Why You Should Avoid Smoking With Implants

Submitted by Bonnie C. Ferrell, DDS on April 1, 2017

It’s no secret that smoking can have a negative impact on your health and wellness, and oral health is no exception. Smoking has been linked to a plethora of negative conditions and diseases such as periodontal disease, bone and tissue loss, and edentulism (toothlessness.) What many people may not realize is that it can also cause dental implant failure.

When it comes to smoking with dental implants, there are two key factors that can put the success of the implant at risk. First, nicotine reduces blood flow in the mouth, making it difficult for tissue and bone to heal. Second, inhaled smoke has a thickening effect on superficial layers of skin cells in the mouth, which can lead to dryness. These combined factors make osseo- integration, the process during which the jaw bone integrates with an implant, much more difficult. Furthermore, according to deardoctor.com, “Exposure to smoking promotes bone loss around the implants, especially where there is peri-implantitis — inflammation and infection of the gum and bone to which the implants adjoin, which can lead to rapid implant loss.”

Quitting smoking altogether is definitely the best plan of action. However, quitting temporarily, at least two weeks prior to implant surgical placement, and through the entire healing process (several weeks after placement) can have a positive impact on implant success. It’s especially important to maintain regular checkups with your dentist after the implant process, and to maintain excellent oral hygiene practices.

To learn more about smoking and oral health, consult with your family dentist. Many patients have used implant surgery as a kickstart to quit smoking, and your dentist may be able to recommend smoking cessation aids or medications to help.

Dr. Bonnie Ferrell cares for dental patients in the Lowry area of Denver, Colorado. To learn more about her practice and her many happy patients, visit her at https://www.drbonnieferrell.com/