“Teeth In A Day”®: Too Good To Be True?
Most of us have heard of dental implants and “teeth in a day”, but what does this phrase mean? What is the concept, and what is it not?
Well, firstly, “Teeth In A Day”® on dental implants most often refers to placing temporary teeth on either one or two dental implants, usually in the front of the mouth (the teeth that make up your smile) or the replacement of all missing teeth in either the upper, lower, or both jaws on a number of dental implants. Assuming that certain conditions are met, these teeth are attached to the implants that day, with the understanding that they are made of temporary materials and will have to be replaced with the final restorations 3-6 months later.
One of the common misconceptions is that teeth delivered in a day means that the patient can chew foods that day. In reality, these temporary teeth are placed “just for show”, and the patient must consume a very soft non-chew diet for 8-12 weeks minimum. Chewing too early on the temporary “immediate” teeth can cause the implants to become loose and fail.
Another misconception is that everyone is a candidate for “Teeth In A Day”®. In reality, a number of criteria must be met for this to be accomplished, including, but not limited to the following:
- The implants placed must all be placed in bone that is solid enough that they can be inserted with a pre-determined amount of torque (tightness), or they cannot have immediate teeth placed onto them. This can only be determined at the time of surgery.
- There must be enough intact healthy bone present in the desired locations to place the implants. Often, implants are placed at the time that diseased teeth are removed. In many of these situations, due to the disease associated with the bad teeth, the bone supporting them is found to be deficient or absent, and bone grafting must be accomplished and new bone formed before dental implants can be placed.
- Generally, the patient cannot be someone who habitually grinds their teeth or who has a bite that would make it impossible for that patient to avoid biting on or hitting an immediately placed temporary tooth.
Other contraindications to consider can include patients who are heavy smokers or who are on medications that interfere with bone healing (for example, bone sparing agents, high dose steroids, etc).
Generally, in treatment planning for patients who might be able to receive their implant teeth that day, a “back up plan” is also prepared, in case the teeth cannot be attached to the implants that day. For single tooth implants, this is generally a temporary removable partial denture (basically a dental retainer that includes a tooth to replace the missing tooth), or in the case of complete removal of teeth, a conventional complete denture. These are worn for the requisite 8-12 weeks, and then the implants are cleared to be definitively restored.
When all criteria are met, however, placing temporary teeth on implants on the same day that the implants are placed can be a wonderful treatment option, allowing the patient to leave their treatment with their smile completely intact. If you are missing a tooth or teeth, or if you need teeth removed and desire to see if you would be a candidate for an instant smile, contact Dr. Nail or Dr. Dombrowski today for an office visit and an assessment. Working together with you, we want to give you the best smile and chewing function possible.