So you’ve just had a tooth extracted and are beginning to think about your next steps. You know dental implants are the gold standard and you want to get one to replace your tooth, but you aren’t sure if you want to do it right away. Can you wait a while and get one placed later on instead? We’ll answer this question and cover all of the factors in the decision-making process in our post below.
Why Timing Matters
Dental implants do not need to be placed right after a tooth extraction. In fact, they can be placed at any point in a person’s life. People who have been missing teeth for decades get those teeth replaced by implants all the time.
However, it’s important to recognize that the implant process gets more complicated and expensive over time. This is largely due to the bone loss that starts to happen as soon as a tooth is removed.
When you have a tooth extracted, the bone below it will no longer receive any stimulation from chewing. Your body interprets this change to mean that you no longer need that bone. That area of your jawbone then starts to degrade.
Bone loss accelerates over time, so the longer you take to replace your tooth, the worse it will be. If you wait too long, there won’t be enough bone to hold the titanium implant screw in place.
Luckily, bone loss is treatable in almost all cases. You can fix it by getting bone graft surgery before your implant is placed. This makes it possible for you to get dental implants even if your tooth has been missing for many years.
Note that regardless of whether you choose to get dental implants as soon as possible, you will need to wait at least 10 weeks before the implant surgery can be performed. Proper healing is important!
Now vs. Later: How to Choose?
Still not sure whether now is a good time for your implant surgery? The following points can help you decide.
If you wait to get implants:
- You’ll have a chance to think over your decision. Implants are not the only tooth replacement option. Waiting to get them allows you to consider all your options and make sure you’re really making the right choice.
- You’ll have a chance to save money. Implants are expensive, and many patients do not have enough saved up to cover their bill. If you wait to get implants, you can save up more aggressively, allowing you to depend less on financing to get the procedure done.
- The pain will be over sooner. Your mouth will be tender after getting one or more teeth removed. If you get implants put in right away, any relief you get will be short-lived. Spacing out the extraction and the surgery gives you some time in between procedures to rest and enjoy life pain-free.
If you get implants right away:
- You’ll avoid bone loss. The sooner you replace your missing tooth, the less likely it is that you’ll need bone grafts to strengthen your jawbone.
- You’ll keep your alignment intact. Replacing missing teeth right away ensures that your other teeth don’t start drifting out of alignment.
- You’ll experience less pain overall. Getting your implants placed right after your extractions allows you to get all the pain and recovery time out of the way at once, leaving you with new high-quality artificial teeth that you’ll get years of use out of.
The Bottom Line: It’s Never Too Late
Implants will always be a great option to replace missing teeth, no matter when you choose to get them. While we would typically recommend getting them placed as soon as possible, you can wait years before undergoing implant surgery if you want to. Weigh your options and make the choice that works best for you; there’s no wrong answer.
If you’re ready to get dental implants or want some professional advice to help you make your decision, Coscarella Family Dentistry is always here for you. Contact us at 519-969-8171 to book an appointment and discuss any dental concerns that are on your mind.