During any surgical procedure, complications may arise that affect the probability of success. Less well recognized is the fact that lifestyle and diet following surgery may have an equally large impact.
Recently, researchers at the University of Murcia in Spain discovered further evidence that smoking decreases the likelihood of dental implant surgical success. In a study of 66 patients over the course of 5 years, they found that 15.8% of dental implants failed in smokers whereas only 1.4% failed in non-smokers.
Smoking decreases blood flow to the tissues surrounding the dental implant posts, which inhibits bonding between the post and the tissue. When the post does not bond, the implant is not supported, has “failed,” and must either be replaced or removed altogether. Tobacco users are also at greater risk for post-surgical infection, which may cause them to heal more slowly than their smoke-free counterparts.
If you hope to retain your dental implants for life, a healthy smoke-free lifestyle is key.
1 Kerry Gutshall, Smoking Can Cause Dental Implants to Fail, (The American Academy of Periodontology Press Release, February 6, 2007)