When replacing a missing or a badly diseased tooth, there are generally three options to consider: a removable device (known as a denture), a replacement that attaches to a neighboring tooth (known as a bridge) or a dental implant, which is the closest thing you can get to a natural tooth.
The latter option typically involves a multi-step process that can take several months, or dentists can place same day dental implants for a quicker result. Implants are titanium anchors placed in the jawbone that then fuse to the bone in a process known as osseointegration. After an implant is placed, a dentist will attach a dental crown to replace the tooth.
Same Day Dental Implants vs. Traditional Implants
According to a case report in the National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery, the traditional method of placing an implant involves extracting the decayed tooth, waiting two to four months for the socket to heal, inserting the implant, waiting another three to six months for osseointegration and then, finally, placing the crown on the implant. For same day implants, dentists can perform the whole process in just one day, skipping the wound healing and osseointegration processes. This alternative method can be an effective way to replace an extracted tooth immediately after surgery and eliminates months of waiting.
Dentists report high success rates with same day implants. In fact, according to the National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery case report, there are several advantages to using this method rather than the traditional method:
- The implant fuses to the bone better.
- The soft tissues and gums heal more quickly and are less likely to recede.
- Same day implants keep contaminants away from the tooth extraction socket, which helps the healing process.
- The patient has an immediate restoration, meaning they don't leave the office with any missing teeth.
In general, the procedure is quicker and involves fewer surgical steps. Plus, having a replacement tooth placed immediately can alleviate a patient's concerns about their appearance.
Much like any dental procedure, there are potential drawbacks to choosing same day implants, as a review in Maxillofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery explains:
- Some evidence points to an increased risk of failure of the dental implant compared with conventional approaches.
- Some studies show marginal bone loss is more common in same day implants. This means there is a small reduction in the jawbone level that holds in the implant, which could loosen the implant over time and cause it to fail.
- Reportedly, the same day approach may cause increased postoperative discomfort and swelling compared with conventional methods.
The National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery case report also notes that same day dental implants require more time in the dental chair when the implants are being placed.
Candidates for Same Day Dental Implants
When considering your options for tooth replacement, consult your dentist first about what is best for your situation. Aside from personal preference, the National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery case report outlines certain factors that affect your ability to receive same day implants:
Bone QualityIf the bone in which the implant will be placed is infected or if it isn't dense enough, then you may not be the ideal candidate for same day implants.
Bone DepthImplants can be no smaller than 10 millimeters and cannot be placed if there is not enough bone in which to fuse the implant.
Force on the ToothDepending on the characteristics and position of the tooth in relation to a person's natural bite, the replacement tooth will endure a varying degree of force. Same day implants should not undergo excessive lateral forces.
Same day dental implants could be an appropriate treatment plan if you're looking for a speedy tooth replacement, but there are still many factors to consider. Your dentist will be able to give you the proper advice and support to choose the plan that works best for your smile.