How does smoking affect fixed dental implants?

Cigarettes and Matchsticks

Do you have dental implants ? Are you a smoker? It is well known that smoking has a bad effect on dental implant treatment. Besides smoking being detrimental, it is also not good for conventional bridgework. Some of the adverse effects of smoking are that nicotine reduces the blood flow to the mouth and pipe smoking can affect the high temperatures which are bad for the upper jaw.

With the fact that smoking impacts dental implants and replacements being a failure at the rate of over 15%, this habit offers problems with over-all health. When applied to oral health, smoking leverages risk of cancerous and oral precancerous lesions, root caries, periodontal disease and peri-implantitis. Causing staining of teeth, delayed wound healing after extractions, taste derangement, deterring restorations, the effects of smoking has had bad repercussions on orthognathic surgeries and periodontal procedures.

Discover the Bad Effects of Smoking

Unlike days gone by in the time of Christopher Columbus, smoking was used to stave off hunger. But with advancement of science and technology, there are many reasons which can be attributed to smoking such as:

  • COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Asthma
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Various Cancers
  • Stroke
  • Cataracts, Age-Related Macular Degenerations & Blindness
  • Pneumonia
  • Low birth weight
  • Pregnant women who smoke have increased risk of stillbirth

The oral conditions caused by cigarette smoking are various and include:

  • Bone loss
  • Tooth loss
  • Tissue loss
  • Dental implant failure
  • Edentulism

Candidates for Successful Dental Implants

It goes without saying that smokers are bad candidates for successful dental implants. If you are a chain smoker, your chances of having a dental implant and/or a replacement are less with functionality being reduced. It will be wise if the patient is frank about being smoker besides being open to facing failure when undergoing a dental implant. A discussion with the dentist is very necessary as to find out if the bones and gums in the oral cavity are strong enough.

Smokers face the threat of having weak gums and bones with the rate of the bones decreasing throughout the body. This happens as inhaling the smoke damages the oral tissues resulting in a thickening of the skin cells on the upper layer. With smoking damaging the salivary glands in the mouth, the fluid dries up resulting in inability to wash away the bacteria which causes periodontal disease. Impacting the peripheral vessels in the mouth, the toxic components of nicotine reduce the blood flow and affect the healing and immune capacities of the body.   L

Leveraging the Success rate of Dental Implants

The best way to increase the success of dental implants is to quit smoking immediately. It is advised that the smoker can smoke their last cigarette and throw away the rest of the pack in a move to quit smoking. If the willpower is not there to quit smoking immediately, then it is best to avoid cigarettes at least one week before the placement of the dental implant and later again for two weeks after the procedure.

If the patient decides on pursuing smoking, then it is possible that the implant procedure may be less successful and that they will experience much slower healing. In case the patient/s stops smoking 3 to 4 weeks before the treatment, then the treatment healing period will be successful with better results.

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