implant surgery, it can lead to a number of complications, including an increased risk of infection and implant failure. Smoking can reduce the amount of oxygen in the gums, which will limit the body’s ability to heal properly. Smoking can also introduce bacteria into the mouth, increasing the risk of infection. Quitting smoking is essential for a successful dental implant outcome and overall oral health.

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