If you are planning to replace a lost tooth with a dental implant, you may want to have the implantation procedure performed as soon as possible. Here are a few reasons why.
Your Jawbone Atrophies While You Wait
Once the tooth is missing from its socket in the bone of the jaw, it can no longer transmit pressure to the bone. When teeth are in place, they experience pressure as they bite and crush food. This pressure is transferred to the jawbone, where it encourages the production of new jawbone cells. However, when a tooth is lost, the jawbone's production of new cells wanes due to the lack of stimulation.
Without a steady supply of additional cells, the jawbone begins to shrink. This shrinkage often negatively affects the appearance of the face since the bone supports the soft tissues of the cheeks and jaws.
Nevertheless, in the absence of a natural tooth, a dental implant can continue the stimulation that the jawbone needs to remain thick and vibrant. The implant rests in the bone of the jaw, where it integrates with the bone tissue. The connection and positioning of the implant allow the device to easily transfer the bite forces involved in chewing.
An Implant Wound Takes Time to Heal
After the placement of an implant, the resulting wound takes a few months to heal. Thus, the complete restoration of the lost tooth may not be immediate. Many people may not consider that additional time must transpire after the initial implant surgery before the implant is considered fully functional.
During the healing process, osseointegration takes place. The successful integration of the implant with the bone is necessary in order for the device to remain secure during mastication. Once the implant wound is healed, the dentist can contour the gums, add an abutment, and connect the crown-replacement device. The sooner an implant is placed, the sooner the restoration process is complete.
Your Teeth Could Shift
Without a tooth to occupy space along your palate, other teeth may begin to migrate from their original positions. Each tooth in the mouth serves as a placeholder, preventing other teeth from moving into an already-occupied space. However, the teeth may begin to shift when additional space is available for movement.
Nevertheless, if a dental implant is placed before the teeth begin to migrate, the alignment of the teeth can be preserved.
To learn more about dental implants, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.