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Does Smoking Increase Risk for Implant Failure?

March 30, 2018

Older man snapping cigarette in halfIf you’ve just invested thousands of dollars in your smile, the last thing you should do is smoke, but we understand for some people stopping is easier said than done. For patients who replace one or more missing teeth with a dental implant supported restoration, we highly recommend doing your utmost to stop using tobacco. Studies show that people who use tobacco are significantly more likely to experience dental implant failure, and we all know by now that tobacco use puts you at greater risk for oral cancer, other forms of cancer, and serious systemic illnesses. If you’re investing in a whole, healthy smile, it may be time to kick your tobacco habit.

Current Research About Smoking & Implant Failure

Researchers in Spain studied success rates of dental implants five years after placement. Of the group studied, 1.4% of nonsmokers experienced implant failure compared with 15.8% of smokers. That’s an extreme difference, and by kicking your tobacco habit, you may reduce risk of implant failure by more than 14%.

Caring for Your Smile After Dental Implant Placement

Following any advanced surgical treatment, you’ll receive instructions to help you maintain health and comfort throughout your recovery and healing time. Some basics to remember following dental implant placement include:

  • Keep the area around the implant site clean by gently brushing. We may also provide a prescription strength, antimicrobial mouth rinse to reduce your risk for infection.
  • Use ice packs or cold compresses for the first two days following treatment. This will reduce swelling, relieve pain, and slow any bleeding.
  • Call our team right away if you notice any swelling, inflammation, or infection around the implant site or if your pain increases.
  • Take care not to chew with the part of your mouth where the implant is located, and don’t eat foods that are hard or difficult to chew for the first few days after treatment.

Meet Dr. Lee

Your Marietta implant dentist, Jeff Lee, MS, MD, DMD, understands that quitting smoking is hard, but before we begin an advanced dental treatment like implant supported tooth replacement, we want to know our patients have the best possible chances for success. That’s why we highly encourage you to take steps to stop smoking prior to your implant placement procedure. This ensure you will have the best possible chance for successful dental implant restoration and lifelong health. If you have questions about smoking and dental implants, Dr. Lee and the Muskingum Valley Oral Surgery team are here to help. We can explain the concerns associated with smoking and dental implants and point you to resources to help you quit your tobacco habit. Call our team to schedule a consultation appointment in our Marietta dentistry practice today.

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