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Man smoking cigarette

When it comes to your health, smoking is always a risky business. The bad habit introduces nicotine as well as other harmful toxins into the circulatory system that can constrict blood vessels, which in turn drastically reduces blood supply to the entire body. In addition, smaller blood vessels impede the body’s ability to remove waste. For a dental implant patient, all of these can have a deleterious effect:

When a dental implant patient smokes, his healing and immune mechanisms are compromised, due in large part to the ineffective circulation of blood. With that, you can begin to understand why dental implants may not fare well in smokers when compared to non-smokers. Having said that, there are many smokers who proceed to have implants and have been successful. It’s not impossible; it’s just that the risk of complications is significantly higher when you smoke.

Dental Implant Risk in Smokers

Dental implant success lies in the ability of the jawbone to “osseointegrate” or fuse directly with titanium, the material that dental implants are predominantly made of. Smoking immediately after the implants are installed prolongs the osseointegration process, not to mention delaying the healing and increasing the risk of infection. Studies have shown that the risk of implant complication/failure is higher in smokers during the first two to three weeks of the healing phase.

For Smokers, the Risks Extend Even When the Implants Have Healed

In a study that compared dental implant success in smokers and non-smokers, it was revealed that smoking contributed to inflammation and bone loss around the implant area long after the implants have healed. Furthermore, a long history of smoking affected dental implant longevity as well as bone augmentation accompanying implant therapy.

Advice for Smokers

Potential dental implant patients who smoke are usually advised to quit smoking at least two weeks before the scheduled procedure. This is done to give the body time to recover and achieve normal blood vessel sizes and blood circulation. After the procedure, patients are advised to abstain from smoking for 8 weeks to facilitate healing.

Dental Implant Dentist in Denver

Trusted practices like Cody Dental offer quality implant dentistry services in the Denver area. Those interested in learning more about implants will do well to contact a dentist working with such facilities.

Sources:

Smoking and dental implants: a bad mix, American Dental Association
The effect of cigarette smoking habits on the outcome of dental implant treatment, PeerJ

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