Having a missing tooth can cause several problems, no matter if the tooth is lost in an accident or removed during a surgical procedure. Not only can tooth avulsion or extraction be painful and embarrassing, it can cause many issues with your bone structure and facial appearance. Replacing a missing tooth with an artificial substitute, such as a dental implant or bridge, is the next step after losing a tooth or having a tooth removed. It is best not to wait very long to have the tooth replaced after the tooth was removed, because the bone underneath the open socket can begin to deteriorate. Why is this?
What Can Happen To The Bone
Having a strong bone underneath the problem area is necessary for dental implants to be successful. If you are missing a tooth, it is best to visit your dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible. They can determine whether or not you are able to undergo the dental implant surgery or not. Your oral surgeon will inspect the area and take x-rays to determine if the bone underneath the empty socket can adequately host a dental implant. The surgeons will assess the following questions: Is the bone thick enough? Does the bone go deep enough? Is the bone wide enough?
Sometimes, the oral surgeon may find that the bone may not be able to successfully support a dental implant, due to the length of time it took a person to come in and replace the tooth. If the location that needs the dental implant is considered to be inadequate, bone grafting may be needed to improve the quality of the surgical site. In a bone grafting procedure, the implant site can be improved by building up the area with natural bone granules..
Recovery Time and Other Causes
The recovery time can depend on the amount of damage and number of teeth missing. If only one tooth is missing, a patient typically has to recover for a few weeks before the dental implant process can begin. If there are multiple teeth missing and there is significant bone loss or damage, the recovery process will be extended, due to the amount of bone that has to be regenerated. After the recovery process, an oral surgeon can begin the dental implant process and the patient will be well on their way to restoring their smile.
Though the need for bone grafting is commonly associated with patients who have waited too long of a time period before addressing their lost tooth, there are other causes to bone deterioration that can call for the bone grafting procedure. For example, advanced gum disease can cause bone loss or damage. The infection that forms around teeth and gums can lead to bone deterioration or even tooth loss over time. If you are experiencing any pain, discomfort or notice any difference in facial appearance, it is best to contact an oral surgeon immediately. You may be in need of bone grafting surgery, as well.
If you have any questions regarding bone grafting or the dental implant procedure, please feel free to contact Austin Oral Surgery at 512-402-6677 today!