Considering Dental Implants? 3 Ways That Smoking Can Adversely Affect The Process

If you smoke, you may be harming your teeth and your gums. Smoking increases your risk of developing oral infections, such as periodontal gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of premature tooth loss in adults. If you lose your teeth to gum disease, the dentist may recommend that you have the dental implant procedure performed.

This procedure involves the implantation of small metal posts into your jaw bone, with artificial teeth being attached to those posts. The results are natural looking, artificial teeth that look and act like the real thing. Unfortunately, if you smoke after having the procedure done, you run the risk of complications. Here are three ways that smoking can adversely affect your dental implants.

Extended Recovery Time

If you smoke following the transplant procedure, you may experience an extended recovery period. That's because smoking interferes with proper blood flow, which slows down the healing process. If you smoke, you should try to quit – at least until you've completely healed from the implant procedure.

Increased Risk of Infection

There's a risk of developing a post-operative infection following any type of surgery. However, if you smoke, you run a greater risk of developing an infection. Research shows that when you smoke, your antibodies are suppressed and your immune cells are decreased. As a result, you're more at risk of developing an infection. The same research shows that smoking increases the time that it takes for your body to fight off an infection. Which means that if you smoke following your dental implant procedure, you'll have a greater risk of developing a post-operative infection and a more difficult time overcoming it.

Implant Failure

According to research, dental implant procedures have about a 98% success rate. However, if you smoke, that success rate goes down significantly. In fact, studies show that if you smoke while recovering from dental implant surgery, you have about a 15% chance of suffering from implant failure. Smoking can cause the gum tissue to become inflamed following surgery, which can prevent the metal rod from fusing with the jaw bone. You can reduce the risk of dental implant failure by refraining from smoking during the recovery process.

If you smoke, you increase your risk of developing gum disease, which increases your risk of premature tooth loss. If your dentist has recommended the implant procedure, you can improve your chances of success by refraining from smoking during the recovery process. Talk to your dentist about help with a smoking cessation program.