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Smoking and Dental Implants - What You Need to Know


Posted on 7/23/2017 by Janie Scholes
A blonde woman who shouldn't be smoking after dental implant surgery.
Dental implants are a popular option for replacing missing teeth. The small titanium rods, which are surgically implanted into your jawbone, act a support system for ceramic crowns. Because the implants are in your jaw, they can help to keep the bone strong, preventing the bone loss often associated with tooth loss. For many patients, implants are a perfect solution. If you are a smoker, though, there are a few things you should know.

Smoking Slows Healing

In order to heal, your blood brings nutrients and oxygen to the surgical sites. If you are a smoker, your blood flow is restricted. As a result, the wounds do not get the nutrients or oxygen they need to heal properly. You can still heal, but it will take longer. And the longer it takes to heal, the more likely you are to experience implant failure during the osseointegration phase, which is essential for establishing a strong fusion between your jaw and the implant.

Smoking Increases Your Risk for Infection

Slowed healing also increases your risk for developing an infection. Smoking can also cause dry socket. This is a condition in which the clots over your surgical sites become dislodged, leaving open spaces. Oral bacteria have free access into your gum tissue as well as your jawbone.

Smoking Increases Your Risk for Gum Disease

If you quit smoking during healing, but pick it back up again after your implants have successfully integrated into your jawbone, you put yourself at risk for implant failure. This is because smoking greatly increases your risk for gum disease. Just because you no longer have your natural teeth, this does not mean you are immune. Gum disease causes your gums to become inflamed, and bacteria can sneak under the tissue near the implants. From there, the bacteria begin to attack your jawbone, weakening it, and its hold on the implants.

If you smoke, you are at an increased risk for your dental implants failing. If you are interested in implants, be sure to speak with your dentist for help to quit smoking, which can help to ensure the success of your implants, and the health of your mouth. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more, please call us today at (602) 900-1609.



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