Various effects of smoking may hinder dental implant surgery. The smoke from tobacco products tends to harm the neighboring gums and bones. As you smoke, the smoke burns your oral tissue inside the mouth. It can even block or damage the salivary glands, contributing to dryness of the mouth. A lack of saliva may result in tooth decay and gum disease, hence weakening the gums and bones supporting the implants.
Moreover, nicotine tends to slow down the healing of the dental implant wound. It also impairs the activity of the immune system defense. Nicotine restricts oxygen flow – whether it is introduced through a nicotine patch or a cigarette. Your bone and tissue require that extra oxygen as well as blood flow to ensure proper healing.
Tobacco and nicotine tend to prevent proper fusing of the implants to the jawbone. A lack of oxygen, as well as reduced blood flow, impact the osseointegration process – this is the fusing together of the implants and the surrounding bone.
Can You Smoke After Dental Implants?
During the first few days after the surgery, the body produces blood clots. These clots prevent food as well as bacteria from reaching the site of surgery. Engaging in habits such as smoking, sucking on a straw, or spitting can loosen the blood clots, leading to a dry socket.
It is important to avoid smoking in the first 72 hours after receiving dental implant surgery. And as with any surgery, you need to ensure you follow the pre and post-op guidelines that the dental surgeon provides. This will ensure a better chance of success.
It is recommended you refrain from smoking in advance before the dental implant procedure, at least two weeks earlier. How long you will take to start smoking after having dental implants will vary from one patient to another depending on how you are progressing with the healing. Generally, you need to wait for around two to three months after dental implants to begin smoking. This will ensure that there is no interference with the osseointegration process.
That being said, the best thing to do is stop smoking completely if you plan to get implants. It is good for your oral health, implant success, and overall health.