Published On: February 10, 2022Categories: Dental Implants1008 words5.1 min readTags:

This is quite a common question our patients ask us. When a tooth has a poor prognosis (unlikely to be saved) the best course of action may be to have that tooth removed (extracted). This will invariably leave a gap in the mouth. As dental professionals, it is part of our duty of care to always discuss gap management options prior to removing a tooth. We will always endeavour to look after your natural teeth for as long as possible, and a tooth extraction is often carried out as a last resort.

Replacement Of Missing Teeth

Just as it says on the tin, the gap management options are various options that may be suitable for you to fill the new gap in your mouth. It’s important to discuss these before the extraction so you can have the appropriate treatment plan in place, or that you are fully aware of what it will mean if you leave the gap as it is.

The most common types of options for a gap are:

Dental implants after extraction

Now the last option may sound like a bit of a crazy choice that a dentist would give you. But it is an option we must give, as per the regulations we are governed by. That being said, the reason why leaving the gap is not the recommend choice is because what happens when a tooth is lost. We suffer from what is known as bone resorption, which is when the bone starts to fade away in our jaw, which can lead to further tooth loss with the surrounding teeth.

Bone Resorption

When we have our natural teeth and we eat food, the motion of chewing sends vibrations into the jaw which promotes healthy bone growth. You take the tooth out of the equation, and you lose those vibrations, and that is when the bone starts to fade. So imagine having a tooth extracted and leaving that gap. Overtime the bone loss will start to cause the surrounding teeth to feel mobile, and that can eventually lead to those teeth coming out, and then it repeats again with further bone loss, effecting further surrounding teeth (it can be quite the vicious cycle). Now leaving the gap as it is, is an option, but we wouldn’t be doing our jobs without fully informing our patients on what this could mean for them.

You may of heard when you have a traditional full denture that the once well-fitted denture, starts to feel loose & uncomfortable. This is down to the same reasons as above. Without our natural teeth, the bone will start to fade away. So imagine having a perfect denture made for your mouth which fits well & feels comfortable. Now imagine the base of that denture, which was made for the exact shape of your gum ridges in your mouth. The denture itself hasn’t changed, but overtime your mouth has due to the bone resorption. So the denture will need to be relined to fit the new shape of your mouth. It is an ongoing process and how fast it effects us, will vary from patient to patient.

We have gone off topic a bit, but it is important to understand of the changes we go through once a tooth has been extracted. So you can make the best informed decision about going ahead with a treatment option.

Time To Heal

When we remove a tooth, it is classed as minor oral surgery and does require the mouth to recover before an implant is placed. It can usually take up to 10 weeks for the mouth to fully recover, but in some instances, a patient may be suitable for an extraction and implant placement on the same day. It really depends on your mouth and teeth, but our friendly dentist, Dr Nikhil Oberai, will asses and discuss the options with you.

Another factor to consider is if you are planning on having a dental implant, to have the extraction by the same dentist who is placing them. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t, but advisable, because an implant dentist will take the tooth out whilst considering an implant will need to be placed in this site.

What Makes a Successful Implant Placement

Placing an implant is not a case of we see you, and then pop the implant in there and then. It requires thorough planning to ensure it is A) successful B) functional and C) aesthetically pleasing (blending in nicely with your smile). The reason why dental implants have a high success rate of around 95% is because each case includes a full case assessment and any necessary x-rays and scans prior to the implant being placed. We will have pre planned the implant placement before you even sit in the chair for the implant or implants to be placed.

Our jaws are made up of soft tissue, nerve pathways, bone, sinus cavities (upper jaw). All of this needs to be taken into consideration when placing any implants.

Did you know that implants also come in different sizes?

This is because when placing the implants into different areas of the mouth, we will want to avoid various anatomical structures that could be perforated by a longer implant e.g maxillary sinuses, nerve canals etc. Every patient we see is different, and there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to dental implants. This is why the planning stage is so crucial in ensuring you have a successful implant placement.

But fear not, you will be in great hands with Dr Nikhil Oberai. He is not only an experienced implant surgeon but he also trains other dentists on how to place and successfully restore the implants (fitting the new teeth). The first step is to book in for a free consultation to have a friendly chat about the options that are suitable for you. Please do not hesitate to either call us on 01625 523 524 or fill out our short webform below.

how soon after tooth extraction can you have an implant