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What is the effect of smoking on dental implants?

Dental implants are one of the best methods used to replace missing teeth. They both look like a natural tooth and can be just as functional. Of course, not everyone can use the method. For example, the effect of smoking on dental implants can affect the place where the base of the implant is connected to the bone by affecting the healing of the wound and cause problems in the process of fusion of the implant with the bone. In this article, we are going to fully investigate the effect of smoking on implants.

Comparing artificial teeth and implants from different aspects

What is the cause of the effect of smoking on dental implants?

This issue should be examined from different aspects. As you know, smoking and generally using any kind of tobacco has bad effects on healthy teeth. Therefore, people who smoke a lot and do not take proper care of their teeth may need implants or even dentures at a young age.

Because of the harmful effects of nicotine, tobacco and smoke, many smokers cannot even get implants. This issue has various causes that we have examined below.

Loosening or falling out of the implanted tooth

Smoke damages the gums and jawbones

Smoking causes smoke to circulate in your mouth. This issue leads to damage to the tissues inside the mouth. To the extent that the effect on the salivary glands of a smoker will reduce the secretion of saliva and dry mouth. Dry mouth and lack of saliva have many negative effects.

  • The opportunity for bacteria to grow in the mouth increases.
  • The possibility of tooth decay will increase.
  • The possibility of contamination such as the remains of nutrients between the teeth increases.
  • Gum tissue is damaged.
  • The bones of the jaw or mouth are weakened.

All these things are important. But the weakening of the tissue of the gums and jaw bones is one of the effects of smoking on the implant. For implantation, a person must have healthy gums and bones, which are associated with weaknesses in a smoker.

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Nicotine has a negative effect on the immune system

In general, nicotine weakens the body’s immune system. It also reduces blood flow and blood oxygen levels in the body. As you know, implant implantation requires surgery. Healing of wounds after surgery is also the responsibility of the immune system. So when nicotine is present in the body, wounds take longer to heal. They may not even be repaired at all. Therefore, the possibility of infection increases. This is not the only effect of smoking on implants. It is generally a barrier to all surgical procedures that require incisions or are invasive.

Prevention of bone fusion

This is also the effect of smoking on implants. As we said in the previous part, with the presence of nicotine, blood flow and oxygen in it decreases. On the other hand, the implant must be combined with the patient’s jawbone and, in other words, be welded so that the patient can use the implant. If not welded, the implant or the jawbone may be damaged. Also, the patient faces problems in the process of chewing. Clinical trials have shown that the bones of smokers heal later than those of other people. Therefore, this issue can also pose a serious problem for smokers.

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How to reduce the effect of smoking on the implant?

If you are a smoker and you are planning to have implants, pay attention to the following factors.

  • Make quitting smoking one of your priorities. There are many online and face-to-face programs for this. Try to use the support of your family in this way.
  • If you cannot quit smoking, quit smoking at least one week before implant surgery and two months after. (This section is for people who can have implants).
  • Observe oral hygiene with great sensitivity.
  • If you smoke after implantation, to reduce the effect of smoking on dental implants, swish water in your mouth after each use.
  • Be sure to see your dentist at regular appointments and ensure the health of your implants, other teeth, gums, and jawbones.

How long can you smoke after implant implantation?

The best answer to this question is “never”. But in any case, some people are addicted to smoking and are unable to quit. We mentioned this issue in the previous section. Try to stop smoking two weeks before the implant surgery. Continue this stop for three months after the operation. After three months, think that if you have gone three months without smoking, then you can quit for good!

In the first few days after surgery, the immune system uses blood clots to partially close the wound to prevent bleeding or contamination. Dissolving this blood clot or contaminating it is one of the types of effects of smoking on dental implants. Therefore, it is recommended not to smoke at all for three days after surgery. Otherwise, the patient may suffer from painful infections. In addition to smoking, spitting and sucking should not be done during these three days.

Are electronic cigarettes also harmful to dental implants?

Electronic cigarettes are one of the ways that people use to quit smoking. But in any case, they are still smokers and the effect of smoking on dental implants is negative! E-cigarettes have a small heating unit that turns the liquid into vapor, and the person inhales a vapor of nicotine and other chemicals. Steam is not as harmful as smoke. But the mouth is still dry. Therefore, it does not help the wound healing process after implant placement. It may even cause tooth decay. Of course, the harmful effects of electronic cigarettes are much less than traditional types. So if you can replace it with traditional examples, you’ve made things a little better.


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