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Can Smoking Cause Your Dental Implants To Fail?

May 12, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drlee @ 1:52 pm
ashtray full of cigarettes

After suffering from missing teeth, you’re looking forward to getting one of the newest, most advanced restoration procedures to replace them. Dental implants are small titanium posts that are surgically placed in your gums and fused with your jaw. Because they replace both the root of your missing tooth and the biting surface, they’re able to promote jawbone and oral tissue growth, unlike traditional restoration procedures. You’ll want to protect your new replacement teeth and make sure they’re long-lasting, especially after all the time and money you’re planning to invest in them. Bad oral habits like smoking and tobacco use have been linked to dental implant failure in recent studies. Read on to learn how smoking can impact your new restorations and why it’s best to quit.

Symptoms Of Early Implant Failure

About 5 to 10% of dental implants fail either directly after the procedure, or years later. Knowing how to spot implant failure and other oral complications can allow you to react quickly and immediately seek treatment before symptoms worsen. Some signs that you’re experiencing failure include:

  • Inflamed gums
  • Discomfort while chewing
  • Receding gums
  • Swelling around the surgery site
  • Loose implant or replacement tooth
  • Severe oral pain and discomfort

To minimize the impact these problems have on your mouth, it’s best to consult your oral surgeon as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.

Smoking And Dental Implant Failure

In a long-term study that followed 66 dental implant patients over the course of 5 years, researchers found that smokers experienced implant failure at a rate of 15.8%, compared to 1.4% in nonsmokers. To see if you’re a good candidate for this procedure, it’s best to speak to your implant dentist. Keep in mind that just because you smoke, doesn’t mean that you can’t get implants.

So, how does smoking specifically impact your implants? Tobacco use restricts the amount of blood that’s able to flow to and from your gums, which slows down the healing process. Smoking also causes dry mouth, which can cause it to become infested with harmful oral bacteria. This leaves your gums more susceptible to developing infections. For this reason, it’s best to quit smoking at least a week before your surgery to decrease your risk of failure.

Protecting Your Dental Investment

There are many factors that contribute to the success of dental implants. With so many benefits to offer, you’d be missing out if you didn’t get a chance to experience them. In order to get the most out of the procedure, it’s best to:

  • Brush twice a day and floss at least once a day.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for professional checkups and cleanings.
  • Regularly wash your mouth with an antibacterial rinse.
  • Change bad oral habits

Quitting smoking is no easy feat, but you can improve your oral and overall health by doing so, so it’s worth a shot! Speaking to your dentist about your bad oral habits and how they can affect your new restorations is a great way to familiarize yourself with the effects and motivate yourself to make positive changes.

About the Author

Dr. Jeff Lee has completed a specialized 4-year residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. With over 2 decades of experience, he provides his patients with trustworthy and professional care. He has presented original research on dental implants as well as assisted countless studies and projects on implant dentistry. For questions or to schedule a consultation on dental implants, visit Muskingum Valley Oral Surgery’s website or contact 740-432-8768.

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