Options After Healing
Whether or not the empty socket is visible, your new smile and the landscape of your mouth may take some getting used to. Luckily, you have options to help restore your smile following the extraction. Talk to your dentist and together you can come up with a solution that works for your lifestyle and oral health.
Remember, the extraction site must be healed before your dentist can go to work. This usually takes around six weeks, the University of Iowa College of Dentistry estimates, as bone must grow in to fortify the extraction site while new gum tissue develops to protect the socket. Once the site has healed, you can choose from options that reflect how many teeth you've had extracted and what your dentist believes will be the best version of restoration. These include:
- Dental implants. A metal post is attached into the newly formed bone and the site receives a singular crown to help fill in a gap. This works best if the extraction involved a single extracted tooth.
- Bridges. Dental bridges are used when one or two teeth are essentially anchored to the healthy teeth beside the site, which is helpful if you've had more than one tooth removed.
- Dentures. Full or partial dentures are used when several teeth have been removed. Dentures can be both removable or permanent; talk to your dentist to decide on the best option for you.
Having a tooth extracted may seem stressful, but your dentist wouldn't suggest the procedure unless it was the right course of action. It might change your smile for a few weeks, but with consistent aftercare, you'll be able to choose a restoration option that makes you feel confident about your new smile.