Traditionally, dental implants are installed in a minimum of two procedures. First, the dentist would place the implant post in the jaw. Second, after the post integrated with the bone—which could take at least 3 months—the crown would be installed. These days, however, the entire process can be done in one day, but there are a couple of things you should know about the procedure before you opt to undergo it.
Not All Teeth are Eligible
One drawback to a same-day dental implant system is that not all teeth are eligible for it. In particular, cosmetic dentists typically will not use these implants to replace molar teeth, because the implant would be subjected to a significant amount of bite force that would disrupt the integration process. This is particularly true if a bone graft is needed to increase bone mass in the area where the implant will be placed.
Instead, same-day implants are best for teeth where the bite force is minimal, such as the front teeth or incisors. These teeth aren't used as frequently or forcefully as back teeth are, so the implant site will remain relatively undisturbed, allowing the tooth to heal properly.
The Tooth May Not Be in Stock
Another issue you may run into is the tooth that's needed may not be in stock when you want to get your implant. It's not uncommon for dentists who perform same day implants to have stock on hand for fast implants. While the dentist may have equipment on hand that lets him or her make minor adjustments to the implants so that it fits the mouth properly, it's usually not advanced enough to make a custom product. If the tooth and post is not in stock, then you'll have to get implants the traditional way.
You Need to Have Enough Natural Bone
Even though a dentist will perform a bone graft if necessary to boost the amount of bone in the area where the implant will be installed, you still need to have a significant amount of natural bone to begin with to secure the implant in place. Without adequate bone material, the implant may not integrate properly and the bone that is there may not be strong enough to hold onto the implant post during the healing phase.
Be aware, though, that the dentist may still be able to perform a same-day installation even if you need a bone graft. You would simply have to wait the few months for the bone graft to fully integrate into the affected area of the jaw.
For more information about same-day implants, contact a cosmetic dentist, like John S. Lyon DDS.