Going as little as 12 months with a missing tooth (including extractions) causes the bone to atrophy (that is, bone density and height decrease and deteriorate) almost immediately. To successfully get a dental implant, you need enough bone to support the post. So, depending on how long your tooth has been missing, you may not have enough bone remaining.
Another unwanted consequence of postponing dental implants comes with the positioning of your teeth as your other teeth shift in response to changes in the mouth, including missing teeth. So, when you wait too long to get a dental implant, there might not be adequate space for the new tooth. Also, the opposing tooth without a partner can erupt out of your arch and cause issues with your bite. The eruption issues can also cause temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ or TMD) – which causes chronic pain in your jaw.