Smoking and Dental Implants

Smoking Can Cause Dental Implant Failure

As one of the top tooth replacement options, dental implants can give patients their smile freedom once again. However, if you’re a smoker, it can create a higher risk of implant failure. If you’re ready to replace your lost teeth, contact our West Sayville dentist today by calling 631-563-1583.

With over 40 years of experience in the dentistry field, he’ll ensure that you get the treatment you need.

Can I Get Dental Implants if I Smoke?

The short answer is yes, you can get dental implants if you smoke. However, smoking can negatively impact the success of your dental implant treatment. Studies show that smoking can increase the dental implant failure rate. 

Cigarette Smoking Affects Your Oral Health

To receive dental implants, patients need to have good oral health, and cigarette smoking has a significant impact on oral health. Some of the negative effects that smoking can have on the mouth and teeth include:

  • Gum Disease: Smoking is one of the leading causes of periodontal disease (gum disease). Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums and bones supporting teeth. It causes redness, swelling, bleeding, and even tooth loss. Smoking weakens the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections, including gum disease.
  • Bad Breath (Halitosis): Smoking can cause bad breath due to the buildup of bacteria and plaque in the mouth. This can be embarrassing and affect self-confidence.
  • Tooth Discoloration: Consistent smoking can cause yellow or brown stains to develop on the teeth. These teeth stains are difficult to remove, even with regular brushing and professional cleanings.
  • Oral Cancer: Smoking is one of the major risk factors for oral cancer. Oral cancer can occur in the mouth, throat, or lips and can be life-threatening if not caught early.
  • Delayed Healing: Smoking can slow down the healing process after dental procedures, such as extractions, implant placement, or gum surgery. This can increase the risk of complications and infection.
gum disease

The Effects of Smoking on Dental Implants

Slower Recovery

Smoking can restrict blood flow to the gums and jawbone, slowing the recovery period after a dental implant procedure. This can lead to a longer recovery and make it more difficult for the implant to fuse properly with the jawbone. It can also increase the risk of implant failure, infection, and other oral health complications.

Increased Risk of Implant Failure

Smoking also increases the risk of implant failure. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes restrict blood flow, reducing oxygen and nutrient delivery to the surgical site. Smoking can also increase the risk of developing an infection, leading to implant failure if not treated as soon as possible.

Increased Risk of Peri-Implantitis

Peri-implantitis occurs when the tissue around the dental implant becomes infected and inflamed. Smoking can increase your risk of peri-implantitis, leading to a higher chance of implant failure and the need for additional surgeries. Smokers are also more likely to develop periodontal disease, which can further compromise the success of dental implant treatment.

Increased Risk of Infection

Your risk of infection is higher when you smoke. Chemicals such as nicotine found in cigarettes can weaken the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight off infections. This can lead to implant failure or the need for additional invasive surgeries.

Compromised Aesthetics

Smoking can stain teeth and dental restorations, including implant-supported crowns or bridges. This affects the appearance of the smile and undermines the aesthetic benefits of dental implants.

Bone Loss

Smoking is associated with decreased bone density and poor bone quality. This can affect the stability of dental implants by inhibiting osseointegration, the process where the implant fuses with the jawbone. Reduced bone density increases the risk of implant loosening or implant failure over time.

older woman at the dentist

Implant Failure Symptoms

Dental implant failure is rare, but it does occur, especially for those who smoke and don’t follow post-op care guidelines correctly. If you’re experiencing a failing dental implant, you may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Inflamed or bleeding gums
  • Severe oral pain
  • Discomfort while chewing
  • Gum recession
  • Swelling at the surgical site
  • Loose implant or replacement tooth

If you experience the symptoms mentioned above, contact our Long Island dental implant provider immediately.

How to Quit Cigarette Smoking

Cigarette smoking affects dental implants and is a major risk factor for early implant failure. By quitting smoking, you can improve the chances of success of dental implant placement. Do you need some tips? Consider the following:

  • Join a support group: Joining a support group can be a great way to connect with others who are also trying to quit smoking. This can provide encouragement, accountability, and motivation to quit smoking altogether, even after dental implant surgery.
  • Use nicotine replacement therapy: Nicotine replacement therapy, such as patches, gum, or lozenges, can help ease cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms. Talk to a healthcare provider or your implant dentist before starting any nicotine replacement therapy.
  • Seek professional help: Healthcare providers can provide resources and support to help patients quit smoking. This may include counseling, medication, or a combination of both.
  • Avoid triggers: Triggers, such as stress, alcohol, or being around other smokers, can make it harder to quit smoking. Avoiding triggers and finding healthy ways to cope with stress can increase the likelihood of success.
  • Set a quit date: Setting a quit date can provide a clear goal and help patients stay motivated. Choose a date that allows enough time to prepare and gather support.

Frequently Asked Questions