Today we’re going to talk about some common myths and misconceptions about the Teeth in a Day process.
For those of you that have questions about the Teeth in a Day appliance and what that means, essentially, it’s when a patient has teeth that need to be taken out, we extract those teeth and we insert implants and we attach an appliance to those implants so they leave the day of surgery with a complete set of teeth, whether on the top, the bottom, or occasionally both jaws.
Is Teeth in a Day Only for Young People?
So let’s talk about myth number one is this only for young people, and that cannot be further from the truth when it comes to implants. There are very few hard, fast rules that eliminate a patient from being able to get implants.
The number one biggest concern we have with implants is bisphosphonates. And so that is something that if you’re on bisphosphonates, whether it’s Fosamax, anything along those lines, definitely talk with us because it’s something we need to work around because those impact the healing process of the bone around the implants.
The other big red flag for implants is diabetes, especially uncontrolled diabetes. And again, that just goes back to the body’s ability to heal itself because especially in these situations where we’re extracting teeth, we’re putting in implants, we want the body to heal as well as possible.
And the third kind of questionable area is smoking. In an ideal world, we would need you to quit smoking for at least a couple of weeks before and a couple of weeks after because smoking is one of those things that impacts the body’s ability to heal. Not only the heat and the materials, but also the action of making the puffing on the cigarette can cause blood clots to be dislodged and impact healing.
So the most important factor for implants and whether you’re even a candidate for Teeth in a Day is bone quality and your ability to heal. And so as far as the bone quality, that’s something that we diagnose in our kind of data collection phase where we take a three-dimensional cone beam scan. We’re looking at where your bone is, we’re looking at if there’s any infection in the bone. We’re looking at how healthy the bone is, and these are all things that we utilize to kind of plan out where we want to put those implants.
Age is definitely not a factor. We have plenty of patients ranging from 23 to 91. It really is if you’re healthy and you’ve got good bone and you can heal well, like they say, age is nothing but a number.
Is Teeth in a Day a Quick Fix?
Another myth that we commonly hear is that Teeth in a Day is a quick fix. I’ll just walk in and get it done and be done with it. Nothing can be further from the truth. A lot of times it takes a ton of planning. And so maybe the day of surgery where you come in, you can be sedated if that’s what you prefer. Do the extractions, place the implants and attach the appliances can take a couple of hours, but what you don’t take into consideration is the many, many tens of 20 hours put in ahead of time data collection, planning, design, digitally placing those implants and making sure we’ve got everything lined up to be perfect. So it’s definitely not a “30 minute, I’ll just get these teeth banged out and we’ll be good to go.”
There’s a lot of work that goes into it. And then the process itself, once you’re healed, there’s actually lots of appointments afterward to make your final permanent appliance because there are lots of checks and balances, try-ins, verifications to make sure that when we make your permanent appliance, it’s passively loaded on the implants so that those implants will last you a lifetime.
Is Teeth in a Day Painful?
The next myth is that Teeth in a Day is painful. A lot of times the reason that we’re in this situation is because the patient has teeth that are already painful. They have teeth that are failing, they’re not able to function properly, they’re not able to chew. So when you compare the actual process of Teeth in a Day to the pain and discomfort you’re living with, I think it’s actually a much better situation.
With the advances in dental science and dental surgery, we can make sure you’re sedated. We can make sure you’re numb, we can make sure you don’t really feel anything. And the really neat thing is that there’s actually no nerve endings in bone. So once we get those teeth out and we place the implants in the bone, the most discomforting part, the most painful part if you want to call it that, is just the gum tissue healing and the soreness from having those teeth taken out. Another advantage of the teeth in the day appliance is that it’s stable. So there’s no movement, there’s no rubbing, there’s no friction against the gum tissue. And by having it stable over those extraction sites, you’re actually protecting those extraction sites because if you didn’t have an appliance, anything you ate or anytime you moved your tongue, you’d be bumping into those extraction sites.
So the Teeth in a Day appliance protects everything and allows you to heal quickly. So while yes, there is some discomfort, I would argue that the pain you’re experiencing before is more significant than any kind of discomfort you have after the surgery.
Is Teeth in a Day Affordable?
Another myth we hear is that it’s not affordable for everyone. And while it can be a significant financial investment upfront, you have to consider the investment that you’re putting into it now allows you to avoid a lot of complications and allows you to avoid a lot of follow-up and a lot of individual tooth problems that can be very costly and build up over time. So it’s more of a peace of mind, address the situation, get everything fixed, and then after that it’s just maintenance as opposed to if you replace each tooth individually as it breaks down, that adds up and it gets to be significantly more expensive.
Will Health Factors Stop Me From Being Eligible for Teeth in a Day?
Another myth that we hear a lot is, I have diabetes. I have a weak jawbone. I’m a smoker. I obviously can’t get Teeth in a Day. And while those are major risk factors that we need to address, they’re not reasons that we can’t work around. So with diabetes, if you get your hba one C under control, you’re going to heal better. That’s something we can work on if you have weak bone or if you’ve been without teeth for a long time, and that bones kind of shrunk, we have ways that we can grow bone, whether it’s through sinus lifts, ridge augmentation, bone growing procedures, we can absolutely prepare the area ahead of time, get the bone that we need to allow us to place those
Implants to then restore everything. Pretty much the only big red flag that we have a hard time working around is bisphosphonate therapy. And even at that IV bisphosphonates or if you’ve been doing for a long time, are definitely going to play a role in how your bone heals. But if you’ve only been taking ’em for a short time or if you’re on oral bisphosphonates, we’ve got ways to work with your primary care physician, whether it’s a drug, holiday or other ways to work around that. So I would say nothing’s impossible, and it’s always worth evaluating on your individual basis so we can see if it’s something that’s possible for you.
Do Everyone’s Teeth Look the Same?
Another myth that we hear about Teeth in a Day is that everyone’s teeth will look the same. And that may be true if you go somewhere that doesn’t take the time to customize your appliance, but at our practice, every patient is different, every smile is different.
And so we spend a lot of time in the planning phase making sure that we customize and craft your smile to look how you want to look. One of the big things I tell patients is bring me pictures, bring me magazines. If you see a smile that you were like, bring me pictures of when you were 18 at your senior prom, we can’t recreate anything else from that 18-year-old picture, but we can make those teeth look very similar.
Another myth that I want to address is vacation dentistry and Teeth in a Day. While it’s absolutely true, you can have this procedure done at a significantly discounted price if you go to Mexico, Costa Rica – and it’s not to say there aren’t phenomenal dentists that can do the work there – the problem is I always tell my Teeth in a Day, patients, we’re starting a relationship because you’re going to be spending a lot of time with me. I’m going to be spending a lot of time with you. I want you to know that I’m going to always be here with any questions, any concerns beforehand. I’ll be there, the surgery to make sure everything goes smooth. But then I’ll also be there afterwards for any follow-ups, any questions, any concerns. And the process of making your permanent appliance, there’s a lot of time spent together.
So my caveat to someone who wants to kind of do vacation dentistry or one-time thing is you are going to have to have somebody to follow up with for not only maintenance and aftercare. So if you’re going to make that decision, be prepared to have that relationship with your restorative dentist. And unfortunately, if it’s overseas or not convenient, that’s going to be a lot more difficult to handle.
So if you think you’re candidate for Teeth in a Day, or even if you have questions to see if your bone is good, if your teeth are in a situation where we need to progress to that, give us a call. We’d love to see you come in, talk to us. We’ll sit down, we’ll discuss your options, and we’ll go over everything in a customized plan for you.
Contact Dr. Brett Langston Today
I’m Dr. Brett Langston. I’m a prosthodontist and owner of the Dental Implant and Aesthetic Specialist in Brookhaven, Georgia, and I’m here to help you watch your mouth.