The Risks Of Smoking With Dental Implants
As oral surgeons have developed new techniques and we continue to learn more about dentistry we are able to make procedures quicker, less invasive, and faster to heal. Despite this, all procedures still need to be healed by the human body, which is largely the same as it was before the science of dentistry was even created. The time a procedure takes to heal can vary greatly depending on the type of surgery, previous severity of the issue, how careful you are with the affected area, and even your own body and biology. However, one of the best ways to ensure your new dental implant lives a long healthy life is to minimize or even stop smoking after your procedure.
How Long Should I Quit For?
Many patients wonder when they can resume their normal activities after an oral surgery, such as smoking. Though smoking is never advised, the first six weeks of healing is critical to implant success so we strongly recommend not smoking at all during that time.
Even beyond the full six month integration period smoking will increase the risk of failure due to constricting blood flow, which is vital to the health of tissue, implants, and your teeth. So in short, there is no set timeline. If you smoke, you’re at risk of implant failure period no matter how long down the road. On average smokers can expect their dental implants to fail at twice the rate of a non-smoker, with the odds of failure correlated to the amount of cigarettes smoked per day.
If quitting completely is not an option, we recommend nicotine patches as the least likely to cause complications. Due to not being an oral nicotine form it will not give you dry mouth, or cause you to suck in, which can injure the implant site. It is for this reason we advise against using nicotine gum or vaporizers, especially within the first 6 months of surgery. However, the nicotine in the patch still causes vasoconstriction, or a contraction of the blood vessels, which will reduce blood flow and in turn decrease the speed and efficiency of healing.
Everyone knows smoking is unhealthy, but oral surgery and smoking is truly a bad combination. Dental implants are especially susceptible to the dry mouth, sucking motion, and vasoconstriction they cause. If possible one should stop smoking prior to their surgery to ensure they have the ability, and to provide time for your blood flow to return to a normal level.
At Stubbs Dental we want to ensure that your dental implant has a long and successful life. We truly care for our patients and hope to provide only the most successful outcomes. It is for this reason that we simply cannot recommend smoking or vaping if you have had dental implants. We respect the choices of all of our patients and you now have the information to make the decision on your own.