Whether you’ve had a tooth extracted due to tooth decay, gum disease or an injury, you’re going to want to get it replace sooner rather than later. Having an empty space in your smile is never a good thing as neighboring teeth can start to shift soon after. Plus, your biting force will start to diminish as your jaw bone begins to shrink.
By visiting an implant dentist in Marietta, you can start planning your treatment and figure out how long you need to wait before the implant can get placed.
How Long Do I Need to Wait Before Placing Implants?
In some cases, you can actually get an implant immediately after the extraction is performed. These are known as immediate implants and are typically reserved for specific teeth, including canines, incisors or narrow-rooted premolars. If these teeth all have healthy surrounding bone and no major infection, then the dentist may suggest you have the implant placed right away.
However, if the tooth is a molar or multi-rooted premolar with healthy surrounding bone and no major infections, then you’ll want to delay the implant placement for at least two to three months. Over time, the site’s bone will heal more effectively and provide a better environment for implant placement.
Keep in mind that if bone loss is present, either from gum disease or from an infection, the dentist will need to extract the tooth, clean the site, and perform a bone graft.
What If I Need a Bone Graft?
It’s common for people seeking dental implants to also lose supporting bone, not just the tooth itself. In that case, a bone graft will need to be performed. This treatment is intended to take healthy bone, either from a donated sample or from somewhere else in the body, and graft it onto the site where the implant is needed.
In this instance, you will need to wait for at least six months after the bone graft is performed before having an implant placed. The longer the healing period is for the grafted bone, the stronger the healed bone will be. The last thing you want to do is rush the grafting process, as this can result in an implant failure later on.
What If My Missing Tooth is Visible and I Can’t Get Immediate Load Implants?
After traditional implants are placed, it’s crucial that you wait at least four to six months for the area to heal. In the event that you can’t use immediate load implants, a temporary tooth replacement known as a dental flipper can be an effective solution.
This device is cheap and can be made quite quickly. It looks like an orthodontic retainer but with teeth attached to it. It’s worn similar to a retainer and will not apply pressure to the implant as it heals. Dentists consider this device the standard of care for implant patients missing front teeth.
Got more questions on receiving dental implants? Schedule an appointment with a Marietta implant dentist today!
About the Author
Dr. Jeff Lee earned his DDS degree from the Ohio State University College of Dentistry. He’s also completed a four-year residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, allowing him to place and restore implants. To learn more about his expertise or practice, you can contact him through his website.