If you are a smoker who is considering getting dental implants in Rochester, NY, or you already have them, you may have questions about your implants and smoking. Although smoking is a common social behavior, it has detrimental effects on the outcome of almost all oral procedures, including dental implants.1
Smoking negatively impacts oral health by increasing the risk of developing periodontal disease, root caries, precancerous and cancerous oral lesions, and peri-implant disease, among other conditions.2
The possible complications smokers may have with dental implants reduce the chances of overall success with the procedure. Learn more about why smoking can result in dental implant failure and other negative consequences after treatment.
How Does Smoking Affect Your Dental Implants?
Dental implants are an effective, popular solution to replace missing teeth. With proper care, they can give you a healthy smile that looks and feels great for 30 years or longer. However, once you receive dental implants, smoking can negatively affect them.
Some of the ways that smoking can impact dental implants include:
- Slower healing overall
- Increased risk of infection
- Compromised osseointegration
- Increased risk of implant failure
- Less favorable aesthetic outcomes
Smoking significantly affects the short-term and long-term healing and integrity of dental implant procedures.
Slower Healing Overall
Dental implants in Rochester, NY, are surgically placed in the jawbone, requiring an incision in the gums during the procedure. Every time a person who smokes inhales nicotine, it restricts blood flow to the gums. That lack of a healthy blood supply means that the area cannot heal well.
Increased Risk of Infection
Smoking also suppresses a person’s immune system.3 When a person has a compromised immune system, the risk of infection increases.
A process called osseointegration must occur as part of the healing process. Osseointegration happens when the implants fuse with the jawbone and the surrounding tissues. This process slows down — and may never occur — when a person smokes because of their weakened immune system and slower healing.
Increased Risk of Implant Failure
Osseointegration takes approximately three to six months to occur, but this does not mean that the risk of implant failure is over after that timeframe. Even after dental implants heal, smoking can increase a person’s risk of bone loss in the jaw. If this bone loss continues over time and the jaw deteriorates, the implants will be at an increased risk of failing.
Less Favorable Aesthetic Outcomes
Due to reduced blood flow to the gum tissue and the increased risk for gum recession, smokers show less favorable aesthetic outcomes.
Tips to Minimize Dental Implant Failure
Follow all post-procedure instructions carefully, including taking all medications.
While quitting smoking is not easy, it is the best way to minimize the risk of implant failure and improve your overall health. If you can’t quit, even cutting down is helpful. However, many patients find success with smoking cessation programs.4 Talk to your periodontist about options to help you quit.
Dental Implants in Rochester, NY
Good oral hygiene and healthy lifestyle choices are crucial to ensuring a long-lasting, successful experience with your dental implants. At Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester, we are committed to helping you have successful dental implants and maintain beautiful smiles.
If you’re interested in learning more about dental implants, contact the team at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester. We look forward to hearing from you. Call us at 585-685-2005.