Smoking Can Lead to Dental Implant Failure

smoking cigarette on black background

If you have lost one or more teeth, but you have overall good oral health, you may be considering dental implants. Permanently placed metal posts will integrate with your jawbone, and Dr. Libunao or Dr. Hawkins can top them with a custom-designed restoration. Unfortunately, if you are a smoker, tobacco use can often lead to implant failure. Smoking does not automatically prevent you from receiving implants, but your dentist will recommend this treatment with reservations. He will also monitor your recovery even more closely than usual to increase the likelihood of implant success. To learn more about dental implant failure and smoking, contact our Bolingbrook practice today.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU RECEIVE DENTAL IMPLANTS?

Dental implant placement involves a low-risk oral surgery. Before the procedure, Dr. Libunao or Dr. Hawkins will use 3-D SimPlant® software to plan your procedure. He will look for signs of bone recession and find the strongest areas of bone so that your implant posts will have plenty of support. Then he will create small incisions in your gums, and through them, he can position the implants in your jawbone. Finally, he will close up your gums, using small sutures to keep the tissues in place. After your surgery, your bone will fuse with the biocompatible implants, usually over the next four to six months.

SMOKING AND IMPLANT SURGERY

Smoking restricts blood flow throughout your body. In turn, this can slow the healing process, and your jawbone may not be able to integrate with the implants properly. Therefore, as a smoker, you will have a much higher risk of implant failure. Failure is more likely to occur in the first few months following placement. Even if you do not suffer implant failure, the slowed blood flow can make your recovery longer and more difficult.

Tobacco use also suppresses your immune system, so your body will have a hard time fighting off bacteria. You could develop an infection, causing inflammation and significant discomfort around the implants. In some cases, Dr. Libunao or Dr. Hawkins might even have to remove the posts. Additionally, cigarettes and other products often lead to dry mouth. Your salivary glands will not be able to produce enough moisture to wash away harmful oral bacteria. This will further increase your risk for infection, especially during recovery.

SMOKING AND GUM DISEASE

In many cases, you could heal quite well, and your implants will function just like natural teeth. However, continued tobacco use will increase your risk for gum disease, since your body will not be able to combat bacteria as effectively. This condition occurs when oral bacteria form pockets in your gum tissue. When bacteria proliferate, your gums will start to recede, pulling away from the implant posts. Your jawbone may start to degenerate, as well. In turn, the implants could become loose, or they will need to be removed.

CAN YOU STILL RECEIVE IMPLANTS IF YOU SMOKE?

Despite the negative consequences of smoking, you may still be a candidate for implants, even if you smoke. To increase the chances of success, you should cease smoking at least a week before and two weeks after your surgery. Of course, if possible, it is best to quit entirely. Not only will you have better success with dental implants, you will also enjoy improved oral and systemic health.

FIND OUT IF YOU ARE A CANDIDATE FOR IMPLANTS

To learn more about implants and to find out if they are a good option for you, contact Suburban Oral Surgery & Implant Center today.

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