July 28, 2023
Many adults suffer tooth loss in their lifetime. It can be an intimidating prospect to get missing teeth replaced. It’s a big decision with many factors to consider and sometimes time isn’t on your side due to day-to-day scheduling or life events.
But can you afford to wait? Is there a timeline for getting a replacement?
The Optimal Scenario
The best time to receive a dental implant is directly after having the old tooth extracted. At that point, a pathway to your jawbone is already present, your mouth is already numbed, and you’ll only have to recover once.
If this isn’t possible due to time constraints, it’s fine to return after a week or two as the jawbone will still have sufficient density.
What Happens if You Wait?
If you can’t get the treatment done after the extraction for any reason, physical or financial, the longer you wait, the higher the risk of not being able to do dental implants goes up.
Immediately after an extraction, the bone around the site of the old tooth begins to degrade naturally because it no longer must hold on to a tooth.
The longer this process is allowed to go on, the weaker the area around the extracted tooth becomes. Without healthy bone to hold on to, the titanium rod will simply not take or will become loose in a short time.
Restoring Bone with a Graft
Bone loss after an extraction is unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean that implants become impossible after a certain amount of time. For eligible patients, dentists can perform bone grafts, which will take strong bone from one area of your body or from a donor and replace the weakened area so an implant can take hold.
It’s comforting to know that even if a while has passed since an extraction, you may still be able to get dental implants, even if it may take a few months to make sure the bone graft sets properly.
Besides bone loss, there can be other complications that may prevent you from receiving a dental implant.
Your teeth may shift, which will make them crooked near the site of the extracted tooth, or supra eruption—when your other teeth try to move into the empty spot—may occur. In either case, the implant procedure may still be possible but may require additional treatments.
As you can see, there is usually nothing physically preventing you from receiving dental implants in most cases. Dentists can use bone grafts and other procedures to clear the way and prepare your mouth for them. So, the smile of your dreams is still within reach!
About the Author
Dr. Ali Albeer has been practicing dentistry for over 23 years. He graduated from Baghdad University Dental School and holds a Master’s degree in Prosthodontics. He is a Fellow with the Academy of General Dentistry, a distinction that only a handful of dentists in the US and Canada have reached. His level of expertise when it comes to implants, dentures, and other replacements. Visit his website here, or call (972) 499-6835 to schedule an appointment.
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