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  • Writer's pictureSheen Dental

How Does Smoking Effect Your Dental Implant Success?

We’re all undoubtedly aware of the serious health implications that smoking can bring but what we might not be so aware of is the problems or risks that it can also cause when it comes to undergoing treatment for dental implants in Richmond. In fact there’s a good chance that if you do smoke and you want to have implants that you’ll be asked to quit. So how exactly does smoking affect the success of your dental implants?

Smoking carries bacteria

Dental Implants Richmond

Although dental implants are considered strong, durable and virtually permanent, they are prone to problems from bacteria. This is especially true in the first six months or so, until they’re better established. Bacteria that’s allowed to build-up can attack the gum that surrounds and supports the implant and if not dealt with, can undermine it causing it to become loose. Because of this regular and thorough cleaning and flossing is vitally important. There is also much evidence to show that bacteria is present and carried in tobacco smoke. For this reason implant dentists may decide that it’s too much of a risk to fit dental implants to a smoker unless they either quit for the duration of the recovery process (this can take up to 9 months) or better still, quit permanently.

Slows down bone growth

Whether you have a dental implant in Richmond or anywhere else in the country, much of the success hinges on osseointegration. This is a technical term for bone fusion and occurs when the natural bone tissue that surrounds the newly placed titanium implant merges and fuses with it over time. The end result is an incredibly strong platform upon which an equally durable porcelain crown can be attached. In non-smokers this process can be expected to occur within 4-6 weeks, however studies have shown that in those who do smoke, this can take considerably longer (sometimes up to 12-14 weeks) and in others it might not even happen at all. The reason for this is that in order for bone to grow successfully it needs oxygenated blood. However certain chemicals found in tobacco (thought to be nicotine) inhibit the amount of oxygen found within the blood therefore slowing or halting the process altogether.

As you can see, smoking does create a risk, not only to your health but to the success of your implants. If you are a smoker and really want dental implants in Richmond, then it pays to have an initial consultation first so that a decision can be made. With this in mind, why not visit our website at or contact us directly to put your mind at ease.


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