What is a dental implant?
If you are wondering ‘can smokers get dental implants?’ Read on to find out more.
A dental implant is a metal anchor that is screwed into the gum. It is a man-made replacement for the tooth
roots that are normally in our gums. They usually make dental implants of hard-wearing materials such as
titanium. You can be very confident with your eating choices after you have fully completed your implant
treatment as the materials for implants are very hardy, which is always a plus. They have been around for several
decades and are quite effective as a stable base to implement replacement teeth. They usually put the implant
on for certain teeth such as crowns, bridges and dentures. Dental implants are very common as they are a
versatile treatment option because you can replace several teeth or a single tooth using an implant. They are
also a natural-looking alternative and an effective alternative to full dentures. You may have heard about
complications for smokers with dental implants.
Tooth implants and smoking
If you are a regular smoker, I’m afraid we have some bad news. Smoking can significantly increase the risk of
dental implant failure. Truthfully smoking can increase the risk of complications for most dental treatments and
dental implants of a greater chance of complication. Several studies put the failure rate of smokers who are
receiving dental implant surgery to be between 6.5% to 20%. This is due to ‘vasoconstriction caused by the local
absorption of nicotine’. The blood vessels in and around the gums constrict because of the nicotine being inhaled
in the mouth. This leads to a poor healing environment for the implants to heal after the local trauma to the
mouth. Smoking can also inflame the healing area and cause pockets of fluid around the area of the dental
What can I do to stop this effect on my dental implants?
However, all is not lost. There is evidence that ceasing smoking one week before treatment and for two months
after the implant significantly increases the likelihood of the success of your implant! If you feel that two months
is a long time to go without your nicotine habit, you can discuss this solution with your dentist or pharmacist and
look at options for nicotine replacement therapy. Wanting your dental surgery to be successful might be a great
way to kick your smoking habit for good! Depending on the type of surgery and implants you are receiving, talk
to your dentist about the time frame of resuming smoking after dental implant surgery.
Here at Prevent Dental, we believe that a well-informed patient has the best chance of success with their
smoking and dental implant surgery. Contact us for more information