Skipping Ahead: How Eligible Patients Can Speed Up the Dental Implant Process
Posted on: 19 May 2023
Many single-tooth dental implants are used to replace teeth that are already missing—and may have been missing for some years. But the tooth that's to be replaced may still be in your mouth (for the time being). When a damaged tooth is to be extracted and replaced with an implant, your dentist may be able to place the implant in the same appointment as your extraction. Do you qualify for an immediate implant?
Implants After Healing
From a clinical viewpoint, an immediate implant makes sense. With a typical dental implant, the section of jaw that once hosted the tooth has long since healed. As such, a guide hole must then be drilled to place the implant. The implant itself is an artificial tooth root, which is a small titanium screw placed in the jaw. The bone then needs to heal around the implant, allowing a dental crown (prosthetic tooth) to be attached. However, immediate implants don't require a standard guide hole.
Immediate Placement in Socket
Once the tooth is extracted, the implant can be immediately placed in the empty dental socket, which shouldn't require much preparation. Your jawbone heals around the newly-placed implant, instead of healing and then needing a guide hole at a later stage. You essentially skip one of the standard implant stages. You can even receive a dental crown for your implant during the same appointment. Your final, ultra-realistic prosthetic tooth may need to be manufactured separately, but your dentist can fit a temporary crown until such time as your final crown is ready. Sounds quite appealing, doesn't it?
Your Suitability for Immediate Implants
As appealing as an immediate implant is for a patient, not everyone is able to receive one. Your suitability will be determined during your initial consultation. Patients who may experience delayed healing (such as diabetics) are generally ineligible. The same applies to patients whose lifestyle habits similarly delay their ability to recover from incisions in their mouth—and this means smokers. Immediate implants are largely only offered to patients who already have a high standard of oral health, as well as a robust jawbone with the required density to support the implant. The health of your jawbone will be assessed with a cone-beam computed tomography scan—which is a type of 3D x-ray.
If you're a suitable candidate, your dentist will be able to perform an immediate dental implant placement. This gives you a fully restored smile sooner than ordinarily would be possible.
Talk to a dentist for more information about dental implants.Share