Can Smokers Get Dental Implants?

Can smokers get dental implants? Unfortunately the answer to this question is "it depends." If you've been smoking for a very long time and have no intention of kicking the habit, then you are more likely to have implant failure. One study by the NCBI showed that five years after implantation, those who smoked were twice as likely to have failed implants compared to non-smokers.

The good news is that implant technology has improved significantly over the years, so it is viable for you if you consult with your dentist, someone from a place like Renovo Endodontic Studio, and are willing to make some changes.

Why is it such a big deal if I smoke anyway?

Smoking takes a great toll on your oral health according to, since it can cause discoloration, decay, gum disease, and in severe circumstances oral cancer. And while there are special toothpastes and mouthwashes that are targeted towards smokers, nothing is quite as good as quitting.

The problem with implants is that you need strong gums and jaw bones for the implants to work. But because smoking can cause gum tissues to recede, teeth can fall out and bone tissue can also become weak.

According to information curated by Dr. Lee Fitzgerald, smoking also impairs your ability to heal after surgery. The chemicals in the cigarette affect blood flow in your tissues. Adequate blood flow is required to provide oxygen for proper healing.

What changes do I have to make?

Again, it's best to talk with your dentist since each case will differ. If you have any rotten teeth, you may need to see an endodontist to see if the structures can be saved with root canal therapy. Since gum tissue and jaw bones are stimulated by teeth and stronger with teeth, it's imperative that you try to save your natural teeth before jumping to implant options.

You may also want to consider scaling and root planing (SRP). During this procedure, a dentist will use local anesthetic so that he or she can pull back gum pockets and clean out any bacterial infections.

After exploring these kinds of treatments, you and your dentist can see if your jaws/gums are strong enough and healthy enough to support implants. Because many smokers have brittle jaw bones, you may need to get a bone graft first. Once the bone graft heals, then you can consider implants. A few weeks before and after the procedure you won't be able to smoke. This abstention greatly decreases the chance of implant failure. However, if you want to improve your chances even more—and improve your overall health—you may want to try quitting altogether during this time.

If you don't plan on quitting, don't lose hope. You and your dentist can work together to find a solution so that you can replace missing teeth.