Smoking And Dental Implants: FAQs

Most people are well aware of the fact that smoking is bad for their lungs and overall health. However, some people don't realize that it may impact their oral health. As their oral health declines, some people want to turn to dental implants, but they aren't sure whether they're a candidate due to their smoking history. Keep reading to learn more.

Can You Be a Candidate for Dental Implants If You Smoke?

Yes, you can receive dental implants if you are a smoker. However, this doesn't mean that you are eligible. You will need to undergo a consultation like everyone else to determine if you are a candidate. With X-rays and an oral exam, a professional will determine the strength of your jaw bone and the health of your gums. However, it is important that you understand smoking seriously increases the complications with dental implant surgery and potential failure of the implant.

Do I Have to Stop Smoking After Undergoing Dental Implant Surgery?

After any surgical procedure, you are given a strict set of guidelines that you are expected to follow, which increases your chances of quick healing without complications. One of these guidelines is to not smoke so that blood clots can properly form, and this actually is recommended for as long as possible prior to and after the procedure. If you are an individual that is counting the minutes until you can have a cigarette after surgery, then you should wait for at least two weeks, though two months is best.

How Does Smoking Affect Dental Implants?

The smoke that you inhale when you smoke cigarettes is hot and concentrated and it burns the tissues inside your mouth. Over time, your salivary glands are damaged and blocked, resulting in dry mouth. Your saliva is necessary to remove acids and plaque that are left behind in the mouth by bacteria, which otherwise leads to decay and gum disease. While your dental implant cannot be directly harmed by this, the tissue surrounding the implant can be, which damages the gums and bone that supports the prosthetic.

In addition, the nicotine in the cigarettes constricts the oral blood vessels, restricting oxygen and blood flow to the tissues and bones in your mouth, slowing down the healing process. During the process, your immune system is impacted, which leaves you vulnerable to infection. Also, if there is not adequate oxygen and blood flow, osseointegration might not take place, which is the fusing of the bone and implant—aka the failure of the implant.

For more information, don't hesitate to talk to a dental implant clinic in your area.