Dental Implants: Can You Smoke After Getting Them?

Dental implants are designed to be tough and long-lasting, but certain things can interfere with their success.

Dental implants are the ideal solution for failing teeth or those that have been extracted, either recently or a long time ago, and there’s a big gap left between your teeth. They’re strong, durable and use a number of materials to place them in your mouth and hopefully keep them there. But not everyone is a candidate for dental implants, and even if you are and go ahead and have one or more, they can fail — and there are a number of reasons, including smoking.

Then there’s the matter of dental implant cost. It’s among the most costly dental procedures you can have, and while this may be off-putting to some people who would love to have dental implants, the good news is that some dental practices, including ours, have payment plans that make it extremely affordable to have this desirable procedure done. Now, you can spread the dental implant cost over a year or more so your finances are not strained.

But can you smoke with dental implants? Before we get to that, we need to look at what might prevent you from getting them in the first place. The procedure involves placing a screw into your jawbone and an abutment on top of it and then a crown that looks like your existing tooth (or teeth). For all of this to be a success, you need good oral and general health, but not everyone has it. At the most fundamental level, you need sufficient jawbone to anchor the implant, and if it’s lacking in the area, it might not be possible to go ahead.

Other conditions that might mean you’re not suitable for dental implants include:

  • Smoking, as it means lowered circulation and, therefore, reduced blood flow to the potential implant site — a good blood supply is necessary to support post-implant healing and ongoing support of the implant;
  • Poor oral hygiene because by not looking after your teeth, by brushing and flossing regularly, you could be putting your mouth at risk of bacterial build-up and subsequent infections;
  • Inexperienced dental surgeons: this is a complex procedure and one not best left to novices.

Can You Smoke with Dental Implants?

Smoking is never a good idea, whether you’re getting dental implants or not. It’s not so much the nicotine that’s the problem, however addictive it is, but everything else that’s found in burning tobacco — thousands of toxic chemicals, at least 70 of which are known to cause various cancers in the human body. And along with leading to poor circulation, it also results in less oxygen binding with red blood cells, so you don’t have the amount you should be getting.

From a dental perspective, smoking can lead to a myriad of problems — most especially the stark fact that smokers have double the risk of gum disease compared to non-smokers, and the more and the longer you smoke, the higher the risk. Clearly, this will be problematic for dental implants, dramatically increasing the possibility that they will fail.

Other dental issues caused by smoking include loose teeth, tender and swollen gums, sensitive teeth and a tendency to bleed when brushing your teeth. Smoking is not only one of the worst things you can do for your general health but your oral health too. If you’re a smoker and are either considering having a dental implant or have stopped smoking while you had one, there’s never a better time to give up than now. There’s the added benefit of not having teeth stained yellow or brown by the tar in tobacco smoke.

And altogether, you stand a good chance of your dental implants achieving an up to 95% success rate over 10 years.

For advice about dental implants and whether you might be a good candidate for one or more, contact The James Clinic and make an appointment with one of our friendly dentists, who are highly experienced in dental implantation; our staff can tell you more about spreading the cost of dental implants with our interest-free financing.