Last Updated on December 13, 2023

dental implants and smoking

Many people considering dental implants have concerns about how they will affect their daily habits. In particular, smoking is a habit that a number of our patients ask about. Can I get dental implants if I smoke? Can you smoke after dental implants? Does smoking increase the chances of dental implant failure?

In this blog, we will shed light on the relationship between dental implants and smoking, provide answers to these questions, and provide tips on how to minimize the risk of implant failure if you smoke.To the questions that often swirl in the minds of those considering or who have undergone the dental procedure.

Are Dental Implants Possible for Smokers?

Yes, dental implants are possible for smokers, but there are crucial considerations to keep in mind. Smoking can impact the success and longevity of dental implants, making it essential for individuals to understand the risks involved.

In a study called “Smoking and Dental Implants: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”, research was conducted and found that of 35,511 smokers and 114,597 non-smokers, the smokers proposed a 140.2% increased rate of implant failure compared to the non-smokers

How Does Smoking Affect Oral Health and Dental Implants?

Recovery Time

Smoking can extend the recovery time for dental implant patients. The nicotine in cigarettes constricts blood vessels, reducing blood flow and oxygen supply to the healing tissues. This constriction hampers the body's ability to repair and regenerate, slowing down the overall recovery process.

Infection

On average, smokers have a 7-20% higher chance of getting an infection in their implants according to the NIH. Smoking compromises the immune system's response to infection. As a result, smokers face an increased risk of developing infections around the implant site during the healing phase.

Peri-Implantitis

This inflammatory condition, affecting the tissues surrounding the implant, is more prevalent in smokers. The chemicals in cigarette smoke contribute to the breakdown of gum and bone tissues, creating an environment conducive to peri-implantitis.

Implant Failure

Perhaps the most significant concern is that smoking heightens the risk of implant failure. The compromised blood flow, increased susceptibility to infections, and weakened bone structure collectively contribute to a higher likelihood of the implant not integrating successfully. 

One study found that people who smoked more than 10 cigarettes a day, had an increased rate of implant failure compared to smokers with less than 10 cigarettes a day. Comparatively, the group of less intense smokers still had a larger chance of implant failure compared to the non-smokers.

Tips to Minimize Implant Failure for Smokers

While the challenges are evident, there are proactive steps individuals can take to minimize the risk of implant failure:

- Strict Adherence to Postoperative Care: Follow your dentist's instructions meticulously for a successful recovery.

- Smoking Cessation: Consider quitting smoking or at least reducing the frequency during the healing period.

- Regular Dental Checkups: Schedule routine dental checkups to monitor the health of your implants and address any concerns promptly.

Other Forms of Smoking: Marijuana and E-Cigs

It's not just traditional cigarettes that can impact dental implants. Marijuana and e-cigarettes also introduce chemicals that can compromise the success of the implant.

Marijuana may decrease bone density in your mouth, making implants less secure than when you have them healthy.  E-cigs share many of the same problems as normal cigs since they also contain nicotine and degenerative chemicals for the gums. A study from iScience found that 43% of people who vape have gum disease or other types of oral infections. This figure is dramatically larger than in non-smokers which is closer to 28%. People who both smoked and vaped, were found to have a whopping 73% chance of gum disease or oral infections. Discuss your habits openly with your dentist for tailored advice.

Conclusion

Choosing dental implants is a significant decision, and understanding the potential impact of smoking is crucial. Smoking is detrimental to oral health and has been shown to increase the risk of dental implant failure. Informed choices and proactive measures can contribute to successful outcomes.

Dental Implants and Smoking FAQ

Does smoking weed affect dental implants?

Yes, the chemicals in marijuana can pose risks to the success of dental implants. Open communication and regular checkups with your dentist are key.

How long should I quit smoking before dental implant surgery?

Ideally, quitting several weeks before surgery can enhance your chances of a successful outcome. Consult your dentist for a personalized timeline.

Will e-cigarettes impact dental implants like traditional cigarettes?

Yes, e-cigarettes can still introduce harmful substances that may affect implant success. Discuss your habits openly with your dentist and see them regularly.

Can you smoke if you have dental implants?

It's possible but not recommended, especially during the initial healing period. Smoking can hinder the healing process and increase the risk of complications

How successful are dental implants with smoking?

Success rates are lower for smokers compared to non-smokers. Smoking can lead to a higher rate of complications and implant failure.

What percentage of implants fail due to smoking?

Studies suggest smokers may face a two to three times higher risk of implant failure. Quitting or reducing smoking is advisable for better outcomes.

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dr Steve Brown, dr brown dentist

Dr. Steve Brown is the Founder and Lead Dentist of The Dental Implant Place. He has practiced implant dentistry for over 20 years and has placed over 12,000 dental implants. He enjoys Baylor football and time with his wife, children, and two dogs.

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