Everyone knows that smoking causes serious health complications and can increase the likelihood of developing oral cancer. When seeking dental implants in Victoria, you should also be aware of how smoking will impact your dental implant treatment success. A 2016 study in the Journal of Implantology outlines the complications that smokers face, especially for maxillary (upper jaw) cases.
#1 Smoking Causes a Higher Risk of Dental Implant Failure
Overall, smokers face dental implant failure at a higher rate than non-smokers. It can also take longer for dental implant surgical sites, bone grafting procedures and sinus augmentation procedures to heal correctly and achieve full integration.
Dental implants, overall, have a high success rate and after one year of loading (when the dental implant is restored and part of the chewing mechanism), boasted a nearly 100% success rate in non-smokers. Smokers showed greater inflammation and gum tissue symptoms from six and twelve months.
#2 Smoking Leads to Increased Post-Operative Infections
Periodontal disease puts dental implants at risk. Because smoking causes dry mouth and increased infection rates due to the exposure of carcinogens, smokers are automatically at a higher risk of infection.
When gum recession, infection and inflammation occur, bacteria can develop.
#3 Smoking Causes Overall Risk of Bone Loss
A common symptom of periodontitis, or advanced gum disease, is bone loss. When bone loss occurs at a dental implant site, the dental implant can destabilise and come loose and eventually come out.
Bone loss undermines the investment patients have made in their smiles, which is why we often recommend that patients stop smoking before beginning dental implant treatment in our Victoria dental surgery.
Smoking does not automatically eliminate dental implants as an option, but additional steps may need to be taken to monitor and promote proper healing. It is important to remember that smoking can increase healing times, increasing the time it takes to complete treatment.