Replacing lost teeth with dental implants was traditionally a long and sometimes painful process. So how has up to six months become just six hours?
Maybe you are someone who has never considered dental implants as a viable option, believing the process to be long and painful, with several months of wearing dentures between dentist visits. And not long ago, you would have been absolutely right.
But thankfully things have moved on a long way and today the idea of dental implant treatment taking place in a single day is a reality. So what is at the core of this revolutionary process, and what does it mean for those suffering from tooth loss?
The conventional implant process
Imagine a process that might take three, six or even nine months. A process during which you have to wear removable false teeth (dentures) and make multiple visits to the dentist until the entire procedure is complete.
This is in fact still by far the most common way dental implants are done today. So how does it work and why does it take so long?
Well, this method would typically involve a series of dental appointments during which a titanium implant is used to replace a missing or extracted tooth. This implant then takes on average two months to heal properly (or, rather, to fully integrate with the bone – which is a process known as osseointegration). During this period it is crucial that the implant not receive any force or stress on it – and thus risk affecting the bone growth (osseointegration) around it.
As mentioned, in the interim the patient would wear dentures. Once integration was successful, the dentures could be taken away and eventually the permanent artificial tooth could be fixed onto the titanium implant.
Note: While we mention two months as the average time required for osseointegration, it can often take much
longer. In extreme cases, where bone grafting procedures are involved, it can take up to year.
So let’s look at what has changed with same day implants.
How same day implants are now possible
While we are hesitant to call the traditional method of implants “the old method,” we can certainly call same day implants “the new method,” and recognize just how much easier they are making life for the tooth loss sufferer.
I’ll mention at the outset here that both the traditional methods and the same day methods have equally high success rates – that being about 98%.
So around now you are probably asking, just how does the same day procedure get around the osseointegration process?
Quite easily, in fact.
Nowadays there is overwhelming scientific evidence to prove that if an implant is placed with a primary stability (torque) in excess of 32 Ncm, then the dentist can immediately load the implant with a tooth (crown) and have the same success rate for osseointegration (98%), compared to an implant which is not loaded with a tooth immediately after placement. To achieve the necessary primary stability, we are using tapered/root form and wide (max) implants.
So instead of augmenting/grafting an area with bone, we are using angulated implants in order to avoid anatomical landmarks like a nerve or the nasal sinus. We are therefore utilizing all available bone and achieving the required primary stability for immediate loading. Finally, in narrow and short alveolar ridges, thin (3mm) and short (6mm) implants are used, diminishing the need for grafting procedures.
At SameDay we are unique because we are immediately loading the vast majority of our implants and at the same time we are avoiding bone grafting/augmentation procedures which could lead to pain, swelling, complications, increased treatment time, increased cost, and the potential for decreased treatment acceptance by the patient.
It is of course not just any clinic that can do this. In fact, SameDay is the clinic in the Middle East that has the capabilities to carry out same day implants. The combination of highly specialized dentists (oral maxillofacial surgeons and prosthodontists), as well as master dental technicians working in our in-house dental lab and using the latest dental implant technology and imaging systems (CT Cat-Scan), is what makes this possible.
SameDay is one of only 13 “Branemark Osseointegration” centres in the world, a designation that previously had to
be given by the inventor of dental implants himself, Swedish Professor dr. Branemark.
Is it for you?
So it is key to note that one of the main benefits of same day implants is that, in most cases, bone grafting is no longer needed. In the past, those with tooth loss who were also suffering from related bone loss actually needed more artificial bone created (bone grafting) so that the implants had something to bed into. For the majority of patients using the same day method, this is no longer necessary – meaning faster implants and quicker results.
This also means that anyone can opt for same day implants over the traditional methods – and enjoy all the benefits and convenience.
I will point out here that more complex, multiple implant cases will require two sessions, In such a scenario, the first session will involve placing the implants and the temporary acrylic teeth on a single day, with the second session following seven days later for the placement of screw retained, fixed porcelain, permanent teeth.
And that’s it. What used to take months is now done in a single day or certainly a very condensed time period. Most patients experience no pain during the process and very little discomfort afterwards, leaving our clinic with a fully-functioning set of teeth that look and feel very close to natural ones.
About the author:
D.M.D. summa cum laude
Cert. Prosthodontics (TUFTS, U.S.A.)
Dr. Petros is co-director of the Branemark Osseointegration Center Dubai. He qualified as a dentist in 1995, receiving his dental degree summa cum laude from Semmelweis University in Budapest. He graduated at the top of his class and was also chosen as valedictorian. In 1998 he completed the three-year, full-time postgraduate specialist prosthodontist training at Tufts University in Boston, United States, where he was awarded the Postgraduate Prosthodontist Certificate. Since 1999 Dr. Petros has been working in private practice as a specialist prosthodontist, almost exclusively on the prosthodontic rehabilitation of dental implants. He lectures extensively on same day implants and teeth reconstruction protocols. Together with Dr. Costa(Cert. Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery), Dr. Petros is the cofounder of SameDay Dental Implants Clinic located in Building 39 in Dubai Healthcare City in the United Arab Emirates.