Dental implants aren’t particularly new (the first one was placed in 1965) but they’ve never been as popular as they are now. This means a lot of patients who never considered getting a dental implant in the past are now scheduling consultations to see if a dental implant is the right choice for them. Even if you’ve waited years and years after an extraction to get a dental implant, you will most likely still be able to get one.
In some cases, your doctor might have to do some work before the dental implant surgery to make the spot implant-ready. These include:
Depending on how long you’ve waited to get an implant post-extraction, you may need some form of orthodontics. Teeth naturally move over time and if there’s a missing tooth, your other teeth will move to close the gap. If the gap is closed, there’s no way to place a dental implant. That’s where ortho comes in. Braces or Invisalign will realign the teeth and re-open the missing tooth gap.
Moving teeth via ceramics or plastic isn’t easy so the process will take a few months. During that time, your doctor can take a look at your case to make sure there’s nothing else that needs to be done pre-surgery.
Dental implants get their strength from their position. Doctors place them in the jawbone so that the implant and the bone can fuse, creating a nearly unbreakable bond. If there isn’t enough bone in the jawbone for the implant to fuse, the implant will fail. This is why, before the surgery, your doctor should take a 3D scan to examine the jawbone and make sure it’s sturdy enough to support an implant. If it isn’t, your doctor will give you a bone graft prior to the implant surgery to help strengthen the jaw.
Most people who need bone grafts have had (or still have) severe periodontal disease. In its advanced stages, periodontal disease can eat away at both gum tissue and the underlying bone structure.
We always recommend that our patients get a cleaning before undergoing oral surgery. Removing any built-up bacteria prior to surgery is a good way to keep the risk of infection down. The lower the risk of infection, the better chance your dental implant procedure will be successful.
If you had an extraction years ago and would like to get a dental implant, schedule a free consultation with our dental implantologist, Dr. Robert Stanley.