A dental implant is one of the most popular treatments for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are a permanent solution to restoring your teeth to their natural look and feel. Because dental implants treatment requires oral surgery, special care must be taken to ensure implant success. Smoking is known to be a major contributor of implant failure.
Smoking and Increased Risk
Dental implants are screw-like titanium posts, surgically placed within in the jawbone. As the bone heals around the implant, a permanent bond is created. After the bone completely heals, a dental restoration can be attached to the implant. Like all surgeries, Implants carry some risks. Smoking can increase the likelihood of complications.
Smoking inhibits the body’s ability to heal by reducing the oxygen supply in the blood. Smoking can make it difficult for the jaw bone to heal around the implant, putting the smoker at risk for implant failure.
Peri-implantitis is a common complication seen amongst smokers who have undergone implants. Peri-implantitis is a condition in which the area around the implant becomes inflamed and a deep mucosal pocket develops. The mucosal pocket prevents the bone from healing and bonding around the implant, leading to implant failure.
Smoking can increase the risk of developing an infection around the dental implants following surgery and can make it difficult for the body to fight infection.
Interferes With Medication
Smoking may interfere with medications, like antibiotics, further increasing the risk for infection and implant failure.
What Should Smokers Do?
Because smoking greatly increases the risk for dental implants failure, it is important to stop smoking prior to surgery and during recovery. Dental implants can take more than six weeks to heal, during which time smoking must be avoided. Smoking should also be avoided one to four weeks prior to surgery.