Dental implants & smoking become serious areas of consideration when you’re a smoker facing tooth loss. According to the CDC, more than 28 million individuals in the United States smoke cigarettes. 

If you belong to this group and have encountered tooth loss to some extent, then you need to understand the risks associated with dental implants and smoking.

The encouraging news is that you’re not automatically disqualified from being a candidate if you are a smoker. Nevertheless, your bad habit could hinder the overall success of your implant treatment.

Can I Get Dental Implants If I Smoke?

Can I Get Dental Implants If I Smoke

For smokers, dental implants are a possibility, but it’s important to weigh the possible disadvantages.

Research suggests that smokers have a markedly increased chance of implant failure. Your dentist or oral surgeon will emphasize your well-being by doing a comprehensive health examination and candidly discussing any potential issues unique to you to guarantee the best possible outcome.

Dental Implants & Smoking – Associated Risks

Dental implants offer a promising solution for individuals seeking a permanent replacement for missing teeth. Still, it would help if you recognized that your smoking habit can compromise the longevity of these implants. Smoking introduces several risks that can contribute to the failure of dental implants.

Increased Risk of Infection

Increased Risk of Infection

Dental implants involve a surgical process where the gums are incised to secure the implant into the jawbone. This procedure creates a potential risk of infection. This risk is further heightened for individuals who persist in smoking during the recovery phase. 

Smoking increases the presence of bacteria in the mouth, creating a pathway for infection to reach the implant site.

Smoking Slows Recovery

A complete recovery from dental implant surgery, marked by the healing and bonding of the jawbone to the implant (known as osseointegration), typically takes around six months. However, smokers may experience a prolonged recovery period.

Smoking interferes with oxygen levels in the blood, hindering the healing process. Additionally, exposure to harmful chemicals like carbon monoxide and nicotine further slows down the recovery timeline for smokers.

Increased Risk of Peri-Implantitis

Smokers face an elevated risk of developing peri-implantitis, a condition characterized by the accumulation of bacteria around the base of a dental implant. This bacterial presence can lead to infection and inflammation in the surrounding gum and bone tissue.

If left untreated, peri-implantitis can result in the deterioration of the affected bone, hindering the bonding process with the implant or even dissolving an already established osseointegration.

Increased Risk of Dental Implant Failure

Dental implant failure becomes a heightened concern for smokers. This failure may manifest as bone loss around the implant, often attributed to infections such as gum disease or peri-implantitis. Importantly, dental implant failure can occur at any point in the implant’s lifespan, not solely during the initial recovery phase.

Tips to Minimize the Risk of Dental Implant Failure

Overcoming a challenging habit isn’t always a walk in the park; as your dentist, we do recognize that. 

However, those aspiring to reclaim a better, healthier, and fully functional smile must be conscious of the habits they adopt and those they need to relinquish. 

Here are some valuable tips to ensure your newfound smile endures for a potential lifetime:

Dental Implants & Smoking – Possible Solutions

Dental Implants & Smoking Possible Solutions

For better dental implant success, quitting smoking is ideal. If that’s not possible, abstain from cigarettes one week before and two weeks after surgery.

More smoking increases implant failure risk. Even reducing daily cigarettes can help your chances of dental implant success. Your dentist can provide further non-judgmental advice to rebuild your smile.

Pre-Treatment Options for Dental Implants & Smoking

Gum Disease Treatment

Gum disease is a critical factor in tooth loss, diminishing gum tissue and jaw bone crucial for supporting dental implants. Treating gum disease is essential to prevent further loss and ensure stable foundations. However, post-treatment, continued smoking may lead to peri-implantitis, a condition affecting tissues around implanted teeth. 

Maintaining a smoke-free lifestyle remains crucial for lasting oral health.

Soft-Tissue Graft

If smoking has resulted in gum disease, leading to substantial gum recession, a viable solution is the implementation of a soft tissue graft. This procedure aims to restore gum tissue, ensuring that your gums attain sufficient depth to anchor your dental implants securely. The transplanted gum tissue also conceals exposed nerves, eliminating sensitivity and pain attributed to receding gums.

Bone Graft

If smoking has resulted in a notable decrease in the bone volume within your jaw, a viable solution is to undergo a bone graft. The implanted bone enhances the height of your jawbone, ensuring it attains the necessary strength and depth for the successful placement of dental implants.

Thinking About Dental Implants as a Smoker?

Dental implants stand out as the superior solution for replacing missing teeth in the long term. However, their success relies heavily on a robust jawbone and healthy gums for proper placement.

Smoking, both before and after implant treatment, exerts a detrimental influence on both the gums and jawbone. Complications arising from smoking significantly heighten the risk of implant failure. 

Despite being a smoker, the possibility of having dental implants is not entirely ruled out. Yet, it’s crucial to acknowledge that persistent smoking may compromise the success of the treatment.

Call [715] 381-9710 to schedule your appointment with the dentists of Spring Creek Dental. You can also visit our clinic in Hudson, WI.


Can you smoke after All-on-Four dental implants?

Tobacco use is recognized to impede the healing process following dental implant surgery by constraining blood flow to the surgical site. This restriction diminishes the oxygen supply and vital nutrients crucial for tissue recovery. The same applies to All-on-Four dental implants. 

Can I wear a nicotine patch after a dental implant?

A nicotine patch is not a suitable replacement for smoking during implant treatment. The detrimental impact of compromised blood supply is particularly evident at implant interfaces, where the essential blood flow is crucial for fostering bone ingrowth into the surface of the titanium implant.

What happens if you smoke with a nicotine patch on?

When an individual using a nicotine patch engages in smoking, the nicotine supplied by the patch acts as a blocker, preventing the additional nicotine from the cigarette from affecting the brain. Consequently, the act of smoking becomes unrewarding, and its impact is diminished.