Risks following implant placement

Unhealthy Habits that Affect Dental Implants

One of the reasons why dental implants have become so popular is their extremely positive success rate of well over 95%. Because of this, the vast majority of patients are able to have a tooth replacement that is both strong, allowing them to eat whatever they wish, and long lasting, with most surviving for a minimum of 20 years.

As the success rate is so high, it can be tempting to think that there is no point in taking precautions prior and after the implant as the risk of failure is very small indeed. The fact is though that there are two factors in particular which can have a dramatic affect on the chances of a successful implant procedure, or otherwise.


No one would now deny that smoking is a very unhealthy habit to have and a major factor especially in the risk of lung cancers. What few people realise though is that this habit can also have a disastrous impact upon any dental implants that are fitted. It is rare indeed to find a professional implant dentist that will not insist that their patients stop smoking for a period either side of the implant procedure, and with very good reason. By smoking, a patient will increase the chances of an infection in the implant area very significantly. This is largely down to 2 factors; firstly, smoking causes a dry mouth and with a reduced volume of saliva, the bacteria in the mouth is allowed to grow and will attack the implant area too. Eventually, this can weaken the bone structure into which the implant has been placed and threaten its integrity. Another factor is that smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the area of the procedure and this restricts the blood flow that is necessary to heal the wound. This leaves the area exposed for longer and increases the risk of bacterial infections.


Alcohol too can be problematic for dental implants. However, providing that care is taken, the odd glass of wine should not hurt although it is still advisable to avoid alcohol altogether for at least a short period either side of the procedure. The reasons for avoiding alcohol are very similar to those for stopping smoking, especially the dryness of the mouth which excess alcohol consumption can cause. Although many drinkers do ensure that they drink water before going to sleep to avoid the worst effects in the morning, dental implant patients that do drink should doubly ensure that they do this as dry mouth tends to occur most while we are asleep and making sure that we are well hydrated before going to bed will, at least, counteract the worst effects of the alcohol. By ensuring that you follow your dentist’s advice and stop smoking and drinking for a short period of time both before and after the implant procedure, you will significantly increase the chances of a positive result and one that will last you for a long time.