The days when patients with lost teeth had to go with bridges or dentures as the only options are far gone. Today they can totally consider dental implants for their problems. A dental implant is a procedure that uses metal posts to substitute tooth roots and replaces damaged or lost teeth with false teeth that are similar-looking with the same functions as the real ones. However, implants are a surgery and you or your loved one is a smoker. Is smoking for dental implants okay? Can you still go ahead and receive this treatment? 

smoking for dental implants

Dental implants, like other dental procedures we offer at Sydney Dental, are provided with absolute care and expertise from our certified dentists. We do understand your concerns regarding your candidacy for dental implants have answered the most frequently asked questions about the effects of smoking on implants right below. Wait no more, just read on and find out with us!

Dental implant

1. Is smoking bad for your dental implants?

Let’s face it: smoking is bad for everything and everyone and dental implants are not an exception. The heat, nicotine, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen cyanide may impair your healing process after the surgery. Therefore, they may adversely affect the overall surgery success rate and increase the chance of complications.

The rate of a failed implant differs, depending on the number of cigarettes the person smokes. Heavy smokers who consume 30-40 cigarettes per day are more subject to an implant failure than light smokers who have less than 14 cigarettes daily. 

2. Am I eligible for an implant surgery when I’m a smoker?

The short answer is yes, you can still have an implant procedure even if you smoke. However, keep in mind that frequent smoking does increase your risk of a dental implant failure. You’re likely required to have a thorough examination to determine the risk and eligibility for the surgery if you’re a chronic smoker.

You can then proceed with the treatment if the dentist thinks that you’re good to go. And you’ll be asked to stop smoking until your healing is finished. 

3. Can I smoke before my dental implant surgery?

Prior to your surgery, the dentist will take record of your medical history, including your smoking history. They will ask you how long you’ve smoked, how heavy your smoking is, and how it is impacting your oral wellness. Based on the information gathered, the dentist will provide you with pre- and post-surgery directions concerning your smoking habit.

Typically, your dental care provider will advise you to steer away from cigarettes for a certain period before surgery. Some dentists may ask that you quit smoking as long as possible prior to surgery. The commonly recommended time is 1 to 2 weeks before implants.

4. How long should I wait following the implant surgery to smoke again?

Heavy smokers may have questions about when they can go back to smoking after the implant surgery. As dental implants are a type of oral surgery, it is a must that you follow the dentist’s instructions for the best outcome and the least chance of complications. These instructions will guide you on eating, drinking, smoking, and keeping oral hygiene.

It is best that you refrain from smoking for 1-2 weeks before the implant surgery to strengthen your bone density. After the implants, you have to stay away from cigarettes for 2-3 months to ensure a smooth osseointegration (the process of implants getting fused into your body) and lower the risks of dangerous complications. 

Smoking shortly after the implant procedure

For the first week after the implant placement, completely refrain from smoking. This is because during this time, the body will create blood clots at the surgical site for our healing by preventing bacteria from entering your wound. 

If you have cigarettes during this period, the smoke inhaled may disrupt the blood clotting process. As the clots get loose, food particles and bacteria may creep into the surgical site and cause infection. This might also result in a condition called dry socket, which leads to severe pain and hinder your recovery.

Other complications like gum inflammation can also occur. As the tissue is sensitive after surgery, any triggers like cigarette smoke can make it worse. If you feel like things are getting out of hand, be sure to seek medical help.

smoking for dental implants
smoking for dental implants

5. Handy tips for you to push through the recovery stage

5.1. Nicotine patches

You can apply these patches to alleviate the withdrawal effects from going cold turkey on smoking. Physical withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nicotine cravings. This may be the worst and long-lasting withdrawal symptom that you’ll experience when you try to quit smoking. Each craving episode will last for 15-20 minutes but they will continuously recur;
  • Headaches and dizziness. These are of the first withdrawal signs but typically mild;
  • Increased appetite. After a day of your last smoke, as there are no longer hunger-reducing chemicals in your system, your appetite will increase, especially in the first 2 weeks;
  • Coughing. The smoke-free state is brand new to your respiratory system and it takes time and some coughing as it goes back to normal;
  • Tiredness. Like caffeine, nicotine is a stimulant so you’ll feel fatigued without it. Restlessness and insomnia may also occur;
  • Constipation. This problem may also occur for the first month after you stop touching cigarettes.

Mentally, you may experience:

  • Depression. This symptom may go away on itself after a month. Depression may prolong if you have a history of anxiety and depression;
  • Anxiety. Smoking is a great stress reliever so your anxiety may soar as you quit. This can last for a few weeks;
  • Irritability. You may find yourself grumpier than usual as you’re dealing with all the withdrawal symptoms, which is normal and will pass;
  • Difficulty concentrating. You’re likely to experience what is called a brain fog – focusing is harder as the nicotine wears off and starts to leave your body.

5.2. Take up new habits

Smoking is in fact a habitual act, so you can take your mind off the inviting cigarettes by forming a new habit. Chewing gum is a good option but to try to avoid gum containing nicotine. Chewing tobacco should also be taken as a no-no. This is because nicotine disrupts the healing of the implant area by slowing down the blood flow.

smoking for dental implants
smoking for dental implants

6. Is vaping fine for my implants?

Vaping, or e-cigarettes are an increasingly popular alternative to traditional cigarettes. As people e-smoke, the smoke doesn’t enter their mouth – the liquid is vaporized by a heating unit in the vape. However, this does not mean that vaping is safe after a dental implant. Like nicotine gum and tobacco chewables, the vapor from e-cigarette still contains nicotine and other chemicals that hurt the healing process. Nicotine can irritate your mouth and hinder the blood flow in the implant site. That is why it is wise for you to completely avoid e-cigarettes over the course of your post-surgery healing.

After your recovery has completed, you can opt for vaping if you are planning to quit smoking and find vaping helpful.

7. How do I maintain my dental implants as a smoker?

If you find going cold turkey on smoking an impossible task, be sure to commit to proper oral care, including brushing, flossing, rinsing on a daily basis and periodic oral visits. You can help your dental work — and remaining natural teeth — last longer by:

  • Practicing thorough oral hygiene. Try to keep your dental implants, false teeth, and gum tissue clean just like your original teeth by bruising, flossing, and rinsing on a daily basis;
  • Paying regular visits to the dentist. Have checkups with the dental provider to make sure your implants are functioning properly and healthy. Also receive in-clinic cleanings as advised by the dentist;
  • Avoiding poor dental habits. Avoid chewing on hard foods, like ice or hard candy because these can cause breakage to your restoration like crows or even your original teeth. Also limit products containing caffeine to prevent staining of teeth. If you have bruxism, meaning you grind or clench teeth, seek medical attention.

8. A word from Sydney Dental – your trusted provider

Hopefully this read has answered all your questions regarding smoking with dental implants. If you are still unsure of which treatment to go with for a new unforgettably stunning smile in your particular case, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are at 499-501 Ba Hat St, Ward 8, District 10, HCMC looking forward to your visit. You may also call us at (028) 3504 9440 for a free no-obligation comprehensive consultation. Your pretty, shiny smile is 100% guaranteed at Sydney Dental!

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