Along with all the hoopla about dental implants and their advantages in replacing missing teeth comes the new promise of “teeth in a day”.
Many patients are aware of the advantages of dental implants—95%+ success rate, 30+ year lifespan, preserved height and quality of bone and gum support, improved esthetics and function over a conventional denture. The one main disadvantage of implants is the fact that, depending on the patient, it can take up to 3 to 6 months to have a temporary restoration placed and up to 9 to 12 months for placement of the final, usable crowns or dentures. Much of this timeline involves healing of the extraction and/or bone graft site before placement of the implant, and then a period of integration for the implant before it is “loaded” with the chewing weight and stress of normal function. For some patients, this method may still be necessary to provide the best, long-term and esthetic results.
For many patients, though, who have adequate height and quality of bone and no extensive tooth decay or other periodontal issues, teeth in a day provides a convenient, two-step process that could see a permanent restoration placed within three months.
The first appointment involves the extraction (and perhaps light bone grafting), if necessary, and placement of the implant and a healing abutment. A temporary crown or bridge is then placed on this healing abutment, providing an esthetic finish to the potentially empty space. The patient walks out of the office with a crown in place and no-one is the wiser. In many cases, the permanent restoration can be placed in as little as 6 weeks.
It is important that patients who opt for this “teeth in a day” procedure follow their post-operative instructions to ensure proper integration of the implant. Proper oral hygiene practices need to be followed, and no chewing is allowed on the temporary crown. Not following these instructions can lead to food or bacteria compromising the health of the supporting gum and bone for the implant, and the stress of chewing could compromise the success of osseointegration (the process where the titanium implant actually fuses to the bone).
If you would like to find out if you’re a candidate for “teeth in day”, please talk to one of our Wellesley Dental Arts. One of our dental specialists must evaluate your mouth before providing any form of treatment suggestion or estimate of cost of treatment.