A Dental Implant After Tooth Extraction: How Long Should You Wait?

Posted on: 28 March 2022

A tooth shouldn't be extracted without a follow-up plan. Obviously, the only way to really follow up on a missing tooth is to replace it, so it's likely that your dentist will have discussed dental implants with you. Implants involve a small titanium alloy screw being inserted into your jaw, which replaces your missing tooth root. Once your jaw has healed around the screw, a prosthetic dental crown (replacement tooth) can be fitted. How long do you have to wait before this can happen?


For some patients, there's no waiting time involved. An immediate dental implant is possible for patients who meet certain prerequisites. Your jaw and gingival tissues must be strong and healthy, and there can't be other dental or health conditions that could compromise the implant. This can apply to patients whose immune responses can lead to delayed healing. The titanium alloy screw is placed into your jaw via the open dental socket, and a final prosthetic dental crown can be made onsite. This is a finished restoration, but is not yet a load-bearing restoration. Your dentist can give you a detailed timeline, but you'll need to be careful with the degree of bite pressure that the implant receives during its first few weeks. This will quickly normalize, and the implant can then withstand bite pressure as a normal tooth would.


For patients who aren't eligible for immediate implants, a dentist generally opts to tackle the work in stages, allowing for recuperation between these stages. First, the tooth is extracted. Your gingival tissues should largely heal within seven to ten days, but it can take several months for the hole created by the extraction to fully heal. After this time, the implant can be placed, which requires from two to six months of healing for the bone to offer necessary stability for the implant. To conceal any gap in your smile, a temporary dental crown can be provided. You must be cautious with this temporary crown, as it's almost exclusively cosmetic and has minimal load-bearing capabilities. After the implant has fully integrated with your jaw, your permanent prosthetic dental crown can be fitted.


You can conceivably delay receiving a dental implant, but the longer you wait, the more complex the work becomes. Your jaw bone is physically stimulated by a tooth's root (and this process is replicated by a dental implant). When this stimulation ceases (with the loss of the tooth), the section of the jaw that hosted the tooth loses some density, which must be reversed. If you delay receiving a dental implant after tooth extraction, it becomes more and more likely that you'll need bone grafting prior to having an implant fitted. This is when bone grafting material (either your own, from a donor, or synthetic material) is added to your jaw and allowed to heal, adding the necessary density that will permit the bone to support an implant. To avoid bone grafting, it's best not to delay the implant process.

Perhaps you'll be one of the lucky implant patients who can receive an immediate implant, but most patients will need to receive their implant in stages. It remains important that you don't delay your dental work—otherwise, you're technically creating more work for yourself.  

For more information, you can reach look to a dentist's office such as Elite Smile Center.