Today we’ll be talking about the five benefits of teeth in a day. The teeth-in-a-day process is going from natural teeth that are failing, that are ailing, that need to be removed to an implant-supported prosthesis that stays in your mouth, and does not come in or out except by your dental professional.
The Planning Phase
So the process starts with a lot of planning. Sometimes you might see the commercials on TV where the person walks in off the street and five minutes later leaves with a brand new smile. That is not how it works at all. It’s very misleading. These cases involve a lot of planning, a lot of communication between the restorative doc, the surgical doc, and also the laboratory team because everything needs to be mapped out and detailed from start to finish before we even get to the day of surgery.
The first step is data collection. We do a three-dimensional cone beam scan. We do intraoral scans, we take facial scans, we take pictures and we collect everything we need to know about your mouth, where the teeth are, where the healthy bone is, where we can place those implants because the next phase is a consultation between the restorative doc, the surgeon, the lab technician, and the surgical guide company.
Digitally Place Implants
We all sit down and we digitally place implants in the exact location where not only is the bone the healthiest and we know it’s going to be the best success, but also from a restorative standpoint, where we can place those access to put the screws in to anchor that prosthesis into your mouth. So once we’ve got everything planned out, got the guide done, we have all the parts and pieces ordered, the next step is the day of surgery.
The Day of Surgery
On the day of surgery, you come in. A lot of times patients like to be sedated. It makes the process go quicker. It’s not a necessity either way. We get you nice and numb. We attach everything we need to attach to your mouth. We remove the teeth, place the implants in the exact specific location that we planned out, and then we attach an appliance. We call that the teeth in a day, same day appliance. And what that is, that’s a set of teeth with some pink composite attached to those that actually gets screwed into the new implants. So when you leave that day, you leave with the full set of temporary teeth attached to those implants. Now they’re going to look nice, they’re going to look great. And in addition to protecting the areas where you have the extractions, they’re also going to allow you to chew and function while you’re healing.
Is it Painful? What Does the Healing Process Look Like?
And I always tell patients because they ask, how painful is it? What’s the worst part? I like to equate getting implants to having a tooth taken out. So a couple days of soreness, a little bit of tenderness. But then after that, the healing process is a passive process because what happens, we put the implant down on the bone and the native bone gets replaced with new bone. And that’s a slow process. It takes, generally speaking, eight to 12 weeks. And as that process is happening, it’s all underneath the gum tissue. You’re not aware of it with the teeth in a day process, you have the attached teeth kind of over the top of where you’re healing. So it protects those. And the only thing we tell patients is with a temporary appliance, if you can’t cut it with a fork, we don’t want you eating it.
And the reason for that is those implants are still healing. That’s new fresh bone. And the last thing we want you doing is going out and celebrating your new teeth by chewing something really hard that’s going to damage those implants. Now, once we hit the three-month mark, and once we make your permanent appliances, you can eat anything you want, corn on the cob, apples, caramel apples, chicken wings. But I would say just be careful because these are not bionic teeth. They are stronger than your natural teeth, but they’re not strong enough to overcome dumb habits as in chewing chicken bones, as in biting on things that are way too hard. These are all things that can cause the implants to fail. So when you’re in that temporary appliance, you can start eating regular food. You can eat pizza, you can eat pasta, you can eat salads, chicken, salmon, whatever you want as long as you can cut it with a fork, and when we get you to the final appliance, have that as free reign.
Benefit #1: Saving the Bone
So the first benefit of the teeth in a day approach to restoring your dentition is that it allows us to save bone. And what I mean by that is as you lose teeth, the bone is very efficient and it remodels and actually bone shrinks away. The big advantage of us placing implants at the same time as we take those teeth out is that it maintains bone in that area.
A nice healthy implant is going to keep your bone level at the exact same level it is as when you had the teeth because the body’s very efficient and the bone resorbs very quickly. And in fact, the lower jawbone resorbs about four times as fast as the top. And so a lot of times if you just take the teeth out and you wait years, you’ll lose a lot of bone, and that makes it more difficult for us to get you into something permanent that might involve bone grafting.
It might involve bone growing procedures. So it is very important that at the time of the extractions, if we can place those implants, we’ll be able to maintain that healthy bone level and allow us to get a better foundation to give you some beautiful teeth.
Benefit #2: Minimizing the Number of Implants Necessary
So the second benefit of the teeth in a day approach is that we can really plan out an ideal solution minimizing the number of implants necessary. There used to be a school of thought where every time you lose a tooth, you put an implant in. And I’ve seen many cases where they have 14 implants on the top and 14 on the bottom, and that’s just overkill, not only from a biologic standpoint, but also from a financial standpoint. There’s no reason to have that many implants. In our practice. We like ideally to have six implants on the top and six implants on the bottom, and that allows us to space it adequately, but it gives us the support that you need to support the appliance for the life of the appliance.
If you do this sequentially and just do one implant at a time, it’s much more expensive and it’s much more costly. Whereas this is kind of a holistic approach. You take out all the unhealthy teeth, you have one surgery, you have one time where you put the implants in, and so it’s actually a lot less expensive and a lot more financially advantageous to plan it out this way as opposed to doing it one by one over time.
Benefit #3: How Fast You Can Go from Having a Painful Mouth to a Smile You Love
The third benefit of the teeth in a day approach is amazing. How fast you can go from having a painful mouth, having a mouth you’re not happy with a mouth that hurts you, a mouth is embarrassing to all of a nice fresh set of teeth that you can function with, you can smile with, get you back into your daily life. A lot of times we like to schedule these appointments for a Thursday or a Friday.
We do the surgery, we put the teeth in, you’re healing over the weekend. And I’ve had patients go back to work on Monday with a brand new set of teeth, whereas a lot of times dental prosthesis can take a long time, implants can take a long time to heal, but the advantage of the teeth in a day is that the day of surgery, you get a full set of teeth that will allow you to function and get back to life very quickly.
Benefit #4: It’s the Closest Thing to Natural Teeth
The fourth benefit of teeth in a day is this is the closest thing we can get you to your natural teeth. A lot of times with removal appliances, it’s a big change because you’ve got to take it out. There’s a possibility of movement, there’s a possibility of comfort. The advantages of teeth in a day is these are actually screwed into the implants that are anchored in your bone.
So there’s no removing, there’s no movement. It’s stable. It’s going to be the most sturdy option we have for replacing your missing teeth. And the other advantage is there’s no transition period where you go without teeth. So you don’t have to struggle through having something removable. You don’t have to struggle through having the roof of your mouth covered and you can get a pretty significant aesthetic upgrade from where your teeth were to the teeth in a day appliance because we design everything ahead of time and also a functional improvement. Because if you’re at the situation in your life where your teeth are broken down to the point where we need to consider doing teeth in a day, chances are you’re not chewing very well. Chances are your teeth are hurting you and you’re not functioning in a way you like. So it’s a quick way to go from dysfunction to function.
Along those same lines, one of the big advantages of having the teeth in a day appliance versus a conventional denture is that when it comes to the end of the day with a conventional removable denture, you have to take the appliance out. You need to let your tissue rest and heal. And that can represent a problem, especially if the person that you’re with or people you’re around don’t know that you have a denture. Having to take it out can be an awkward situation that you have to work around with the teeth in a day. It’s an appliance that’s attached to your mouth, there’s no taking it out. So there’s never that time where you have to go without the teeth. So you go the full day with your regular activities and you wake up with your teeth in a day appliance attached. So it’s very, very similar to having a full set of natural teeth.
Benefit #5: Investing Will Save You Money in The Long Run
The fifth benefit to teeth in a day is actually over the long run. You do save a lot of money. Dentistry can be expensive, whether it’s a big process like teeth in a day, a big procedure or whether it’s slowly patching up teeth as you go along. So even though the initial investment on teeth in a day can seem overwhelming, you actually save money and time spent in the dental chair as well as the potential pain and discomfort of waiting for teeth to break down one by one dentistry. When you approach it single tooth over time, it can be really expensive. It does add up. So the advantage of teeth in a day is you address that all at once. You eliminate those teeth that might cause problems down the road because the last thing you want to do is undergo a big process and then have to worry about two years from now another tooth breaking down, or four years from now another tooth breaking down. So the advantage with teeth in a day is that the whole arches are protected, everything is straightforward, and you’ve got a smoother ride into the future.
My biggest piece of advice for teeth in a day is make sure you go somewhere that has a lot of experience that does a lot of these procedures and knows what they’re doing. Unfortunately, we do get a lot of patients that have had this done. It was done in an unsatisfactory manner, it wasn’t properly planned. And so there’s a lot of work in kind of fixing that. We do a lot of these cases. We like to think that we’re the go-to place for teeth in a day in Atlanta.
We’ve got a great surgical team. I’ve got a lot of experience. We work with the best labs, and so we really do plan everything out from start to finish, which is important because this is a big procedure and you want to make sure you have all your i’s dotted and your T’s crossed. So when you go into the day of surgery, it’s actually pretty calming and it’s pretty relaxed environment because you’ve got everything worked out ahead of time.
I’m a big planner and I don’t like surprises, and so we do everything we can to make sure everything is planned out up to the day of surgery, and it just makes it go a lot smoother.
Contact Dr. Brett Langston Today
So I’m Dr. Brett Langston. I’m here with Dental Implant and Aesthetic Specialist of Atlanta, and I’m here to help you watch your mouth.