After you have a tooth extracted, you can replace the extracted tooth with a dental implant. In some cases, patients can place a dental implant immediately after an extraction. But in other cases, patients may need to wait 3-6 months before they can have a dental implant placed after an extraction.
Several factors affect the waiting time for dental implants.
1. Bone Availability
Dental implants need bone to support them, just as natural teeth do. So, if there is sufficient bone in a tooth socket after a tooth extraction, then a dentist can place an immediate dental implant on the same day. However, if there is insufficient bone to support the dental implant, then the patient will first need a bone graft. Bone grafts take 3-6 months to heal – after which a dental implant can be placed.
When a tooth is lost to trauma, there is usually enough bone for an immediate dental implant.
2. Presence of Infection
If a tooth was infected at the time of extraction, then that infection will need to heal first before a dentist can place a dental implant. After about 2-3 months, when an infection has cleared up, then dental implant placement is possible.
If a patient suffers from gum disease, they may have lost too much bone. Thus, they may need a bone graft after treatment for gum disease. A patient with gum disease may need to wait 2-3 months for the condition to clear up, then another 3-6 months for their bone graft to heal before they can get a dental implant.
3. Location of Extracted Tooth
Tooth location is important when deciding on when to place a dental implant. The back teeth have longer roots and are more difficult to remove than front teeth. Thus, back teeth usually need more time to heal after extraction than front teeth do. For instance, back teeth usually need 2-3 months of healing time, especially if infection is present.
Front teeth, on the other hand, are a simpler matter. Front teeth are smaller and they have smaller roots than back teeth. This makes front teeth, such as incisors and canines, good candidates for immediate placement of dental implants.
Dental implants take about 3-6 months to integrate fully with a patient's jawbone. After that, a dentist can place a crown onto the implant to complete the procedure.
If you want to extract a tooth and replace it with a dental implant, talk to your dentist to find out how long you might have to wait to have your dental implant placed. For more information about dental implants contact a local dentist.