Dental Implants And Complications From Smoking

If you are a smoker and have lost a tooth, then you may be able to receive a dental implant, regardless of the habit. However, you should understand that it is wise to quit smoking entirely before your implant operation. Keep reading to understand some of the issues that can arise if you decide to smoke after implantation.


If you receive a dental implant, then you are at risk of developing an infection afterward. Both gum and bone infections can occur, and this is one reason why you will need to take antibiotics as well as a special antibacterial rinse. Thankfully, dental implant infection rates are extremely low, with fewer than 20% of individuals developing them. However, infection rates can double if you smoke.

Smoking increases infection risks for a variety of reasons. The nicotine causes the blood vessels to dilate and this leads to less oxygen and nutrition delivered to the surgical site. The result is unhealthy gum tissues that are more likely to be affected by oral bacteria.

Smoking also suppresses the immune system and reduces its ability to fight off bacteria properly before an infection occurs. Also, the tar and nicotine can create a dirty environment in the mouth that can lead to infections. The act of sucking on a cigarette can contribute to bleeding, too. If you continue to bleed, then the oral wound will remain open and there will be a greater chance of bacteria infecting the surgical area.

Bone Loss

Cigarette smoking does not only contribute to the increase in infection risks, but it also causes bone loss issues. You may understand that new bone tissues need to form strongly around the implant root. Unfortunately, smoking causes bone health issues and this happens for many different reasons. Smoking releases toxins into the body that displace nutrients and disrupt the production and release of hormones that are required to strengthen the bones.

Smoking also destroys the blood cells that allow nutrients to reach the bones, and it causes damage to the osteoblasts that are responsible for creating new bone tissues.

If new bone cannot form around the implant due to your smoking habit, then the implant root will be loose in the jaw. This can result in complete failure either soon after the implant is placed or sometime in the future. In other words, even if you make it through the initial healing period while smoking, you can lose the implant root a year or two down the road.

Contact a dentist like Davis R Troup DDS PA for more information and assistance.