Dental implants have become one of the most popular choices for patients who need to replace some or all of their teeth. The implant itself is nothing more than a new tooth root (made of titanium) that is placed where the old tooth root used to live under the gum. A new crown can be connected to the implant to help complete the replacement of a lost tooth. There are a number of factors to consider when determining the most ideal timing to have a dental implant placed.
Traditionally, when a tooth was removed, the empty socket was filled with a bone graft material to help regrow bone in the location. This area was left alone for a period of time before a second surgery was performed to place the dental implant in position. The implant then would require time to heal (typically 3-6 months) before a final crown could be made and the new tooth used normally.
In many circumstances, the dental implant can be placed into the extraction site at the same time the tooth is extracted. A number of benefits can be achieved utilizing this technique. It has been shown that when a tooth or teeth are removed, that the bone in the area shrinks away. This occurs quickly at first and then slowly over a long period of time. A good example of this is a patient who has their teeth removed and receives a denture. At first the denture fits snugly, but over time as the gum and bone shrink away, the denture becomes loose. This is where the companies who make denture glue step in. The glue can be squeezed in the denture to help fill the voids and improve the looseness of the denture, trying to offset the impact the bone loss has had.
Benefits of Placing the Implant
at the Time of Extraction:
The most obvious benefit of placing an implant at the time of extraction is avoiding the need for an additional surgery (for some unknown reason most patients seem to like this benefit). In this case, the overall treatment time may be shorter and the final crown received sooner.
The key benefit to the surgeon is BONE. We like to work in areas with as much bone as possible. Research has revealed that if a dental implant is placed in the extracted tooth site at the time the tooth is removed, that the bone in the area may be “fooled” and not start the shrinkage process. When it comes to dental implants, bone is of the utmost importance. Preserving bone in areas around structures such as nerves or sinuses gives an increased zone of safety.
It is important to understand that every situation is different and that in some cases placement of an implant at the time of extraction may not be possible or preferred. For example, in a case where significant infection is present, more traditional extraction and bone grafting may be indicated prior to implant placement (therefore delaying the implant until healthy bone develops).
Proper diagnosis and treatment planning between your dentist and surgeon can help determine if you a good candidate for this type of procedure. Typically, the use of in-office 3D scans can help your surgeon determine your exact situation and what treatment may be ideal for you.
Lee R. Cohen, D.D.S., M.S., M.S., is a Dual Board Certified Periodontal and Dental Implant Surgeon. He is a graduate of Emory University and New York University College of Dentistry.
Dr. Cohen completed his surgical training at the University of Florida / Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. He served as Chief Resident and currently holds a staff appointment as a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Periodontics and Dental Implantology. Dr. Cohen lectures, teaches and performs clinical research on topics related to his surgical specialty.
The focus of his interests are conservative approaches to treating gum, bone and tooth loss. He utilizes advanced techniques including the use of the Periolase Dental Laser (LANAP procedure) to help save teeth and treat periodontal disease without the use of traditional surgical procedures. Additionally, he uses
in-office, state of the art 3D CT imaging to develop the least invasive dental implant and bone regeneration treatment options. Dr. Cohen and his facility are state certified to perform both IV and Oral Sedation procedures.
Dr. Cohen formerly served on the Board of Trustees for the American Academy of Periodontology and the Florida Dental Association. He is past president of the Florida Association of Periodontists and the Atlantic Coast District Dental Association. In addition, Dr. Cohen has been awarded Fellowship in the American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists and the Pierre Fauchard Academy.
Lee R. Cohen, D.D.S., M.S., M.S.
4520 Donald Ross Road, Suite 110
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418