Immediate vs. Delayed Implant Placement: Which Is Better?

By Dr. Damon on September 19, 2016

Dental implant and abutmentAdult tooth loss can have a significant impact on a person’s oral health. Missing teeth can limit oral functions and compromise the strength and structure of the jawbone. Because of the many negative effects of tooth loss, it is always best to restore missing teeth as soon as possible. However, this does not always mean that the tooth will be replaced immediately. In the case of tooth extraction, there is some debate as to whether dental implants should be placed immediately, or whether it is best to delay implant placement. Dental implants are the strongest and most durable restoration for missing teeth, but if implant placement is not timed properly, treatment may not be a success. At Texas Denture Clinic, we consider the benefits and risks of immediate vs. delayed implant placement for our Fort Worth, TX patients to determine which placement option is best in each unique situation.

Immediate Implant Placement

The longer teeth are missing, the greater impact that tooth loss will have on the health and structure of the smile. One of the most important functions of a tooth’s roots is to absorb the shock of chewing and provide stimulation to the jawbone. This is what triggers the continual growth of healthy bone tissues. Likewise, the teeth rely on one another for support. If one tooth or several teeth are missing, the structure of the mouth will suffer over time. This is why we always strive to treat tooth loss as early as possible. When it is appropriate, this may include placing dental implants immediately following tooth extraction. Immediate dental implant placement offers patients the following benefits:

  • Immediate placement saves patients from the need for additional oral surgery procedures
  • Immediate placement can preserve healthy bone tissue
  • Immediate placement allows patients to maintain a full range of oral functions
  • Immediate placement preserves the aesthetics of the smile

While there are many benefits to immediate implant placement, there are also some potential risks. Tooth extraction is often required due to poor oral health or a lack of structural support. If these problems are present, and they are not addressed prior to implant placement, patients will face an increased risk of dental implant failure. In these cases, delayed implant placement may be a better option.

Delayed Implant Placement

Although we prefer to treat tooth loss right away, it is not always appropriate to place dental implants immediately following tooth extraction. If the jawbone has degenerated, or if surrounding tissues are not healthy, dental implants will not have the support that is needed for the implant to fuse with the jaw. The success of dental implant treatment is always our ultimate goal, so our dentists will delay implant placement when necessary. In these cases, implant placement is scheduled two to three months following tooth extraction. Patients who may benefit from a delayed implant placement include the following:

  • Patients who have an infection in the extracted tooth or surrounding tissues
  • Patients who exhibit significant bone loss at the extraction site
  • Patients who have lost a molar or premolar (these teeth have larger roots and have been shown to have a higher risk of implant failure when placed immediately)

By delaying implant placement, our dentists can ensure that surrounding tissues have time to heal properly, and that the extraction site is in optimal condition for implant placement.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have failing teeth, or have already suffered from tooth loss, the experienced team of dentists at the Texas Denture Clinic can help you rebuild your smile. Schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience to learn more about dental implant treatment.

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