While it’s often possible to save an injured or infected tooth, sometimes extraction is the best option. In those cases, it is important to replace the tooth as soon as possible with a dental implant. If gaps from extracted teeth are left as is, the interaction between the remaining teeth, the jawbone, and gums is disrupted. The jaw can lose bone density, causing it to shrink. Gums can pull away from the remaining teeth, and the teeth may loosen and move into the gap left by the extraction.
How Soon Can I Have A Dental Implant After A Tooth Is Removed?
The answer to how long you will have to wait for a dental implant after a tooth extraction – and how long the implant process will take to complete – depends largely on where the extracted tooth was located and the general state of your oral health.
Front teeth that had no infection at the time of extraction and had small roots (such as an incisor or canine) may be able to receive the dental implant the day that the tooth is removed. A crown can be placed on top of the implant in a few months, after the implant has integrated into the jaw bone. If the tooth in question was a back tooth, or had longer roots, it may be necessary to wait two or three months after extraction to place the dental implant. If the extracted tooth was infected, this can delay the placement of the dental implant even longer, in order to allow the site of the extraction to heal fully.
Bone loss in the jaw can cause a cascade of problems after a tooth is extracted, and if a patient’s bone density at the site of the extraction is low enough, they will likely require a bone graft. Sometimes the amount of bone to be grafted is significant enough that it will require several months for the graft to be integrated into the jaw bone. At other times, the amount to be grafted is small enough that it can be done at the same time the implant is placed.
“When preparing to provide a dental implant, it is important not to rush to place the implant,” says Dr. Jacqueline S. Allen, an endodontist practicing with the Phoenix Endodontic Group. “Our dental specialists can conduct a thorough examination and discuss the factors that will influence the timeline of your dental implant process.”