Dental Implant Failure: Smoking
Dental implants are one of the best restorative options for missing teeth. They can provide strength and durability that lasts a lifetime. Smoking, however, can impede these results considerably. Dr. Jose Valenzuela recommends patients quit smoking to avoid dental implant failure. Smoking after implant placement at our Los Algodones, Mexico office can delay healing and cause numerous complications. If you want to replace your missing teeth with dental implants, now is a great time to take the necessary steps to quit smoking.
Dental Implant Failure and Smoking
The dental implant failure rate for non-smokers is as low as 1.4 percent. For smokers, the failure rate is much higher at 15.8 percent. At a minimum, patients are encouraged to quit smoking at least a month prior to implant placement and throughout the entire healing process, which takes three to six months. Waiting to smoke again until after you have completely healed decreases the risk of failure. Patients who see the greatest success, however, are those who quit smoking entirely.
Smoking’s Effects on Your Oral Health
Smoking is detrimental to your oral health. Patients who smoke are nearly three times as likely to develop periodontal (gum) disease as non-smokers. In addition, they are more likely to suffer more severe cases of gum disease. Smoking also contributes to the loss of bone and tissues surrounding the teeth. Combined with gum disease, these can all lead to tooth loss.
Effects of Smoking on Dental Implant Success
For dental implants to succeed, they must have ample bone support. Because smoking causes bone loss, continuing to smoke can cause the bone to deteriorate. Smoking during the healing phase after dental implant placement can cause pockets of inflammation around the implants. When left untreated, these pockets, known as peri-implantitis, can lead to bone resorption and ultimately implant failure.
Smokers are at a much higher risk for implant failure than non-smokers. The effects smoking has on a patient’s gum and bone health hinder the potential success of dental implants. Smoking during the healing phase can prevent the implants from fusing with the jawbone. Even those who successfully quit during healing are at a risk of implant failure should they pick it back up later on.
The Bottom Line
If you want a beautifully restored smile with strong and durable dental implants and implant-supported restorations, quit smoking as soon as possible. The sooner you quit smoking, the sooner we can restore functionality and beauty to your smile. Not only should you quit smoking, but you should do so for good.
Sure, you can quit for a much shorter period of time, but it may slow your healing and eventually result in implant failure. If you can successfully quit smoking for good, you can enjoy the lifelong benefits dental implants offer, as well as countless other benefits to your overall health.
Schedule a Dental Implant Consultation
If you are a smoker but are interested in dental implants, contact Dr. Valenzuela today. He can discuss the risks of implant failure due to smoking with you and help you take the appropriate steps to quit.