If you are looking forward to replacing one or more teeth with dental implants, you’re probably wondering about the best time to get started. Many patients want to know how long the full procedure will take and how to schedule their office visits around work, travel and other plans.
The good news is that dental implants are a very flexible option for tooth replacement. The right timing will depend not only on your personal schedule, but also your overall oral health. The state of your bones, teeth and gums will help your oral surgeon determine the right course of treatment for you.
When you visit Comfort Smiles, your smile is our top priority. Dr. DuBois and his dental team are dedicated to providing you with the personalized, gentle care that you deserve. Our dentist provides general, restorative and cosmetic dental services designed to assist each patient in achieving and maintaining long-term dental health and a beautiful smile.
If you need to have a tooth removed then it’s important to replace it in order to maintain your appearance and your dental health. Just a single missing tooth can affect the alignment of the rest of your natural teeth, allowing them to shift out of position which could affect your bite. An increasing number of people are opting to have long-lasting dental implants and this is certainly something we are likely to recommend here at Comfort Smiles Dentistry.
However when planning this treatment there are several things need to be taken into account, one of which is the condition of the bony socket that used to surround your natural teeth. Although it’s possible to get a pretty good idea as to the condition of your jawbone through using dental x‑rays and CT scans, we will get a much clearer view once the tooth is removed. Another thing that can affect dental implant placement is the way a tooth is extracted. A technique called an atraumatic tooth extraction is far gentler, helping to preserve the bony socket around the tooth. We take all these things into account when recommending the best time to have a dental implant after a natural tooth is removed. There are four different times that might be suitable for you.
The first solution is an immediate dental implant placement, or we may suggest waiting for approximately one to 2 months after the tooth is removed. With an immediate placement, we will insert a dental implant at the same time as removing your natural tooth. This may mean using a bone graft as there could be spaces around the dental implant. We tend to only suggest this solution where the bony socket is largely intact. Waiting 1 to 2 months after tooth removal allows initial gum healing, and this is an advantage as inserting a dental implant at this time will ensure it is protected by gum tissue and can provide great aesthetic results.
The third option is to wait between two and four months before placing the dental implants to allow some bone healing. Placing a dental implant at this stage helps to aid osseointegration, leading to a stable and strong dental implant that will be fully bonded with your jawbone. The fourth option is to wait between four and six months before placing a dental implant and this allows complete bone healing and might be particularly useful if the empty socket was affected by disease.
Obviously most people will want to get the dental implants as soon as possible and we completely understand. However our highly experienced periodontal dentists want to ensure that every treatment is a complete success and for this reason we may sometimes suggest waiting longer before carrying out implant surgery. If this is the case, there is no need to worry, as we always provide replacement teeth for use during this time and we will never leave you without a smile or without the ability to eat during treatment.