Is There Bone Loss with Delayed Implant Placement?

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Conventional tooth rehabilitation treatments such as fixed partial dentures, removable partial dentures, and composite retained inlay partial dentures are associated with a number of problems related to stability and retention of prosthesis, esthetics, eating difficulties, and even psychological problems. Besides the risk of complications, these treatments also involve the damage of healthy adjacent teeth, plus they don’t stimulate the underlying jawbone to prevent bone loss.

Because of these challenges, patients often suffer reduced self-confidence and develop psychological problems. Fortunately, implants have addressed most of these challenges, while allowing for immediate restoration after tooth extraction so patients can continue with their normal life without having to suffer the psychological trauma of being toothless. Immediate implants also offer the benefit of reduced treatment time.

While implants help to prevent bone loss by facilitating bone regeneration, some patients are concerned that delayed placement – implant placement after the soft tissue has healed completely – may result in bone loss compared to if the implant were to be placed right after tooth extraction.

Immediate implant placement

Immediate implants are placed between 0 and 7 days following tooth extraction. Various studies show that implants placed in fresh extraction sockets using standard implant placement techniques have a success rate of between 93.9 and 100 percent. Additionally, studies show that patients go through successful osseointegration and complete bone healing after immediate implant placement after extraction and without incision.

Comparison with delayed implant placement

Implant placement is considered delayed if it occurs between 6 weeks and 6 months following extraction. In one study comparing the effects of immediate placement to those of 2-4 weeks delayed placement, it was revealed that there was marginal bone loss for the latter group at different time intervals even after implant placement (0.5mm at the 4th week and 1.28mm at the 12th week). However, patients who had immediate implant placement did not experience any bony loss at any interval.

Final note

Although studies show marginal bone loss in delayed implants, they also show continuous bone resorption over time for both immediate and delay implants. Additionally, there is no difference in bone loss between a fresh socket placed implant and a delay placed implant in the same conditions. So, delayed implant placement does not necessarily cause the patient to suffer additional bone loss beyond that experienced at the time of tooth extraction.

Please contact our Calgary-based Canadian Denture and Implant Centres for further assistance from our denture specialists, and to learn more about available options for replacing your teeth.