In the past, dental implants would likely take multiple appointments and months of oral healing for the final fabrication to be ready for implantation. For patients, the prospect of this procedure wasn’t exciting; it tended to be long and uncomfortable, with a significant portion of waiting.
Fortunately, digital restorative dentistry has streamlined the process, making one-day dental implants—something that was unimaginable just a few years ago—possible.
But are there any dangers of one-day dental implants? Let’s dive into the pros and cons into this same-day procedure to find out what’s best for your patients.
What Are Same-Day Dental Implants?
To understand the pros and cons of the new methodology, we must first understand the traditional treatment process.
For instance, imagine if one of your patients has tooth loss and an adult tooth falls out.
The Conventional Implant Method
With the traditional dental implant method, the typical dental treatment plan could take several months. As the dentist, you would need to:
- Take an examination of the mouth and jaw
- Extract the damaged tooth
- Wait for the socket to heal
- Insert the implant into the jaw bone
- Wait for the implant to fuse to the live bone
- Place the temporary crown
- Wait for the temporary crown to be secure
- Place the permanent crown
Just between steps five and six, there may be months of waiting as the new implant is fabricated. Your dental team would need to take an accurate analog impression, ship that mold off to the lab, wait for the lab to produce a fabrication and ship it back, and then see whether it fits the patient properly. If not, then it would be back to the drawing boards.
The Same-Day Implant Method
Despite the name, same-day implants typically will require 3 separate appointments: pre-procedure consultation, oral surgery, and post-procedure follow-up.
That said, same-day implants, also known as immediate load implants are made via an in-office process that uses digital dental technologies, such as an intraoral scanner, computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology, and 3D printing fabricators. The typical process would be set up as:
- The intraoral scanner takes a 3D digital impression of the patient’s mouth.
- The scan instantly uploads into CAD/CAM dentistry, a technology where designers can make micro-adjustments to the implant.
- The 3D printer mills the implant out of a block of ceramic.
- The dentist installs the implant
That implant will only be a temporary piece. That’s because the gums and jaw still need time to heal. However, on the same day as the original dental implant surgery, a patient can have a provisional implant that looks and works fantastic in the meantime.
Pros of One-Day Dental Implants
So, what are the benefits of the digital one-day dental implant process? They include:
- Speed – As the name suggests, the primary advantage of this process is that it can be done in far less time compared to traditional dental implants. A patient needs to go to fewer appointments and spend less time in the chair. And, as the dentist, you’ll experience far less back and forth between the lab or waiting in between each stage.
- Less physically disruptive – With same-day implants, there’s no need for bone grafting or periodontal flap surgeries. All told, it’s less physically impactful on the bone and surrounding tissue, which means an easier healing process for your patients.
- Less chance of infection – Unlike the traditional dental implant workflow, having an implant instantly helps prevent the tooth extraction socket from accruing bacteria and possibly becoming infected.
- No need for physical impressions – The physical impression process is often cited as one of a patient’s least favorite experiences in their visit to the dentist, especially for patients with a strong gag reflex. When comparing digital impressions vs traditional impressions, digital impressions completely eliminate the various pain points associated with this procedure. They’re faster, less invasive, and more accurate, which leads to a better final product and happier patients.
Cons of One-Day Treatment
In terms of safety, the difference in patient outcomes between conventional implants and immediate implants is a top concern. One-day implants may come at the expense of sacrificing quality assurance. There’s no second set of eyes to analyze the digital impression and determine the right abutment for the patient. You can utilize the same CAD/CAM technology to send the digital impression to a trusted dental lab who can carefully craft the right crown fit for your patient.
In either case, the success of the procedure depends on osseointegration between the implant and the jaw bone. Furthermore, bone grafts may be necessary to ensure a smooth recovery. With the conventional implant method, there’s less risk of implant movement because more time is spent allowing the implant to fuse.
Also, as mentioned, although they’re called one-day implants, the entire process isn’t completed after a single appointment. Instead, it takes three days to complete the procedure. Although that may appear like a short amount of time, you should consider the patient’s health outcomes. Partnering with Dandy means that dentists can have both quality and quick turnarounds to improve case acceptance. Utilizing the same technologies, you can rely on our dental technicians to mill the ideal crown unique for each patient.
Dandy’s Digital Implant Procedure
If you want to learn how to improve the patient experience, then the digital dental implant process is imperative. It shortens the process, makes the procedure less painful, and expedites the implant process—that’s a recipe for clinical optimization.
If you’re looking for new ways to digitize your dental clinic, Dandy can help.
As your fully digital dental lab for all implant procedures, our entire platform was designed to level up your practice via digital procedures. Whether you need crowns and bridges, partials, dentures, implants, aligners, or nightguards, we can help you increase operational efficiency, drive production, and improve the patient experience.
Want to discover more about Dandy’s 3-appointment implant model? Reach out to our digital dental experts to learn more.
Cleveland Clinic. Dental Bone Graft. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21727-dental-bone-graft
Colgate. Getting a Dental Impression: How To Cope With Your Gag Reflex. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/dental-visits/getting-a-dental-impression-how-to-cope-with-your-gag-reflex#