Damaged teeth can sometimes be solved with a tooth filling or even a root canal. However, if the tooth is beyond saving, your dentist will usually recommend a tooth extraction. A lot of people are wary of this procedure not only because it means a lot of pain and discomfort, but you have to endure having a gap in your teeth while you wait for the area to heal.
With traditional tooth restoration, the process takes around 5 to 10 months. Trying to hide the gap left behind by your missing tooth for several months can have a detrimental effect on a person's self-esteem. For busy individuals, frequent visits to the dentist can be inconvenient. This has led many people to ask, "is it possible to replace a missing tooth in a single day?"
Fortunately, the answer to that is yes. Most dentists now practice same-day dentistry, which means you can leave your dentist's office with a full set of teeth right after tooth extraction. The procedure has a lot of obvious benefits, but it is not for everybody. Read on to find out if same-day dental implants are the best option for you.
The Traditional Implant Process
Before same-day dental implants became an option for most people, they had to go through a lengthy process to restore their glorious smile:
Once the tooth is extracted, you have to wait for 2 to 4 months for the area to heal. Each person's body is different, so the healing period might be faster for some people.
Once the area is fully healed, it's time to go back to the dentist to have your implants inserted. You will then need another 3 to 5 months for the implant and jawbone to meld and grow together in a process known as osseointegration.
After your implant has bonded with your jawbone, you will need another trip to the dentist to attach the crown to your implant.
All in all, the traditional dental implant process takes a minimum of 5 months if you don't experience complications or problems. With traditional dental implant procedures, you will require several trips to the dentist's office, not only for the actual procedure but for checkups to determine where you are in the healing process.
Same-Day Dental Implants
Now let's take a look at how same-day dental implant treatment is done. Although a huge chunk of the process is done on a single day, it doesn't necessarily mean a single visit to the dentist.
The process starts with a dental consultation. Same-day implants are not for everyone, so your dentist needs to check if you are the perfect candidate for the procedure.
If your dentist has some reservations, they may require tests or additional procedures to make sure you are the right fit for the procedure.
Once your dentist gives the green light, you may schedule an appointment for the procedure. If you have a lot of swelling due to an infected tooth, your dentist may recommend antibiotics to bring the swelling down in time for the dental implant procedure.
After the dentist extracts your tooth/teeth, they will insert your dental implant and temporary tooth, so you don't have to worry about walking around with a gap in your mouth. A temporary crown looks and feels like natural teeth, so you can go about your normal life while wearing them, although your dentist may recommend a soft food diet for the first 2 months to prevent your implants from coming loose.
Similar to traditional implants, same-day implants may still require several post-procedure checkups to make sure you are healing properly. Once you are fully healed, you can visit the dentist’s office again to receive your permanent crown.
The Pros And Cons of Same-Day Implants
As with all procedures, same-day implants have their own advantages and disadvantages. It's important to know both sides so you can make an informed decision about the procedure:
- The biggest advantage of same-day dental implants is that you don't have to leave the dentist's office with missing teeth. Because the healing process takes a long time, some patients try to hide their missing teeth by talking or smiling less, and some may even avoid social interaction. This can cause a person to lose their self-confidence and hinder their ability to go about their normal lives. Because you get temporary teeth immediately with same-day implants, you can smile to your heart's content.
- Studies have shown that the implant actually bonds with the jawbone better if the implant is inserted immediately after tooth extraction.
- Same-day implants usually mean faster healing times for the gums and soft tissue.
- Because the crown is immediately covered by a temporary tooth, it is protected from contaminants like food particles and bacteria.
- Implant failure rate for same-day implants is significantly higher compared to traditional implants. Performing several procedures on the same day may result in the implants being inserted while the gums are still inflamed and swollen. Sometimes, once the post-procedure swelling has receded, the implants may become loose.
- One-day implants have a higher risk of marginal bone loss. Because proper bonding of the implant and jawbone is important for a successful procedure, bone loss can inevitably lead to poor implant fusion.
- Because the implant is usually inserted right after tooth extraction, it can take its toll upon your body. This causes more pain and general discomfort compared to traditional implants, where the healing process is slow and steady.
- A huge bulk of the procedure is done on the same day, which means you have to spend more time on the dentist's chair. Same-day implants can take as long as 3 hours, especially if you need multiple implants.
Am I Eligible For Same-Day Dental Implants?
As stated previously, same-day treatment is not for everybody, which is why you need to discuss it with your dental implant dentist first. Your dentist may recommend same-day dental implant surgery if you fit the following description:
Good Oral Health - A person who observes proper oral hygiene is the perfect candidate for the procedure. Because we are skipping the long healing process between tooth extraction and the initial insertion of the implant, the patient needs to be able to handle the added stress to the body. People who have good overall dental health have a higher chance of implant success because they have good bone height, healthy gums, and a body that can heal faster.
Non-smoker - Smoking has a lot of negative side effects, one of those being slower healing and regeneration. Smoking slows down the body's healing process, so if you smoke, your dentist may require you to go for several months without smoking before the procedure if you want to be eligible for same-day implants.
Alternatively, your dental implant dentist may deny your request for one-day implants if you have the following conditions:
Gum disease - People with gum disease usually have sensitive gums that bleed easily. Gum disease increases the risk of gum recession and poor healing time.
Osteoporosis - People with osteoporosis have poor bone growth and weak bone cells. To successfully fuse the implant with the jaw bone, you need to have adequate bone height, and people with osteoporosis usually fall short in this regard. If you have osteoporosis, traditional implants are recommended because you need to undergo bone grafting before getting an implant.
Autoimmune conditions - Autoimmune disorders usually mean longer healing times. Because the gums are usually inflamed after tooth extraction, your body may produce abnormal antibodies to fight off the infection and may even see the new implant as a dangerous, foreign body.
Bruxism - Bruxism is a condition where the person unconsciously gnashes, clenches, or grinds their teeth. Bruxism patients have a hard time with dental implants because gnashing and grinding may knock the implants loose.
Different Types of Same-Day Dental Implants
Single-Tooth Dental Implant
As the name suggests, a single-tooth implant is a procedure done on a single tooth. The implant will act as the new "root" and keep the temporary tooth in place. The abutment will be attached on top of the implant and act as the connector between the implant and the temporary tooth. The temporary tooth will be attached to the abutment to protect the implant and prevent movement. Once you are fully healed, simply replace the temporary tooth with your permanent one.
Full-Arch Dental Implants
Sections composed of multiple teeth are called arches, which means full arch dental implants involve multiple teeth. You have an upper arch and a lower arch. While single-tooth implants have a 1:1 ratio on implants to missing teeth, implant dentists may recommend full-arch implants if you have an arch of teeth in need of replacing. This is because installing an implant on every single missing tooth may result in more expenses and more pain for the patient.
For example, if you need an entire arch of teeth replaced, your dentist may insert a full-arch implant which requires only six implant attachments instead of one attachment for each tooth.
If you are currently sporting dentures as a solution for your missing teeth, you can turn those dentures into replacement teeth through implant-supported dentures. Your dentist will attach your dentures to abutments, which will then be connected to titanium implants. This is recommended for people who have problems with loose or uncomfortable dentures.
How To Care For Your Dental Implants
Remember, even if you choose one-day dental implants, it is still considered a major surgical procedure and requires rest and a change in daily activities for the person undergoing the procedure. Remember, implant success rates and healing time depend largely on your dental health habits. If you want to increase the chances of implant success, here are some things you can do after the procedure:
Proper Care - It is natural to feel uncomfortable with new dental implants. However, you should avoid prodding it with your tongue or touching it with your fingers to prevent knocking your implants loose.
Oral Health - Even if you are feeling pain or discomfort, you still need to observe proper oral hygiene. However, you may want to buy a toothbrush with soft bristles while you are in the recovery period. Rinsing your mouth with water is usually enough to reduce the bacteria load. Mouthwash may contain alcohol, which can irritate your gums.
Soft Food Diet - Your dentist will usually hand out a treatment plan with a list of food you can and can't eat. Stick to soft food or soups, and avoid drinking hot beverages.
Take Your Meds - Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics and pain medication for you. Remember to take your meds, and avoid self-medicating, especially on pain medication.
Keep Your Dentist Appointments - Your dentist may schedule several post-procedure checkups to track your recovery time. Be sure to keep your appointments even if you feel okay.
Why Park 40 Is Your Best Implant Solution
When you choose to work with our Park 40 expert team, you get the best treatment money can buy, and, what is more, you get a friendly, capable, and committed staff at your fingertips. Our state-of-the-art technology and offices will welcome you, and you can feel safe and in good hands all through your procedure.
Contact our office today for a consultation, and let's make your smile better!