Loosing a tooth is an emotionally difficult experience which makes its quick replacement a priority for most people. How long you should wait before an implant can be placed depends on the location of the extracted tooth and the integrity and quality of its supporting bone. There are three basic timelines:
Immediate replacement with an implant
If the extracted tooth is an incisor, canine, or a narrow-rooted premolar with healthy surrounding bone and no major infection, it may be possible to place an implant immediately at the time of the extraction. This is known as immediate implant and is quite successful as long as it is done in right circumstances. The implant is usually ready for the final crown in three to six months.
Early implant placement
If the extracted tooth is a molar or a multi-rooted premolar with healthy surrounding bone, then it is best to delay the implant placement for two to three months. During this period, the bone heals and the site becomes better suited to accept an implant. While this means a second surgery, the implant success becomes much more predictable. Early implant placement may also be appropriate for incisors or canines if they have very wide roots or when immediate implant placement is simply too risky for a variety of reasons.
Delayed implant placement
If there is bone loss due to gum disease or infection, then it is best to extract the tooth, clean the site, and then graft the extraction site to rebuild its proper form and architecture. After a five to six month healing period, the implant may then be placed.
Depending on the area of the mouth and quality of the bone, dental implants can take from two to six months to heal before they can be ready for restorations. There is no prize for being fast. It’s better to be predictable and successful in the long term. Ask your oral surgeon and restorative dentist for the most appropriate treatment option. The implant should be a lifetime solution, so if necessary, it is better to slow down and stage your treatment.