How long do I have to wait after tooth extraction to get dental implants?Dental Dental Implants
Traditionally patients have been advised to wait anything from 3-6 months before a dental implant has been placed.
This is to allow the extraction site to heal completely with bone. This approach and is still used by myself in certain patients - dependent on their previous medical history and whether they smoke.
There are some advantages of having a dental implant placed on the same day as the extraction: One including removing the need to have a secondary procedure (ie: the placement of the dental implant) done on a separate occasion.
This naturally means fewer injections, lesser time away from work and also less medication taken. In addition to this, because the implant is to be placed, the dentist typically cleans the extraction site very thoroughly to ensure the implant is placed in a very clean bone environment.
Interestingly, the cleaning of the extraction site can potentially reduce the overall pain perceived by the patient. The next advantage is that there is less 'collapse' of the gum in that area. We see a large amount of gum collapse after a few months following the extraction.
This is because there is no more foundation in that area to replace the tooth. An implant can provide this foundation to literally prop up the gum in that area.
This is very important in the front teeth or what we call the 'aesthetic zone' or 'smile line'. Hence I would prefer to place a dental implant on the same day - where possible, with a temporary crown so that the gum can heal in the same position as the original tooth.
Naturally you would have to allow a period of soft diet to allow the implant to heal but most patients who have undergone this prefer this over wearing a denture. We all know that after an extraction - teeth move. Literally they do. This means that teeth can tilt or erupt into the space lost by the extracted tooth.
When that happens, this can either potentially cause a 'food trap' if the adjacent teeth are now tilted in position relative to the new implant site. The good news is that you can have braces or Invisalign to correct the tilting of the adjacent teeth or even wear a denture or bridge to maintain the space.
However a dental implant placed on the same day will reduce the waiting time to get a tooth replacement there. Please do remember that there are many patients who might not be a candidate for an immediate implant replacement. However it is definitely worth exploring as we push the boundaries of dental technology.
Dr Samintharaj Kumnar
The short answer is that it depends. Every patient is different and each case is decided upon on its unique merits and clinical situation.
Sometimes you can have an immediate implant placed right after the tooth is extracted.
Other times , it is best to wait 3-6 months for the site to heal and regenerate before the implant is placed.
Some factors that would influence this would be:
- Skill and experience of the dental surgeon
- Presence of any pre-existing infection in the surgical site
- The extent and severity of such an infection if present
- Whether extensive bone and soft tissue grafting Is required at the surgical site
- The level of aesthetic concerns of the patient.
- The financial budget of the patient
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