Hi. I had a tooth extraction after about a year of problems with a root canal. That is a long time for an infection, so I’m wondering how long I need to wait to get my implants placed? Also should i take antibiotics?
Beth Q.- Santa Clarita, CA
When your tooth becomes infected, the tissue inside the tooth dies. There is a spot at the apex of the root where the infection can creep into the surrounding bone. Fortunately, your body fights that off very well. Once your tooth is extracted, the source of the infection is removed and your body goes to work quickly eliminating the remaining infection in your bone. An additional benefit of the extracted tooth is there is now a wide drainage hole into the bone that is now the heart of the infection. These factors mean there are rarely problems of residual infection after a basic extraction.
Impacted/infected wisdom teeth are separate cases. Instead of the infection being inside the tooth, it is actually in the space between the tooth and the gum. On top of that, the removal of a wisdom tooth requires cutting into the surrounding bone and tissue, which gives an additional opportunity for the infection to spread. In these cases it is not uncommon to have complications with infection, and dentists generally prescribe antibiotics during the healing time to prevent problems with infection.
So, the answer to your question depends on which type of extraction you had.
I will offer one other piece of advice, though you didn’t ask. Be careful who you have do your dental implants. There are many horror stories from people who didn’t realize the dental implants are an unregulated part of dentistry. Any dentist can place them, whether they are qualified or not. You want to get someone who has a lot of dental implant qualifications, such as taking courses from LVI. If it is a very visible tooth, you’ll also want to make sure your dentist also is an artistic cosmetic dentist, so you won’t be disappointed with the way your new prosthetic tooth looks.
This blog is brought to Grosse Pointe Woods dentist Dr. Theodore Hadgis.