Dental Implants and Smoking: Is it okay?

Spoiler alert: Smoking is a huge no-go with dental implants. This habit can cause dental implants to fail, cause infection in the gums, weaken your immune system, and compromise your overall oral health.

But does that mean you’ll never be able to get dental implants if you smoke? Why is smoking so detrimental to the dental implant process? Here’s everything you need to know if you’re considering dental implants or already have implants. 

Can smokers get dental implants?

If you smoke, this doesn’t automatically disqualify you from being a candidate for dental implants. It’s still possible to undergo a successful dental implant procedure. However, if you have damage, like gum disease, that developed from smoking, it’s necessary that we treat this condition before beginning the implant process.

When you visit us for your first appointment, one of our experienced periodontists will be able to determine which steps need to be taken to ensure successful dental implants.

If dental implants are deemed to be a good fit for you, it’s important that you have a plan to kick the smoking habit to prevent infection or implant failure. The CDC offers free resources, including coaching, a quit plan, and educational materials, to help you quit smoking. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to explore your options.

Kicking the smoking habit will benefit you in more ways than one! Learn more about how smoking affects your immune system and oral health.

Why is smoking bad for dental implants?

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, “The failure rate of implant osseointegration is considerably higher among smokers, and maintenance of oral hygiene around the implants and the risk of peri-implantitis are adversely affected by smoking.”

“Osseointegration”, meaning “bone integration”, is the process by which the gum tissue and jaw bones grow around the implant to lock it into place. It is essential that osseointegration occurs in order for the dental implant to properly fuse with the bone and be successfully implanted.

When you smoke tobacco, nicotine restricts blood flow by constricting, or narrowing, the blood vessels. This prevents blood from flowing properly throughout the body, which includes blood flow to the gums. Blood flow is necessary for the body to heal, and for osseointegration to occur.

What about smoking after a bone graft?

A bone graft procedure involves the implantation of bone into the jaw bone to repair and rebuild diseased or damaged bone. Bone grafts are often performed before a dental implant is placed, if more bone tissue is needed to secure the implant.

Similar to the way smoking jeopardizes dental implants, smoking decreases the rate of bone growth and healing, which can render a bone graft ineffective. Smoking after a bone graft is a huge risk!

Still have questions about smoking and dental implants?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We’re here to help you achieve healthy gums that support beautiful teeth for a lifetime. Our team will give you all the tips and information you need to undergo a successful dental implant and/or bone graft procedure.

Request your appointment with us in Tampa or New Port Richey today. 

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