Diagram of tooth restorationWhen you want to replace a missing tooth with a natural-looking restoration, dental implants can often deliver exceptional results. As with most procedures, however, there are several keys to dental implant success—one of which is restraint from smoking.

Implantation of the titanium post within the jawbone is performed through a surgical procedure, which requires dental implant patients to be in good overall health and capable of proper healing after the procedure. Unfortunately, smoking tobacco products negatively impacts both the circulatory system (via vasoconstriction) and oral hygiene, in addition to disrupting the body’s ability to heal and prevent infection.

In many clinical studies, the rate of failure and implant loss among patients who smoke following surgery is found to be dramatically higher than patients who are non-smokers. The article “Smoking and Dental Implants”—which was published in the Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry (July-December 2012 issue)—cites several scientific studies that indicate the implant failure rate among smokers can range between 6.5% and 20%. The soft tissues of the mouth are often most directly affected by smoking; however, a wide range of complications can arise within the bone tissue as well.

While the problems associated with smoking and dental implants are numerous, being a smoker doesn’t necessarily have to disqualify you from becoming a candidate. Under the right circumstances, our prosthodontists may approve a smoker for the dental implants procedure. In order to have the best chance for success, they require cessation of smoking for at least one month prior to the procedure and ask that patients refrain from smoking for good once the surgery is complete.

If you are a smoker and have questions about dental implants, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule an appointment. During a consultation, you can find out if you could be a candidate for the procedure and learn more about the necessary steps for preventing smoking-related complications.

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