Having a tooth pulled isn’t exactly a fun experience, and even worse, it leaves a gap in your smile that can eventually cause oral health problems. The best way to be fully restored is with a dental implant. How long will you have to wait to receive one, though? As you continue reading, a local dentist explains the process of getting dental implants after tooth extraction.
Post-Extraction Conditions That Affect the Wait Time
Following your tooth extraction, it takes a while to recover before moving forward with dental implantation. Here are two typical occurrences during the healing process:
You may notice swelling around your mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of your face. You’ll usually see the inflammation the day following the surgery, but it won’t reach its peak until the second or third day. You can apply an ice pack to the side of your face where the surgery was performed in 20-minute increments to reduce the swelling. Follow this routine for the first 24 to 36 hours after surgery.
In addition to inflammation, you can expect to experience some mild discomfort. However, it’s typically manageable. Start by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen (Advil, Aleve or Motrin). In some instances, your dentist will prescribe pain medication, which could leave you feeling groggy and less coherent than normal. While medicated, you should abstain from driving a vehicle or operating machinery.
How Long Can It Take to Heal?
As long as you follow a soft-food diet for the first 4 to 7 days following your surgery and practice careful dental hygiene, you could possibly recover within a two-week span. Other factors are the condition of your overall health and the complexity of your extraction.
When Can a Dental Implant be Placed?
The dental implant process is customized to meet each patient’s specific needs. Thus, there is no set time for placement after tooth extraction. Depending on your situation, here are the available options:
- Immediate Placement – Can occur if you have healthy tissue and sufficient bone structure, and is more commonly used when there has been trauma or an injury
- Early Placement – Occurs around two to three months after your tooth extraction, allowing time for the gums and supporting tissue to heal
- Delayed Placement – Occurs several months after your surgery, and is required in cases of prolonged decay and that may involve a bone grafting procedure
What Will Work Best for You?
When you visit your local dentist, you’ll be carefully examined to determine what the next best steps are for rebuilding a complete smile. By being expedient in seeking help, you have a much greater chance of avoiding jawbone loss that could prevent you from receiving an implant. Then, with a full set of teeth, you can get back to leading a normal and fulfilling life!
About the Author
Dr. Mark Gray earned his dental degree from the University of Texas Dental School. Throughout a career that has spanned nearly 40 years, he has remained fully committed to providing his patients with the best in care. Thus, Dr. Gray has completed several hours of continuing education, and he maintains membership with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. He creates happy smiles by placing dental implants at his private practice, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.