- Smoking has a vasoconstrictive effect, reduces blood supply and compromises wound healing
- Smokers experience a significantly higher incidence of periodontitis, dry extraction sockets and post implant surgery complications
- Smokers should be strongly advised to quit smoking completely or at least six weeks prior to implant surgery and other surgical treatment phases and ideally also after treatment completion in order to increase long-term success
Effects of smoking and nicotine on treatment
Smoking and nicotine consumption have a constrictive effect on blood vessels thereby reducing blood supply. It increases the susceptibility to periodontal inflammatory diseases, dry extraction sockets and wound healing complications in general, including wound healing after implant surgery.
Smokers have a 2–4 times higher incidence of periodontitis, peri-implant mucositis and postoperative complications after tooth extraction and any surgical treatment. Smokers also have a higher incidence of osteoporosis, although this may be due to social and economical factors that predispose to both conditions independently.
Smoking patients should be informed about the negative effect smoking has on wound-healing and the reduced implant treatment success rates, especially in the upper jaw. They should stop smoking at least six weeks prior to and eight weeks after implant surgery. By doing so, patients can enjoy the same clinical success outcomes as non-smokers. In some instances, patients may quit smoking for good after this cessation.
It is also the role of any oral health care provider to inform the patient about the general risks of smoking: lung cancer, chronic obstructive lung disease, myocardial infarction (twice as often), osteoporosis, shorter life expectancy vs. lifelong non-smokers.