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Why is smoking discouraged after getting dental implants?

Increased risk of stroke, pneumonia, coronary heart disease… There are many reasons to avoid smoking.

But did you also know that smoking can have serious consequences after dental implants?

Here are 3 reasons why dental health professionals strongly advise against smoking after this operation.

1. Cigarette smoking slows healing

Smoking has a significant impact on wound healing after getting implants placed by a dental implant specialist.

Nicotine contracts the blood vessels, slowing down the blood circulation of smokers. 

This causes a significant reduction in the blood and oxygen supply to the scar in smokers. As a result, the healing process is much slower.

2. Smoking increases the risk of infection after surgery

Despite technological advances in dental implantology, smokers are still at increased risk of developing an infection during or after implant placement.

When an implant is placed, bacteria can enter the wound. Since the healing process is delayed in smokers, the risk of primary infection is greater.

In addition, smokers have weakened immune systems, which further increases the chances of an infection developing. In some cases, the implant placement may fail from the start.

Smokers are also more likely to develop diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Smoking increases the accumulation of plaque and tartar, which can infect the gums and the tissues supporting the teeth. These diseases increase the risk of bone loss and therefore limit the lifespan of dental implants.

3. Smoking slows down the time it takes for the implant to assimilate into the bone.

The recovery process begins within a few days after the dental implant procedure. During this process, connective tissue forms around the implant to allow the jawbone to fully assimilate it.

However, the cells that make up these tissues are less active in smokers. As a result, recovery is much slower. This also delays the stage that patients are most eagerly awaiting, namely the installation of the dental prosthesis.

Can smokers still get dental implants?

Although the success rate of dental implants for smokers is much lower than for non-smokers (approximately 90% vs. 97%), they can still undergo the procedure.

However, cessation of smoking is essential during the post-operative recovery period. Ideally, this should last about 3 months to minimize the risk of failure and infection. If this time frame is too difficult, a two-week stop is acceptable but carries a higher risk.

Would you like to know more about post-operative instructions after maxillofacial surgery? Consult our website for more information that will help you recover as efficiently as possible.