Dental implants typically involve a number of consultations. You and your dentist must decide that an implant is the best tooth replacement method in your particular case. Certain diagnostic tests must be performed to determine that the section of your jaw which hosts your dental sockets (known as your alveolar ridge) is sufficiently dense to anchor the implant. The implant itself will be added at a subsequent appointment, and then the prosthetic tooth will be added later once the implant has integrated with the bone. Wouldn't it be nice if a dental implant could be immediate?
Many patients who receive a dental implant have had a missing tooth for an extended period of time. This often requires additional preparation. When a tooth is missing, the alveolar ridge diverts various nutrients that it uses to maintain its density. Without a tooth, your body assumes that this section of your jaw will not be subjected to the ongoing pressure that a tooth is subjected to. This is why some patients need bone grafting to reinforce their alveolar ridge before a dental implant can be added. But what about when the tooth the implant is to replace is actually still in your jaw?
Dental extractions often precede a dental implant. Your dentist knows that the tooth cannot conceivably be saved, and although extraction is a last resort, it may well be your only resort. Instead of giving your alveolar ridge any opportunity to lose density, a dentist can install a dental implant immediately after extracting the tooth.
A metal post (usually made of a titanium alloy) will be placed in your jaw. This allows your jaw to heal from the extraction, while simultaneously healing around the post (a process known as osseointegration). The replacement prosthetic tooth will have been manufactured and can be immediately added to the implant. Instead of having a tooth extracted (and waiting for that to heal), and then having the implant installed (and waiting for that to heal), and then having the prosthetic tooth added to the implant, the entire process is condensed to one or two visits.
An immediate implant will eventually become a load-bearing tooth (capable of withstanding the pressure of biting and chewing), but this part of the process is not immediate. You must be reasonably sensible with your new implant in the early stages. Remember that even though the implant was immediate, it's still integrating with your jaw bone, and mustn't be aggravated during this time. This requires some dietary caution—avoiding foods that are hard or chewy, and using the unaffected side of your mouth to chew your foods. In essence, be careful that you don't bite off more than you can chew.
Not everyone who has had a tooth extracted is a candidate for an immediate dental implant. Existing medical conditions (dental or otherwise) can make the immediacy of the process unwise for some patients. However, before your tooth is extracted, ask your dentist if an immediate dental implant is possible in your particular case.Share
5 November 2021
My son was outside playing with some friends when he accidentally fell down and hit his mouth on the sidewalk. The fall knocked out his front tooth, so I immediately placed the tooth in a small jar and added some milk. I rushed my son to the dental clinic and the dentist immediately took us into the examination room. The dentist placed the tooth back into the socket and saved it. My name is Beverly Tillman and thanks to the quick work of the dentist, my son didn't lose his tooth. Since this was a scary time for me and my son, I wanted to write this blog as a source of information for other parents who are facing a dental emergency. First of all, don't panic and get to your dentist as soon as possible. I hope this blog will help to answer your questions about dental emergencies.