How Smoking Makes Dental Implant Surgery Far More Complicated

Dentist Blog

Dental implants are not compatible with smoking. There's no way around this, and no real form of compromise. If you're a smoker who needs to have a tooth replaced with a dental implant, you have two options. Firstly, you can quit entirely—perhaps using the cold turkey method or progressively reducing your smoking level until you've stopped. Secondly, you can totally abstain from smoking while your implant is healing, although this option is not recommended as it still creates a risk to the health of your dental implant (not to mention your overall health). But why is smoking incompatible with dental implants?

Your Jawbone

Implants must be anchored in your jawbone. A small amount of your jawbone is in fact destroyed by the insertion (drilling) of the implant's screw, but your body's immune response will counteract this. Your jaw will produce osteoblasts, which are cells responsible for bone formation. These osteoblasts attach to the implant, and eventually bone regrows around the implant, integrating with it. The process is called osseointegration. Smoking can disrupt the formation of osteoblasts, meaning that the implant's connection to the bone can be weak and not as secure as needed. It may also take longer than it would for a non-smoker.

Your Gingival Tissues

The implant is placed through your gingival tissues (your gums), which then heal as part of the integration process. Healthy gingival tissues help to physically support an implant, while also affecting its esthetics. Your gums must properly regrow at the base of the prosthetic tooth that will be attached to the implant. This is necessary for the implant to look natural. Smoking constricts your blood vessels, limiting blood flow (and the supply of nutrients), which can be disadvantageous when healing. Similar to your jawbone, the healing of your gum tissues can be disrupted by smoking.

Quitting or Abstaining

Smoking increases the risk of complications with a dental implant, and these complications can include the ultimate failure of your implant, especially if it does not integrate with your bone. For this reason, a dentist can be unwilling to perform dental implant surgery on a smoker, unless there's a willingness to abstain from cigarettes while your implant heals. Remember that if you start smoking again during the healing phase, you are seriously endangering your implant, so you need to ask yourself if the risk is worth it. The healing phase varies significantly from patient to patient, so you may need to abstain for a matter of weeks or even months. 

It's more in your interest to prioritize your implant over your nicotine habit and to use this as a chance to quit.


29 September 2022

The Reasons Why You Should Get A Root Canal

Hi, my name is Kevin Nelson and I want to tell you about my experience. I had a painful tooth so I went to see my dentist. After the examination, he said that I needed to have a root canal to save the tooth. I told the dentist to just pull the tooth instead and then he explained why that wasn't a good idea. He said that pulling the tooth would cause additional problems and then he told me what could happen. I didn't want any more problems, so the dentist did the root canal and I'm glad that he did. I wanted to write a blog to tell others about the benefits of a root canal and what to expect during the procedure. I hope that by getting the word out, other people won't make the same mistake that I almost did by getting a perfectly good tooth pulled.