“Same-Day Dental Implants” “Single-Visit Dental Implants” “Implants In A Day”
While all these terms promote dental implants in an appealing, quick-&-easy way, in reality, the majority of implants require the same process; one that cannot be boiled down to a single step.
Dental implants are designed to replace missing natural teeth with a “new” tooth that is supported by the jaw bone. This gives replacement teeth a sturdy, dependable foundation, like that of natural teeth. Unlike dentures or partials that sit on top of the gums, the implanted portion is what restores biting and chewing strength and stability.
However, positioning an implant into the bone is but one part of the process. Before the final replacement teeth are attached and ultimately provide desired function, the implants must be secured by the bone in which it is placed.
I believe it is important for patients to understand the stages, especially when there are perceptions of a one-appointment process. And, to clarify, you CAN have an implant placed and a tooth (or bridge or denture) attached in a single day. Typically, the tooth or teeth attached to a newly placed implant are temporaries and not designed for full function.
To understand the process, it is similar to that required for a crown. During a crowning procedure, we reshape the natural tooth and place a “temporary” over it while the final porcelain tooth is created by a renowned dental lab we’ve relied on for years. This provides our patient with a crown that is highly durable and provides an exceptional look, feel and function.
The “temporary” is designed to provide the appearance of a tooth and to protect the reshaped (and sometimes more sensitive) natural tooth awaiting the final crown. Patients are cautioned to chew fairly soft foods and to avoid sticky foods such as caramels, “gummy” treats, and chewing gum. The adhesive that holds this tooth is also designed to give way when the final crown is ready for placement so removal doesn’t disrupt the remaining tooth structure.
In dental implant treatment, it’s a slightly similar process, even with same-day implants. The implants are placed and then a temporary is typically placed over it so the patient doesn’t have missing teeth during the “healing” process.
What is the “healing” process?
This describes the time after the implant is placed while the bone grows around it, securing it in place. This process is known as osseo-integration. This step in the process is very important, but can take several months to complete.
During this stage, patients can wear their temporary tooth or teeth or even a full denture; being without teeth should never be a worry. Yet, patients are cautioned to tread gently when it comes to eating to allow the bone to grow around the implant in an efficient process.
Yes, we can place your implants and, for many patients, attach a tooth in the same appointment. However, this option is not ideal for every situation. What is in your best interest, for a successful result, may be an implant system that has nothing attached to the implant while healing.
In these situations, the implant is covered over with gum tissue and allowed to heal for several months with nothing attached. This may be a case that involves the patient continuing to wear his or her denture, partial, or crown-&-bridge during the time. Again, our goal is to help you feel confident with your smile during the healing phase and to be able to eat a reasonable diet comfortably.
One particular implant system is ideal in the “same day” process — the All On 4. This is an option for people who are missing all of their upper or lower teeth. And, it works well for those who have lost bone mass. Long-time denture wearers often have experienced a decline in jaw bone mass due to resorption. This is a shrinkage of bone from the lack of stimulation once provided by natural tooth roots.
People who wear dentures are often unaware that the pressure of them on the bone “ridge” actually accelerates the process of resorption. With shallow bone, implant placement may not be an option with other implant systems.
The All On Four system uses uniquely-designed implants that are placed at strategic points and angles. Using just 4 implants, this design is able to support a full denture. And, the denture can be attached the same day of placement. In some cases, the individual’s current denture can be reconfigured for use, so creating a new denture is not always required.
One of the best things about implants is their longevity. Properly chosen and maintained, a dental implant is designed to last a lifetime. Too, the attached teeth will not experience cavities, never need a root canal nor cause problems for neighboring teeth. While implants may seem to be a larger investment upfront, dental implants are actually a savings down the road.
Because dental implants are held by the jaw bone, they also help to halt the process for bone loss. And, as in crown-&-bridge combinations, they do not reply on neighboring teeth to serve as supports for replacement teeth.
Dental fear is a common reason many people hesitate or avoid looking into replacing teeth. Unfortunately, it is this same fear that is often the reason people lose teeth in the first place. When adults are too afraid to have regular dental care, the eventual results can be gum disease and tooth loss.
In our Shelby Township dental office, we offer I.V. or oral sedation, which enables fearful patients to move forward with much-needed dentistry and tooth repairs or replacement. Sedation, along with our other comfort options, provide a way for high fear patients to relax before and throughout their procedure.
If you are contemplating dental implants or any tooth replacement option, begin with a no cost, no obligation private session by calling 586-739-2155 or tap here to begin. During this time, we will discuss your individual needs and goals. From there, I’ll explain options best for you and answer your questions so you can determine how you wish to proceed.
If desired, we can also have our Insurance Coordinator and Financial Coordinator meet with you to discuss easy payment plans and coverages available.