4 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Wait Long After Tooth Extraction To Get Dental Implants

Posted on: 20 January 2022

Have you recently lost a tooth and are planning to get implants? If so, you shouldn't wait too long to begin the treatment. Dental implants are permanent restorations that are surgically placed in the jaw to bond with the bone. Delayed treatment after tooth extraction can complicate the process or lower the success rate. Below are four key risks that may arise if you wait years to get your implants.

Severe Bone Loss

For dental implants to work, they must fuse with the jawbone. This fusion is only possible if there is adequate bone density. When you chew food, the pressure exerted by the tooth on the jawbone stimulates growth and increases its density. Unfortunately, when you lose a tooth, the stimulation to the jawbone ceases. The bone resorbs into the body, leading to reduced density. Your orthodontist has to restore the jawbone before commencing dental implant surgery.

Prolonged Treatment Time

Severe bone loss can prolong the treatment time for dental implants. Your orthodontist will carry out bone grafting to restore the jawbone, increase its density, and allow it to fuse with the implant. Bone grafting is a surgical procedure whereby pieces of bone from your chin, lower jaw, shin, or hip are placed in the jawbone. If you have insufficient bone for grafts, the specialist can use dried human bone, animal bone, or synthetic bone. 

After the surgical procedure, you have to wait several months for the grafted bone to fuse with your jawbone. Consequently, your dental implant treatment will take longer than if you didn't require bone grafting. If you have adequate bone density, you can get implants in a single procedure.

New Dental Issues

Waiting too long to fill a gap in the mouth can cause other dental issues. Gaps cause the rest of the teeth to shift and twist, leading to bite problems. Crooked teeth are hard to clean, making them susceptible to decay and infection. Consequently, failure to address these emerging issues can cause you to lose more teeth. Getting implants shortly after losing your natural teeth can prevent additional dental problems.

Potential Implant Failure

The success of dental implants heavily relies on the ability of the prostheses to bond permanently with the jawbone. Low bone density resulting from late treatment increases the risk of implant failure. What's more, if you get a bone graft, there is no guarantee that it will work. Bone graft failure can occur when the pieces of bone fail to fuse with the jawbone, leading to a repeat procedure and prolonged treatment. 

Dental implants are permanent restorations that function like natural teeth. Unlike other prostheses, implants are low-maintenance, and they can last a lifetime. However, it's advisable to seek treatment within a few months of losing your natural teeth to avoid the above risks.