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How Smoking Can Cause Implant Failure

Posted on 5/15/2017 by Allan Hablutzel
A woman smoking a cigarette after receiving a dental implant.
Dental implants have fast become the choice solution to replacing teeth after you lose them. They can be used to replace any number of teeth, from one to all, and provide a permanent, stable alternative to traditional dentures.

Implants also help to preserve the quality of your jawbone, something no other tooth replacement option can do. While the success rate for implants is quite high, certain factors can lead to failure. One major contributing factor – smoking.

Smoking and Oral Health

You already know that smoking has a significant impact on your overall health, harming your lungs and your heart. It also has a huge impact on your oral health as well. Smoking greatly increases your chances of developing gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss if untreated. It also makes you much more likely to develop oral cancer.

Higher Risk of Infection
If you smoke, you are much more likely to develop dry socket. Implants are a surgical procedure. Clots form at the surgical site. Dry socket is a condition in which the clots become dislodged, leaving a wide-open space at the surgical site, exposing the sensitive interior of your gum tissue as well as your jawbone. This leaves you much more vulnerable to bacteria, and, therefore, infection.

Slower Recovery
Smoking restricts your blood flow, and limits the amount of oxygen within. Your gums require oxygen and nutrients carried in the bloodstream in order to heal properly. A slower delivery of these essential nutrients causes a slower recovery. Smoking also slows the regeneration of new tissue, which means your wounds take more time to heal, and leaves you susceptible to infection for a longer period of time.


Implants are placed in the jaw and, over the course of your healing, fuse with the bone. While this is happening, the bone and gum tissue also needs to heal. Smoking affects the ability of your jawbone to properly fuse with the implants (as it weakens your bones). Implants depend upon strong, stable bones. Smoking inflames both soft and hard tissues, leading to a condition known as peri-implantitis, which is the number one cause of implant failure.

Quitting smoking, along with avoiding alcohol and keeping up proper oral hygiene, provides you with the greatest chance for successful implants. Your dentist can provide you with information on how to quit if you are having trouble.

Please contact our office if you have any questions about smoking's effects on your oral health.
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Pacific Ave Dental, 820 Pacific Ave., Suite 204, Bremerton, WA 98337-1900 | (360) 373-3515 | | 6/13/2024 | Tags: dentist Bremerton WA |