Smoking and Dental Health are Tied Together

Dental patients, especially patients for dental implants must not smoke, or be exposed to second-hand smoke. They must not take any nicotine substitutes for a minimum of three (3) weeks before and after surgery.
Smoking Dental Care

Any medical or dental surgical procedure carries an element of risk for complication and/or failure. Risk factors can vary greatly from patient to patient. Smoking has been documented in the literature to delay wound healing and therefore increase the risks of complications and failure.

If you are a smoker, you may increase your risk of failure and post-operative complications. These can include pain, swelling and infection. No warranty applies to implant procedures performed on patients who have smoked within the last 2 months prior to treatment.

When you smoke cigarettes or use any tobacco products, you are accepting additional risks. These risks are greater than those discussed with patients who do not now or never smoked cigarettes. The longer you smoke cigarettes and the more packs smoked per day, also increases your risk of complications.

There is a definite yet undetermined increased risk of healing complications that can be directly linked to cigarette smoking. These include scarring, poor healing, skin loss and complications in general. It is always best to stop smoking at least two (2) weeks prior to surgery. You should not smoke for two (2) weeks after surgery. The exact length of time smoking should be discontinued to ensure good healing is unknown. It would seem reasonable that more time is better.

Additional Risks Associated with Tobacco Products

There is no guarantee that even if all of the instructions are followed that healing will be without complications. If you do not stop smoking or discontinue use of tobacco products, you will be unnecessarily accepting an increased risk. This risk includes healing difficulties including the sloughing (dissolving away) of skin or fat. The result of these potential healing problems may require additional surgery, additional costs and additional time off of work.

The doctors and specialists at Goodness Dental share our considerable concern on this issue in order to decrease healing difficulties after surgery. We encourage all of our patients to restrict tobacco during the two weeks before and two weeks after surgery. Patients are also cautioned against second hand smoke, which has the same consequences as smoking.

When you smoke, there are both acute and long-term changes. The chronic changes associated with smoking are well known. This includes hardening of the arteries, the buildup of plaque in the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. Also acceleration of the aging process due to the absorption of multiple toxins including carbon monoxide. This binds to hemoglobin in the blood and blocks oxygen saturation thus lowering the amount of oxygen available for the tissues. There is also a sensitization of the lining of the arteries causing them to be more likely to go into spasm thus narrowing their diameter and allowing less room for blood flow. The acute changes from smoking also create an increased risk of arterial spasm thus decreasing the diameter of the arteries and decreasing blood flow to healing areas.

If you have a question or would like to speak with one of our doctors, please fill out the contact form on this page or call 866-218-1036 to speak with our patient coordinator.