While patients should certainly not rush into a decision about how to replace a missing tooth, timing is important. In fact, if you want to get dental implants, time is of the essence. When a tooth is missing, the tooth root is no longer able to stimulate the jawbone like it should. Besides the risk of your adjacent teeth migrating out of place, you will also face the potential of bone loss the longer you wait to replace a tooth.
Once bone has deteriorated, only a bone grafting procedure can build it back up. Dental implants require a certain amount of bone height and density to be placed successfully. If you want to ensure you qualify for implant dentistry and/or avoid costly bone grafting prior to surgery, you need to consider your timeline for treatment.
There’s no set rule on how long you can wait before you start losing too much bone to qualify for dental implants. However, putting it off more than 4 to 6 months is typically not recommended. Your dentist will consider your age, the cause of your tooth loss, your health and location of the missing tooth when determining an appropriate timeline for you. There are times when a tooth was extracted due to extensive infection. In such cases, you may need to finish a course of antibiotics before attempting implant surgery. In other situations, you may be able to get your implant the same day of your extraction.
If you are having a hard time deciding about dental implants, but don’t want to miss the optimal window of time, be sure to let your dentist monitor your bone health on a regular basis. Digital x-rays are an easy way to tell us how much bone you have left and whether or not it is enough for dental implants.
If your dental implant delay is due to financing, we strongly recommend finding a payment plan that fits your budget. Dr. Wayne Suway offers flexible financing through CareCredit, so that you can restore your smile in a timely manner, but without ruining your savings.