Have you ever seen those commercials on TV advertising “Teeth in a day” and wondered what exactly that meant, or how people can get dental implants and all new teeth in one day? This is a common question we get a lot from patients looking to replace multiple missing and broken teeth.
Teeth In A Day generally refers to complete replacement of all natural teeth with a combination of implants and dentures in, you guessed it, the same day. There is a bit more to the process that just that one day however, that the advertisements leave out. Before considering such a treatment, it’s important to understand the whole treatment process.
The “Teeth In A Day” process starts with a consultation visit where a 3D x-ray (or CT scan) is taken, along with impressions of the existing teeth. These impressions will be used to make the denture(s) that will eventually become the “Teeth In A Day” and replace the natural teeth at the surgery appointment.
Some clarification on terminology is useful here:
If the patient is a candidate for treatment, the next step is the surgery appointment. This is where all the natural teeth are removed and dental implants are placed. If the implants are stable in the jaw bone, the denture is modified to become an implant supported denture.
Otherwise, if the dental implants are not stable enough to support the denture (either the bone is too soft, or bone grafting was needed) they are covered with gum tissue and the patient goes home wearing the conventional denture. Then after 4 to 6 months of healing, the tops of the implants are exposed and the conventional denture is modified to become an implant supported denture during a second minor surgical appointment.
At this point after either scenario, the patient now has an implant supported denture. But the process doesn’t stop there.
The denture used so far is referred to as the “transitional” or “interim” denture. It’s original design was based on the pre-existing teeth that were removed. Chances are, significant improvements are needed from these old teeth. Therefore, the interim denture also serves the important roll as a “trial run” of the denture design. While the patient wears the interim denture, they can determine what changes or modifications they would like, and these can be communicated to dental laboratory and incorporated into the final implant supported denture.
After all changes and adjustments have been made, the dental laboratory makes the final denture. The specific construction of the final denture can be of several different materials. The most common options are A) porcelain layered over a strong frame of either zirconia or metal, B) all zirconia, or C) a combination of denture acrylic and denture teeth over a metal frame.