After a tooth extraction, patients often have to wait weeks for their jaw to heal before implanting a new tooth—leaving you with an empty socket for quite some time. According to the experienced oral surgeons at Anchorage’s Oral Surgery Associates of Alaska, many patients should have the space filled with a dental implant soon to prevent shifting and maintain a natural appearance. Thanks to advancements in technology, the waiting period doesn’t have to be so long.
Jaw Bone Healing Process
Once a tooth is removed, the jaw bone is exposed within the socket. The healing process starts immediately, as blood fills the socket and eventually forms a blood clot. Within a few days, the socket will be filled with soft tissue. However, it will take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for the jaw bone to grow completely within the socket. The time it takes depends on the extent of the extraction and how the socket heals.
Reducing Jaw Bone Healing Time
About a decade ago, most patients would have to wait for their jaw bones to heal naturally before a dental implant could be securely placed. While patience and natural healing is still commonplace, the recent development of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy has introduced an innovative way to speed up bone growth.
PRP therapy uses the patient’s blood to deliver platelets to injured tissue. When PRP is applied to the socket after oral surgery, it can promote rapid healing and bone density growth. As a result, many dental professionals have begun exploring PRP therapy as an efficient way to reduce the time between teeth extraction and dental implant procedures.
When Significant Bone Loss Occurs
In some cases, jaw bones can prove too weak or too insufficient to support a successful dental implant. If this happens, your oral surgeon may recommend a bone graft, which will replace the missing jaw bone. It’s important to note that bone grafts require extra steps and healing time—which may push your implant procedure farther into the future.
If you need teeth extraction or dental implants in Anchorage, AK, Oral Surgery Associates of Alaska can offer reliable care at every stage of removal and replacement. As oral surgery specialists, they are equipped with the expertise and resources that help ensure patients heal properly and enjoy a healthy, comfortable, and natural-looking smile. Visit them online to learn more about their services or call (907) 561-1430 to schedule a consultation.