Dental Implant Years After Extraction?
If you have one or more missing teeth, you know that there are certain aesthetic and health risks that you might experience. The absence of a tooth generates a space that the other teeth will try to fill by moving. Neighboring teeth are at risk of moving when lying down, which causes spaces with other teeth, thus problems with food jams and increased probabilities of new cavities arise in addition to any pain, self-consciousness, or discomfort you might feel as well.
Consequences on chewing and digestion:
This is an obvious aspect. When a tooth fails, a pair of teeth becomes non-functional since the teeth work in pairs to grind or cut food. Chewing will then be less alternated between the toothed sector and the edentulous sector. The teeth of the most toothed sector, privileged for eating, tire and wear out more quickly. When several teeth are missing, masticatory function is impaired. Digestion becomes more difficult since the food bolus is not reduced enough before passing into the stomach.
Consequences on speech:
Teeth are involved in phonation (the production of speech sounds). The tongue normally rests on certain teeth to pronounce certain sounds. The absence of certain teeth can even cause air leaks when speaking, therefore risk of sputtering as well.
Consequences on posture and musculoskeletal disorders:
Occlusion, that is, the way the upper teeth (maxillary teeth) mesh with the lower teeth (mandibular teeth) contributes to good posture. A dental absence can cause a functional and therefore muscular and articular imbalance. Masticatory muscles that no longer work symmetrically can become painful. This can lead to various side effects:
- muscle pain
- pain in the temporomandiblar joints (just in front of the ears) and crackling
- neck and/or back pain, by compensation
- eye tension by compensation of the muscles that move the eyes
Consequences on bone and gums:
Much of the jaw bone (mandible and maxilla) serves to support the teeth. After an extraction, since there is locally no more tooth to support, the bone and the gum will atrophy locally. It can even be complicated to position implants after too long a delay because the resorption becomes too great. In this case, it becomes necessary to resort to bone grafts.
If it has been a while since you lost your tooth, that is ok. Generally, you will still be able to get dental implants. However, there might be more steps to the procedure, which will extend not only the time it will take to restore your smile from start to finish, but also will increase cost and could possibly add discomfort, as many of the additional procedures, such as bone grafts, can be uncomfortable.
Before an implant, regardless of how long ago you lost your tooth, your dentist or oral surgeon will do in-depth examinations of your existing mouth structure, which will include making sure you have enough jawbone left in the area of the missing tooth or teeth to support and implant. If you do not, then they will recommend a bone graft. The longer you wait to replace a missing tooth, the more likely this scenario will be.