Can dental implants be done years after extraction?

By April 6, 2017 February 13th, 2019 Dental Implants
dental-implants-years-extraction

Can dental implants be done years after extraction? This is 7 years to be exact. In 2010 I had 3 extractions on the top left side. I started out with a partial denture and never really liked it. Now I just hate my partial denture. I am exploring my options and I definitely don’t want a dental bridge. I’m looking for something more permanent that won’t affect my remaining teeth. I’m guessing that having to grind down teeth for a bridge is almost like losing even more teeth. What I don’t know is how difficult it will be for me to get implants now that I’ve waited so long. Should I have started out with implants in the first place or is there some way to get them even though I’ve been wearing a partial for years? Thanks Salvi

Salvi,

Provided you are a candidate for dental implants, it’s not too late to get them. Although it’s been ten years since your tooth extractions, dental implants are probably still an option for you. There are several considerations before your teeth are restored. We’ll discuss three.

Jawbone shrinkage

It’s been ten years since your teeth were extracted, so you might have some jawbone shrinkage. Your body resorbs the bone in places where teeth are missing. Sufficient bone density is needed to support dental implants. If you have bone shrinkage, bone grafting will build it back up. After the grafting procedure, a healing period of a few months is needed before dental implants are placed.

Individual implants

It sounds like you prefer individual implants. One dental implant is used to replace each missing tooth. There are several advantages, including:

  • Single implants look better than a dental bridge.
  • Individual implants are easier to keep clean.
  • Each implant will stimulate your jawbone and prevent further shrinkage.
  • Your gums are less likely to recede and show the framework of a dental bridge.

Implant-supported bridge

This option is more affordable, and it can be used to replace several missing teeth in the same area. The bridge is anchored with dental implants, instead of being placed on natural teeth that have been shaved down. Replacement teeth are suspended between the anchors. Over time, your gums can recede and the appliance will be visibly exposed.

Schedule Consultations for Dental Implants

We suggest that you schedule two or three consultations with experienced implant dentists—preferably board-certified prosthodontists, because they specialize in tooth replacement and restorations.

  • Ask friends and family members for recommendations, and compare patient reviews.
  • In advance of your consultations, write down any questions you might have or record them in a mobile device. Ask the same questions of each specialist.
  • Compare your options, the estimated cost, and your interaction with each dentist.
  • Ask to see before-and-after pictures of each prosthodontist’s work for individual implants and implant-supported bridges.

You’ll learn about reliable alternatives to your partial denture that will be durable and natural looking.

This post is sponsored by Naperville implant dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.