One of my molars has decayed below my gumline, and both my regular dentist and a specialist I saw said it has to be removed and replaced with a dental implant. I don’t have insurance and want to spread the cost of the two procedures out as much as I can. How long can I wait to get the dental implant after I have the molar removed?
Theodore in Grand Falls
Dear Theodore –
A few things will affect the timing of your dental implant after your molar is fully extracted. First, you must wait for the infection in the socket to heal. As soon as possible after the infection has cleared, you should have the root form placed. I know you wished to take more time, but I would advise you to keep the delay to a minimum. Here’s why.
After just a few weeks, the teeth surrounding the site of a lost tooth will begin to “tip” into the space, and the corresponding tooth in the opposite jaw (the opposing tooth) will begin trying to grow into the space. All of these are natural movements. Our teeth will naturally shift to touch their neighbors, and meet the teeth in the opposite jaw. If left too long, the shifting of teeth due to the missing tooth can cause headaches and TMJ pain, and can be very costly to repair.
The root form of the implant also needs several weeks to heal and to integrate into the bone of your jaw, so your dentist will need to fit you with a temporary tooth to help hold the space. A dental flipper, which is a simple resin tooth mounted on an acrylic plate, would be effective.
Your dentist may be able to work out financial arrangements with you to make your very necessary dental care more affordable. Good luck!