Dental implants are the best replacement for natural teeth. Traditionally, when a tooth must be removed, a bone graft is placed in the tooth's socket to fill the space. This bone graft requires a few months to heal before an implant can be placed. Once the implant is surgically placed, you'll need another 2-3 months of healing before the implant can be restored with a crown (cap). This traditional protocol takes 4-6 months from the time of tooth removal to your very last visit where the crown is seated. During this period of time, you'll still have an empty space (gap) where the implant was placed, because while it's healing, there is no crown on it. To fill the gap while you're healing, you can either leave the gap empty, or have a temporary, removable tooth placed. Alternatively, you may be a candidate for an IMMEDIATE implant.
An immediate implant can save months from your total treatment time by bypassing the step where a bone graft is placed in the socket after tooth removal. In this scenario, the tooth is removed, and a dental implant is placed directly in the socket, achieving stability by engaging the existing socket walls. Usually, some bone grafting is required around the implant to fill the small gaps. BUT, the benefit is that, after a period of 2-3 months, the implant is ready to be restored with a crown. This saves 2-3 months of total treatment time.
Not everyone is a candidate for an immediate implant. Your oral surgeon will evaluate your X-rays to determine if your tooth's socket has sufficient bone to accommodate an immediate implant.
At Providence Oral Surgery, Dr. Parelli is an expert in immediate implant placement. During your consultation appointment at our Waxhaw office, Dr. Parelli will evaluate your specific needs, review your X-rays with you, and discuss all possible treatment options.