Has it been years since you’ve lost some or most of your pearly whites? If so, you might wonder if you’ve already missed the opportunity to replace them with dental implants. After all, tooth loss can come with a wide range of complications in your oral health and overall well-being. Even so, there might still be a chance that you can regain your full smile with dental implants. Read on to learn why!
Can You Become Ineligible for Dental Implants by Waiting Too Long?
Whenever you lose a tooth, the ability to stimulate the jawbone via the roots is also lost. This is because chewing helps blood circulate to the jaw, allowing it to receive essential nutrients for strength and growth. If this stimulation isn’t present, your body will end up moving these minerals to other places away from the jawbone, decreasing its health and structure. The longer this is left unaddressed, the more severe the bone resorption becomes.
There is good news, however, as having missing teeth doesn’t immediately disqualify you from being able to get dental implants. Firstly, your dentist will need to evaluate your mouth and jawbone to see if you have enough density to hold and maintain future titanium posts. Even if you don’t currently have sufficient bone mass to support them, you might be eligible for bone grafting to help regrow and strengthen your jaw.
The Negative Effects of Tooth Loss
Tooth loss can have a wide variety of negative effects on a person other than lowering confidence and self-esteem. Besides making speech and chewing more difficult, here are a few other issues that can arise and interrupt your chances of getting dental implants:
- Dental Shifting: Nearby natural teeth can start to move out of place to fill in the gaps. Not only can this change the appearance of your smile, but you may also end up needing orthodontic treatment before getting dental implants.
- Supra Eruption: This condition happens when a tooth above or below a missing one begins to shift into the empty spot, which can look abnormal and cause difficulties with the dental implant process.
- Pneumatization: Your sinuses are in the upper jaw and can start to move whenever you lose a tooth. This can make the dental implant procedure more complicated.
When Can You Get Dental Implants After an Extraction?
The waiting period for getting dental implants after an extraction will vary between people. Your dentist will need to consider factors such as the position of the nearby natural teeth and the health of the surgical site. In most cases, you’ll want to wait around 10 weeks to allow proper recovery before placing a dental implant to prevent jawbone deterioration.
Even if you’ve been missing teeth for a while, you might still be eligible for dental implants. Consult your dentist about rebuilding your smile, and they’ll be happy to help develop the best treatment plan for you!
About the Author
Dr. Jeff Lee has been providing exceptional dental care for well over two decades. He graduated from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry and is specially trained in oral and maxillofacial surgery as well as dental implants. If you’d like to schedule a consultation for replacing missing pearly whites, visit his website or give him a call at 740-236-9392.