Most people are well aware of the health effects from cigarettes and other tobacco products, but when it comes to restorative dentistry, smoking can be a particularly noteworthy threat. Dental implants specifically face an increased risk of failure when implanted in smokers, especially if you continue to smoke throughout the implant process.
To give your dental implants the best chance of success, we here at Denver Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in Denver Colorado, would like to explain the harmful effects of smoking before and after implant surgery. We hope that, by understanding these risks and taking the appropriate precautionary measures, you can have a safe and healthy recovery.
Gum Disease And Smoking
Dental implants aside, smoking has been linked to an increased risk of gum disease. Exposure to tobacco and the other chemicals found in cigarettes limits the health and regenerative qualities of gum tissue, resulting in gingivitis and possibly periodontal disease. By itself, gum disease exposes you to bone loss, tooth decay, and a variety of other health problems. However, when coupled with implant surgery, the dangers of gum disease are even more serious.
Infection And Smoking
All surgeries pose some risk of infection, no matter how small they are. In a healthy mouth with no disease and a strong immune system, dental implants very rarely present any type of infection after surgery. However, smoking reduces the body’s ability to recover, which will increase your chance of developing an infection. This is especially true if you smoke soon after surgery, exposing open wounds to harmful chemicals and bacteria. In addition, if you do get an infection, smoking reduces the efficacy of antibiotic medication, making the infection even more difficult to treat.
Additional Effects Of Smoking
Even if gum disease and infection are not present, smoking can greatly reduce your overall recovery time after dental implant surgery. Luckily, patients who quit smoking will benefit from an easier recovery, although the implant surgery itself may become more complicated from years of smoking. If you suffer from periodontal disease, you will likely experience bone loss of the jaw, resulting in less room for implants to be installed. This may affect you candidacy for implants and you may require a bone graft prior to implant surgery.
Don’t Risk Your Implants
Successful dental implants can be a very long process that yields rewards for the rest of your life. Don’t ruin your chances of success by smoking. For more information on dental implant surgery, please contact our office to make an appointment with our skilled dental surgeon, Dr. Matthew Schacht.