How Long After Tooth Infection and Removal Before I Can Get an Implant?

How do I know that the infection is gone from a tooth that I had extracted? Is there a waiting period before I can receive a dental implant? I want to be sure that the infection is gone before putting an implant there to avoid having an infection with the implant. The dentist is ready to place the implant, but I just finished antibiotics. Is it safe to move forward? Thank you. Geoff from CT


When you have an infection in a tooth, other than a wisdom tooth, the tissue in the tooth dies. The infection exits through the bottom tip of the tooth root and goes into the bone.

Does Tooth Infection Remain After Extraction?

Extracting the tooth removes the source of the infection. Your body quickly eliminates the condition in the bone. Additionally, the extracted tooth leaves a drainage opening that inhibits the infection from lingering there.

Dental implant

It is rare to have a lingering infection after a basic extraction. Also, if you have finished antibiotics, your dentist prescribed them to ensure the infection is gone.

Infected wisdom teeth are different. In this case, the infection exists between the tooth and the gum. A dentist must remove both tissue and bone while removing an impacted wisdom tooth, and infection can spread to the surgical site. After the surgery, the wound is sutured closed. It is more likely to have an infection after the impacted wisdom tooth is removed, so dentists prescribe antibiotics to prevent it. But wisdom teeth do not get replaced with dental implants, so it is not an issue.

Although you are likely safe to get an implant, you can explain to your dentist that you want to wait a few weeks to ensure you have no symptoms. If your dentist is concerned about your comfort, they will wait.

Burba Dental Partners of Salem, Massachusetts, sponsors this post. We strive to offer some of the best dental care in the Boston area.

My Bulky Dental Bonding Nightmare

My teeth were stained and chipped, so my dentist offered dental bonding as a solution. She said that porcelain veneers were too aggressive. When she finished the bonded, my teeth looked bulky, and even my dentist agreed that the bonding changed my speech. She asked me to give it some time to see if I adjusted. Otherwise, she would remove the bonding.

Last week, my dentist removed the bulky bonding because I could not adjust to how it felt. Also, it made my smile look horrible. Now my teeth look worse before. Not only do I still have chips in my teeth, but they also look patchy. I’m not sure if my dentist knows what she is doing, so I am afraid to let her try again. But what do I ask for from a new dentist – bonding or veneers? Thank you. Shan F. from NJ


Thank you for your question. One of our dentists would need to examine your teeth to see what happened, but we can over some advice.

How Can Bulky Dental Bonding Affect Your Smile?

When dental bonding is too bulky, it can affect you in several ways:

  • Interferes with your speech
  • Creates an unattractive smile
  • Traps food and can lead to tooth decay or disease

Removing Dental Bonding

A skilled cosmetic dentist knows which tools and techniques to use to remove composite bonding without damaging your tooth enamel. Your description sounds as if your dentist might have removed a small amount of tooth enamel.

Rather than covering teeth with veneers as shown, a cosmetic dentist may renew them with veneers

Instead of allowing your dentist to correct her work, we recommend that you schedule a consultation with an advanced cosmetic dentist who will look at your teeth and recommend treatment. Eventually, you will need an examination and possibly x-rays to look for any damage to your teeth. Afterward, the dentist will explain your options and how bonding and porcelain veneers compare.

The cosmetic dentist at Burba Dental Partners of Salem, Massachusetts, sponsored this post. Please read what our doctors do to help deliver some of the best dental care in the Boston area.

Why Does My Partial Denture Rock When I Chew?

I went directly through the lab my dentist uses to get my new partial denture. My old partial lasted eight years until I broke it. I bypassed my dentist for the new partial because the lab does a good job, and I knew it could save the lab and me some money if we cut out the middleman. Well, the partial has too much plastic backing that it is uncomfortable, and the plate is too short, so the partial rocks when I chew. The lab tried several times to fix this issue, but they told me that I needed to go through my dentist if I wanted anything different. Why would they agree to do my partial denture if they don’t want to get it right? – Thanks. Dennis W. from Indiana


Thank you for your question.

It is illegal for a lab to make a partial denture, complete denture, or any restoration without a prescription from your dentist. Although you asked the lab to make the partial denture for you to save money, they should have refused. But the lab knows the legal requirements, so they are primarily at fault.

What Causes a Partial Denture to Rock?

Partial denture for lower front teeth
A cosmetic dentist can take accurate impressions of your mouth for a denture that fits well

If the framework of a partial denture is distorted, the appliance can rock. A dentist takes an impression of your mouth, makes an accurate model of your teeth, and transmits the information to the lab to make your partial denture. Lab techs do not receive training to take impressions, so they cannot make a precisely fitting appliance without your dentist’s help.

If you want a refund, you can tell the lab that you will report the issue to the state dental board. They will probably agree to refund you. Afterward, please return to your dentist or the dentist of your choice to make a new partial denture that will fit well, be as comfortable as possible, and not rock when you chew.

Burba Dental Partners of Salem, Massachusetts, sponsors this post.

Will Facial Sagging from Missing Teeth Improve with New Dentures?

Will facial sagging from missing teeth improve with new dentures? I am 52 years old and missing all my teeth. I wore dentures for four years, but after a mishap, I could not afford new ones. I already can tell that my bone is shrinking and wonder if getting new dentures will improve the sagging. Hopefully, I will get some good news from you. Thank you. L. Sellers

Hello, L. Sellers,

Thank you for your question.

Will Dentures Improve Facial Sagging from Missing Teeth?

Dentures will improve facial sagging from missing teeth if you receive implant dentures. Also, if you have experienced a lot of bone shrinkage, you may need grafting to build up the bone to support your facial muscles and dental implants.

What Causes Facial Sagging When Teeth Are Missing?

When all your teeth are missing, your face will sag as your jawbone shrinks. Why does your jawbone shrink? Consider the facts:

  • Tooth roots stimulate and preserve the jawbone.
  • When your teeth are missing, jawbone stimulation stops.
  • Your body begins to resorb the bone and use the minerals from it elsewhere.
  • With less jawbone to support your facial muscles, your face starts to sag.

How Can You Prevent Facial Sagging?

You can prevent facial sagging when all your teeth are missing by supporting your dentures with dental implants. Implants are artificial tooth roots that stimulate the bone and limit shrinkage. Two to six dental implants can support a denture. A denture can snap onto two implants or screw onto four or more implants.

Snap on Dentures
Snap-on denture

So, rather than new dentures preventing facial sagging, bone grafting and implant overdentures are the solutions. But please do not shop around for the lowest cost. Cheap implants can loosen, get infected, and fail. Look for a dentist with advanced training who will use a three-dimensional CT scan to plan for and place your implants precisely.

Burba Dental Partners of Salem, Massachusetts, sponsors this post. Please read why our patients think we provide some of the best dental care in the Boston area.