Smoking cigarettes, cigars, marijuana, tobacco or vape devices after having a dental implant procedure is NOT recommended. Getting dental implants requires surgery and in order to avoid infection, dry socket, or a full rejection of the implants, you should avoid smoking anything during the healing process.
If you feel that you cannot quit smoking permanently, you should seriously consider quitting during the time that your implants inside your jawbone to ensure the best chance of success. This process could take 3-4 months after your surgery is completed.
What is the Impact of Smoking with Dental Implants?
There are several serious risks you take when choosing to continue smoking with dental implants. It will be important to discuss your smoking habits with your dentist to decide if dental implants are right for you.
Your body could reject your implants completely
Cigarette or vape smoke is full of toxins that can cause a serious infection at the implant site in your jawbone. Nicotine has also been found to reduce the blood flow and oxygen to the bone and gums. This can significantly increase the risk of the implants becoming loose in the jaw and not being strong enough to retain a denture.
Some symptoms of dental implant rejection include:
- Gum recession
- Excessive pain or discomfort in the jaw
- An implant that feels loose in the gum
In this case, the implants would need to be removed and you would not likely be able to have the procedure repeated for over a year or more. It is also unlikely that your dentist will refund the fees paid for the original surgery.
If your implants are rejected, you will be given options for different types of dentures that may work for you instead, and it is likely that you will be sent home with a temporary denture to ensure that you can still eat and speak normally.
You will face a much longer recovery time
The best healing happens when the environment is clean, protected, and relatively undisturbed. Even if your implant holds, it will take much longer for your dentist to be able to place your new teeth, as they have to ensure that the implant is completely fused to the jawbone before placing a permanent or snap-in denture.
Any infections or damage that occurs along the way of your recovery will also need to be addressed before your new teeth are attached.
Continued smoking will dramatically reduce the lifespan of your implant-retained dentures
Once your implants are healed and your denture is placed, you’ll have a bright new smile to show off that looks and feels amazing. However, if you continue to smoke with your new teeth, you will begin to see staining and yellowing of the denture and it will likely become brittle and more easily damaged over time. This could lead to costly repairs or even the need for an entirely new denture.
This is true for smoking with all types of dentures, but since cigarette smoke can cause serious recession of the jawbone, it can affect more than just the denture when you have implants.
You will be at higher risk of developing peri-implantitis
Peri-implantitis is an infectious disease that develops at the placement site of dental implants. You may develop peri-implantitis from plaque build-up and excess bacteria that grows between the gum and the implant. This plaque causes inflammation of the gum tissue and subsequently breaks down the bone that your new implants rest in.
Once this bone starts to break down, the implant may be exposed, get loose or infected. The infection can lead to the necessary removal of the implant and may cause other health problems within the body.
Peri-implantitis is caused by poor brushing habits or overall poor oral health, and smoking can dramatically increase both of these problems. When you smoke with dental implants, you are introducing chemicals and toxins that are extremely harmful to the soft gum tissues in your mouth and could very well cause this painful disease.
Plan to Stop Smoking Before Your Dental Implant Procedure
It is recommended to stop all forms of smoking or tobacco consumption at least 2 weeks before your implant procedure, though longer is always better. Plan to refrain from smoking for up to 4 months after the procedure to ensure quick healing and minimal discomfort.
Please understand that oral consumption of tobacco in any form is harmful to the health of your teeth and the rest of your body. This is why we also ask our patients to avoid chewing tobacco and vapes, as well as cigarettes.
You Deserve to Love Your Smile!
Dental implants are a long-term investment that needs very special care to maximize their potential. If you’re nervous about quitting smoking or believe that you’ll be unable to quit, you can speak with your dentist about what other options may be available to you.
No matter what you decide, Affordable Dentures & Implants is here to help you find your best smile yet. Contact your local office to speak with a licensed dental professional about how we can help you get the smile you’ve always wanted.