Is It Okay To Smoke Marijuana After Dental Implant Surgery?

Your initial dental implant appointment mostly involves planning the procedure. Your dentist will ask you a variety of relevant health questions to help determine your suitability for the procedure, as well as discuss any existing conditions or lifestyle habits that may influence the success of the procedure. A lifestyle habit that negates the benefits (and ultimate success) of dental implant surgery is smoking. You might believe that this isn't an issue for you, since you don't smoke tobacco—you smoke marijuana.

Smoking Is Smoking

From a dentist's point of view, smoking is smoking. Naturally, different products contain different chemical compounds, but they all have an adverse effect on your body's healing ability (and typically slow down the overall process). The implant placed in your jaw is a small titanium screw that becomes a type of artificial tooth root. Your jawbone must heal around the implant, allowing full integration in order to develop enough stability to support an artificial tooth and the bite force that the tooth will endure each day. Additionally, the soft tissues that surround your jaw must also heal in order to support the implant and make its false tooth look natural.

Delayed Immune Response

Smoking slows healing, and it only takes a small quantity of the relevant product to initiate this delayed immune response. Although tobacco may be the most obvious product, marijuana also has an adverse effect on your immune response. This delayed healing prevents your body from delivering vital nutrients to the implantation site. Bone remodeling begins as soon as an implant is placed, with your jaw growing new bone tissue to contain the implant. This must happen at an acceptable rate for the bone to develop the necessary density to support your implant and its tooth. Your marijuana smoking can prevent this from happening, and your implant may fail.

Bone Regeneration

Additionally, there have been studies that suggest marijuana decreases bone regeneration around titanium implants. This is an adverse effect specific to marijuana which can also contribute to implant failure. From a patient's perspective, this failure is extremely unpleasant. The titanium implant will fail to integrate with your bone and will become mobile, before eventually detaching. There can be considerable irritation to the soft tissues in your mouth, as well as discomfort in your jawbone. It can be painful and must be avoided at all costs.

Even though marijuana might be perfectly legal in your part of the country, its legality has nothing to do with its compatibility with certain medical procedures, like dental implant surgery—and smoking marijuana is certainly not compatible with receiving a dental implant. 

For more info about dental implants, contact a local company.