The loss of a tooth can be traumatic. Many people report the same feelings of loss and depression that go along with losing other body parts, such as a limb. Some people may also feel guilty. Combine this with anxiety about the extraction itself, and some people tend to postpone getting a tooth extracted, even after they learn the tooth can’t be restored and needs to go.
However, a new study shows that there are good reasons not to wait for having a tooth extracted. It showed that waiting to have teeth extracted was associated with long healing times. This may also increase the risk for a rare, but serious, dental implant complication.
Waiting Leads to Longer Healing
For this study, researchers looked at 426 patients age 60 and up who had a tooth extracted. They compared healing periods for people who waited two months or more to have their teeth extracted to those who had their tooth extracted within one month. They found that waiting two months was linked to a more than sevenfold increase in delayed wound healing beyond 8 weeks.
This effect was not linked to age, nor was it linked to the use of osteoporosis medications (bisphosphonates). It was linked to kyphosis (rounded spine) as a substitute for broken spine. Kyphosis was linked to a fivefold increase in delayed wound healing risk.
An Even More Serious Risk
However, delayed healing might not be the only risk you face from waiting you have your tooth extracted. That’s because delayed healing is related to osteonecrosis of the jawbone (ONJ). As the name implies, this is a condition in which the jawbone begins to die. Once it starts, ONJ can lead to significant damage to your jawbone. Your jaw may waste away.
In rare cases, ONJ can be set off by dental implants. This can lead to implant failure. It can turn into multiple implant failure and may damage much of your jaws. We don’t want to do anything to increase the risk of this complication. That means, in part, that we should strive to get your tooth extracted as soon as we know it is necessary.
Look Forward to Your New Smile
One way to try to get past the trauma of a lost tooth is to focus on tooth replacement. Replacing a lost tooth with a dental implant can help reduce the emotional impact of your loss. Because a dental implant looks and functions like a natural tooth. It attaches to your bone and literally becomes a part of you. That helps you move on emotionally past the loss.
If you have lost a tooth or need to have a tooth extracted, we urge you to act quickly. This can improve your outcomes, help with healing after implants. and it can reduce the time you dwell on the loss before enjoying the replacement.
To learn more about the benefits of tooth replacement with dental implants, please call (610) 272-0828 today for an appointment with Blue Bell implant dentist Dr. Kenneth Siegel at Dental Excellence of Blue Bell.