Osseointegration is the process by which a dental implant fuses to the jaw bone. If this process fails, the dental implant fails and will cause the implant to fall out of the mouth. Failure of a dental implant can produce other undesired side effects such as bone resorption and peri-implantitis.

Smokers are at an increased risk of developing these conditions as oxygen is a critical ingredient in the osseoingration process. Smokers experience decreased blood flow and as a result, less oxygen is carried throughout the body. Smokers are more likely to develop deep mucosal pockets with inflammation around the dental implants (peri-implantitis) this painful condition can lead to the failure of the dental implant and contributes to bone resorption.

Nicotine dulls the effects of antibiotics and increases healing time. It also contributes to periodontal disease which can lead to the loss of natural teeth in addition to loss of the implant. Open wounds that come into direct contact with the smoke of a cigarette will take longer to heal and are at an increased risk of developing an infection.

Smokers who are considering dental implant surgery should consider quitting a minimum of three days prior to the treatment and continuing to abstain from all tobacco products for at least two weeks after the surgery. Nicotine replacement therapies can be utilized during this period but will impact the ability of the body to heal quickly.

The use of tobacco products dulls the senses, causes many types of cancer, contributes to heart disease, impact relationships, yellows teeth, causes wrinkles, leads to tooth loss and can ultimately result in death. Tobacco provides no positive side effects for the user or for those around the user. Children who are exposed to cigarette smoke are at an increased risk of developing cancer, asthma and obesity.

The best option is to quit smoking as soon as possible. The body immediately starts to heal when a person quits smoking and the healing continues for as long as the tobacco is eliminated from their life.

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