Same-Day Dental Implants
In many cases, patients undergo dental implant surgery following tooth extraction. Typically, dental surgeons will delay implant placement for approximately four to six months following the removal, allowing the socket to heal. Experts have studied this practice for over a decade, however, and find that in select cases, it is more advantageous to place an implant directly following the extraction.
According to an article in the 2015 National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery, the immediate placement of a single tooth following extraction is best suited for teeth lost due to trauma, fracture, root canal failure, and root absorption caused by residual baby teeth. Some dental professionals believe that bone growth is especially apt to occur following tooth removal. The implant may require between two and six months for the addition of a crown due to the initial lack of contact between the bone and implant.
Why the Dental Implant Procedure?
Almost every restorative dentist will highly recommend dental implants as the best option available after natural, healthy teeth. Some patients are born with undersized teeth, vacant areas where the teeth should have grown, or have lost one or more of their teeth due to trauma or decay. Dental implants can restore a full set of teeth and a beautiful smile, creating a stronger and healthier mouth. The artificial tooth and root structure feel natural in the mouth, so patients cannot distinguish between their natural teeth and those that were surgically placed. Thanks to the enhanced chewing power that implants provide, patients can enjoy every type of food and gain the added bonus of an improved appearance. Properly designed implants can also improve speaking issues related to oral health.
When the root structure of the tooth is not present in the maxilla and mandible (the upper and lower jawbones), the bones can actually shrink, resulting in a much older appearance, and even causing facial collapse. Undergoing an implant procedure helps patients to maintain the normal anatomy of the area. Because the teeth are an important component of one’s overall aesthetics, their restoration can help people to regain confidence. While dental implants may require routine adjustments over time, they are designed to last a lifetime and require no special care other than brushing, flossing, and cleanings with a dentist.
Candidates for Dental Implants
Replacement teeth through dental implants are an excellent permanent solution to severely damaged or missing teeth. Implants are best suited for patients whose jawbones are fully mature, a process that is completed by the late teen years or early twenties. There should be ample tissue to work with, so those with poor quality or insufficient bone due to bone loss are not ideal candidates, as the implants must be either anchored or supported by bone. Bone grafts may be required before these patients can receive implants.
Issues can also arise when there is not sufficient space between the teeth to accommodate an implant, or when important anatomical structures are present at the implant site. Some chronic diseases affect patient candidacy for the procedure as well. Those with ongoing sinus issues, diabetes, or osteoporosis may have problems with the quality of the maxilla and mandible.
Smokers may also be at risk for inferior results. It is important for Dr. Lazare to assess each patient’s expected outcome so he can provide realistic expectations for what dental implants can accomplish for both the health and aesthetics of the mouth.
Through carefully designed treatment plans and placement selection, implants can be a great way to address bone loss or missing teeth. Dr. Lazare will assess each patient’s health history, take digital scans or impressions of the mouth, and capture digital dental X-rays during the initial appointment.
A CAT scan can also be performed to address bone quality and an approach for dental implant placement. Even in patients who may not have enough bone material in certain areas of the jaw, implants may still be an option on a case-by-case basis. After placement, the implant will encourage new bone formation. During consultations, Dr. Lazare works with each patient to develop a treatment plan that is suited to their individual situation.
Caring for Dental Implants
Some patients are under the impression that because the biocompatible materials used in dental implants are man-made, that the teeth do not require regular hygiene. On the contrary, good care of the teeth, gums, and mouth coupled with regular visits to the dentists helps patients maintain good oral health. Though implants are resistant to cavities and periodontal disease, the teeth are newly susceptible to peri-implantitis, which is inflammation of the tissues that surround the implant. The condition is preventable with good brushing and flossing habits. Some patients may benefit from using an oral irrigator, rubber tip stimulator, or brush flossers, rather than tape floss, for the best at-home care.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
Is the Placement of Dental Implants Painful?
The doctor will perform dental implant surgery under local anesthesia, and with some patients, the addition of intravenous sedation. If medically necessary, general anesthesia may prove to be the better option, depending on a patient’s medical history. Patients may experience some postoperative swelling and residual discomfort, which can be reduced with pain medications. Dr. Lazare and the specialists he refers to take every step to ensure great dental experiences for his patients.
Why Are Dental Implants a Good Option for Missing Teeth?
Dental implants can promote the regeneration of lost bone while restoring a healthy bite and a full set of teeth in patients who are lacking one or more of these vital attributes. Dental implants can attribute to healthy wear of the gums, while also improving a person’s looks. For these reasons, dental implants are highly recommended following tooth loss.
Is the Dental Implant Process Time-Consuming?
Candidates for implant dentistry, whether approved for immediate placement after extraction or not, should understand that replacing missing teeth can be a lengthy process. Dr. Lazare is careful to take all the necessary steps to ensure patient health and happiness with the final outcome. Because treatment plans can vary greatly from one patient to the next, the best way to learn more about an individual case is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lazare.