Have you ever dreamed of replacing your missing teeth in one day? There are many publications and advertisements telling people that they can get artificial teeth implanted in their jaws in just one day. This is a marketing tactic used by commercial dental clinics in order to attract the attention of willing transplant candidates. Usually, patients who do not have enough knowledge regarding the process of dental implantation usually do not care to investigate about the truth of the matter.
Even experienced and knowledgeable doctors who have worked with dental implantation patients are affected by the pressure created by the marketing promises. Indeed, the market demands quick solutions for many things. However, the pressure created by commercial dental companies in an effort to market their products and services can have dire consequences on the patients and the doctors alike.
To clear things up, it is important to clarify the truth regarding one day implants. Here are some helpful facts:
The Conventional Method
Dental implants are conventionally installed into the jaw. The metal devices sit there for a few months before the artificial tooth crowns are attached to them. This method has been proven safe and effective for more than thirty years. It has a very high success rate of over 95%. The method is based on safe orthopedic surgery practices where the titanium implant is inserted in the jaw and remains hidden under the gums for several months until it integrates completely with the bone cells naturally.
During the 3-6 months integration period, the implant will not be functional. Hence, the patient is given temporary solutions to enable him or her to appear functional. Usually, the patient is provided with temporary removable dentures. This is not usually comfortable, especially when the implants are in place, but utmost patience is necessary to make the surgical procedure successful.
In several cases, bone grafting and gum grafting are necessary to improve the success rate of the transplantation. Bone transplantation strengthens the jaw and restores any bone cells absorbed during previous infections. If necessary, the doctor also improves the surrounding tissues by implanting soft tissue. These procedures require waiting time, but will be necessary to ensure the complete absorption and healing of the implant.
The Immediate Loading Method
Due to the advances in dental technology, there have been improvements on the process of connecting the bone and implant, which shortens the waiting period for the patient. Although the results have been promising, there are still so many complications. Today, dental clinics and doctors are racing towards finding better solutions to enable patients to have temporary but permanent teeth as soon as possible.
This new method is called immediate loading. It means that doctors can introduce new teeth in a day because the implants are immediately activated after transplantation. Although the crowns are temporary, there is no long waiting period involved. This is how the marketing message that says “dental implants in one day” was born. As soon as the doctor installs the dental implant into the gap of the jawbone, he or she places the necessary structures and temporary prosthesis immediately.
There have been studies that demonstrate the success of this method. However, it only has a 60-80% success rate, which is considerably lower than the conventional method. It is quite a sensitive procedure to follow and requires various conditions to be met. Here are some concerns:
1. Adequate Bone Volume — High bone volume is necessary because the implants depend on a firm foundation. This condition is not always met (especially if there are several missing teeth) due to infection, inflammation, and bone resorption. Hence, some candidates still have to undergo bone grafting procedures.
2. Bone Quality — Bone has to have the proper density. Since most patients are older and may suffer from osteoporosis, they may have to undergo the conventional method instead of the teeth in a day method.
3. Use of Long Implants — In order for the one day implants to work, they have to be long. This is necessary for adequate stability to be achieved. This condition can become an obstacle for most patients though.
4. Rough Implant Surface — In order for the implants to anchor to the bone effectively, they must have a power of resistance equivalent of up to 35 Newtons per centimeter. This means that that the titanium has to be rough enough to connect easily with bone cells. However, this may also lead to possible future infections.
5. Absence of Bruxism — To get teeth in a day, it is important not to have bruxism. This is a parafunctional activity that is characterized by gnashing of teeth, which may put stress on the muscles used during mastication.
6. Absence of Risk Factors — Heavy smokers and diabetics may not be suitable for one day implants because these factors can become obstacles in the integration and healing process.
7. Balanced Bite Closure — The bite of the patient should be balanced to allow the even spread of load, with minimal exerted force on the implant.
8. Immediate loading on the entire jaw is better than loading individual implants.
9. Surgical Treatment and Rehabilitation at the same time may become an obstacle especially if the surgeon does not perform the restorative work. It is important to make a suitable temporary bridge for the patient, and it will definitely take time to make it aesthetically appealing.
10. A Change In Eating Habits — It is important to eat soft foods after the one day implants have been installed. This should go on for at least one month and a half.
The list of obstacles can still be extended, but as long as the patient meets all the necessary criteria and is really interested in immediate loading, then he or she has to take into consideration the possible consequences and failure of the surgical operation.
The “Teeth in a Day” method enables patients to obtain temporary but permanent teeth in just one day. However, it is very complicated even for surgeons. There are very rare cases where patients meet all the criteria required to perform the surgical operation. In addition, there are only a few doctors who have the skill and experience to perform such a feat effectively.
Since the procedure is quite sensitive to perform, it is best for patients to hear a second opinion from a well-experienced doctor who specializes in dental implants. There are many dental clinics advertising that they can provide one day implants as if it is very easy. Nonetheless, if you want to have a set of quality implants on your jawbone, then you should consider expert opinion first.