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Are you a smoker and you want to undergo a dental implant procedure? If so, then you should stop smoking, or at least cut down drastically on the number of cigarettes you smoke, seeing that smoking and dental implants do not mix …. 
Dental implants and osseointegration

Dental implantology is a modern dental practice that makes it possible to replace missing teeth by inserting artificial roots (dental implants), on top of which capsules are later bonded. The underlying concept of implantology is osseointegration.

The terms was coined by Prof. Branemark, a teacher at the Institute of Biotechnology in Gothenburg, Sweden, in the late 1960’s. According to Prof. Branemark, if artificial roots made of biocompatible material were inserted in the maxillary or mandibular bone, then they would integrate with the bone, as long as the time needed to allow our body to accept and encompass the implants inserted was respected.


Smoking and dental implants

Smoking is a extremely harmful habit for the process of osseointegration. If a patient who has a dental implant smokes, then he or she should know that the smoking can damage the contact between the bone and the implant, meaning that the smoker should quit, or at least cut to a bare minimum the number of cigarettes consumed. There are many studies that point to a definite correlation between failed dental implants and a smoking habit.

Smoking damages the one tissue by modifying the blood circulation and, as a result, reducing the amount of blood flowing to the area of the new implant, with all the consequences that can arise from such a situation (Y.M. Gonzales: “Smoking as a Risk Factor”, Dental Cadmos 1997). The fact is that nicotine has a negative effect on the blood flow to the tissues, hampering osseointegration as well.

Smoking results in a more fragile bone structure. In fact, it has been demonstrated that women who smoke during their adult years present a higher percentage of bone deficit, once they reach menopause, than do non-smokers (J.Hopper, E.Seeman: “The bone density of female…” New Eng. J. Medic. 1994).

Smokers are also more likely to develop infections immediately following the procedure and to have need of longer healing times, in addition to which they are more exposed to periodontal disease and tooth loss.


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