There are a lot of reasons why people can lose teeth, and one of the most common is smoking. Tobacco use is tied to a host of oral health problems, many of which can lead to tooth loss.
There’s one tooth replacement option that stands apart from the others: dental implants. If you’ve lost teeth due to smoking, you might wonder if that same smoking could prevent you from getting dental implants. If you’re curious, here’s what you need to know.
Can You Smoke and Get Dental Implants?
There are quite a few ways in which tobacco can negatively affect the success of dental implants. Many of these will be listed below, but the most important thing is to know that smoking can dramatically increase the risk of dental implant failure. One study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that patients who smoke had a 15% failure rate, compared to just 1% in patients that did not.
It’s recommended that patients quit smoking for at least two weeks before and ninety days after implant surgery, to ensure that the implants can heal properly.
Why Does Smoking Prevent Dental Implants from Healing?
As was mentioned, tobacco can cause dental implants to fail in a myriad of ways. Here are some of the most common issues smokers are likely to face recently.
Limiting Blood Flow
Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning that it causes the blood vessels to become narrower. This limits blood flow to important parts of the body, including the mouth. That can significantly impair the mouth’s healing after your surgery.
Osseointegration is the name for the process of the jawbone healing around your dental implant. It’s been found in several studies that osseointegration is impaired by smoking. One study, published in 2017 in the Journal of International Oral Medicine, also found that the amount people smoked made people more likely to fail. Patients that had smoked for over ten years were found to have a much higher chance of failure.
Nicotine can affect the health of teeth roots, which can make them looser. This makes it much easier for bacteria to infiltrate under the gum line, causing infections. In severe cases, these infections can lead to bone loss, causing an implant to fail.
As you can see, quitting smoking can dramatically increase your dental implant’s chance of success. If you need any more incentive to quit, this might be just the opportunity you’ve been looking for.
About Our Practice
At Elmbrook Family Dental, we pride ourselves on our ability to do whatever is needed for the families in our local community to get them to immaculate oral health. Whether it’s checkups, dental implants, or even cosmetic treatments, we will do whatever we can do to help you. And with seven incredible dentists on staff, “whatever we can do” happens to be a whole lot.
If you have any questions about getting dental implants, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (262) 784-7201.