Sometimes it’s better to cut your losses and have a troublesome tooth removed than to keep it and battle chronic, progressive problems. From overcrowded teeth and gum disease to trauma and decay, your teeth face destructive issues they may not overcome, even with expert help.
Although our expert dental team at OK Tooth in Midtown Manhattan, New York, saves natural teeth whenever possible, we know from experience that extraction is often the best move — but your treatment doesn’t end there.
If you don’t replace the extracted tooth:
- Other teeth can shift into the vacant space and become crooked
- Bacteria have a greater surface area to invade
- You lose jawbone density where the tooth once was
- Your facial features change as they sink into the gap
- It throws your bite out of whack, which may lead to jaw pain and headaches
- It alters your chewing, which may affect your digestion
- You may develop a speech impediment
- It could affect your sinus cavity
You have several options for replacing a missing tooth. At OK Tooth, we work closely with you to navigate your choices depending on your gum health, bone density, and stability of your remaining teeth. We offer lower-cost options, such as fixed bridges and partial or full dentures, but the gold standard tooth replacement is the dental implant, and here’s why.
Why dental implants are the best tooth replacement option
We consider dental implants the superior choice for replacing your extracted tooth and restoring oral functionality for several reasons.
Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth, giving you the confidence to smile without hesitation.
With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime, making them a more cost-effective solution than dentures and bridges, which eventually require replacement.
Preservation of bone and facial structure
Unlike dentures and bridges, dental implants stimulate the jawbone, preventing bone loss and preserving your facial structure.
No damage to adjacent teeth
Dental implants don’t require removing enamel from nearby healthy teeth to facilitate support the way dental bridges do, so implants help you maintain the overall health of your remaining teeth.
How soon after my tooth extraction can I get a dental implant?
We fully discuss the procedure before recommending a dental implant with you because it requires a significant time commitment. You need to consider several factors before proceeding with this treatment option. Here are some variables that can impact your timeline for receiving a dental implant and general advice to help you decide if the time is right.
Type of extraction
The type of tooth extraction you underwent can affect your timeline for receiving a dental implant. For example, a simple extraction requires less healing time than a surgical extraction that involves removing bone or gum tissue.
Before getting a dental implant, allowing your extraction site to heal properly is essential. The healing process can vary from person to person, typically 3-6 months. Our OK Tooth team monitors your progress and determines when you’re ready for the implant procedure.
Adequate bone density is crucial for the success of dental implants. If you’ve experienced bone loss due to tooth extraction or other factors, you may need a bone graft to create a stable foundation for the implant. This additional procedure can extend the overall treatment timeline.
Following a tooth extraction, the surrounding bone may begin to resorb or break down, leading to a 50% decrease in bone volume and density within the first year. Bone loss could cause the extraction site to collapse, making it challenging to perform future dental restorations.
Sometimes, we need to perform socket preservation, also known as ridge preservation or alveolar ridge preservation, about four months after a tooth extraction to minimize bone loss and maintain the integrity of the extraction site. We aim to preserve your socket's natural shape and size to facilitate future dental treatments, such as dental implants or bridges.
Good oral health is essential for the success of dental implants. To ensure optimal results, we must address issues such as gum disease and untreated cavities before considering dental implants.
Dental implants can be a costly investment, and insurance coverage may vary. We thoroughly discuss the costs and explore your payment options before moving forward with dental implants.
To learn more about dental implants and your other options for replacing extracted teeth, request an appointment online or call our friendly OK Tooth staff at 212-574-4650.