For many patients, there's a waiting period after they have a dental implant installed. Their jaw needs to heal around the implant (a small titanium screw). When this integration has been finished—often several months later, a natural-looking porcelain prosthetic tooth is attached to the implant, and the process is complete. But for some patients, it's possible to combine these steps into a single appointment. Are you eligible for same-day dental implant treatment?
Your Missing Tooth
Is the implant going to replace a tooth that has been missing for some time? This can definitely influence your suitability, but might not be a dealbreaker. A lost permanent tooth triggers some changes in the bone that held it. The bone no longer has to support the bite pressure experienced by the tooth, so it loses a small amount of density.
Bone Density in Your Jaw
This loss of density means the bone may not be able to support a dental implant without being prepared, and this requires another procedure called bone grafting. Bone material is physically grafted onto the jaw and given time to integrate. Of course, this may not be relevant if the tooth in question is damaged and will be extracted immediately prior to implant placement because bone density will not have been affected. In addition to an appropriately dense jawbone, you need to have healthy gum tissues, so periodontal conditions such as gingivitis will need to be managed before you can receive a dental implant—same day or otherwise.
If, after performing the necessary checks, your dentist decides that your jaw and gums can support a same-day dental implant, your surgery can be scheduled. It follows the same principles as conventional dental implant surgery, but with an accelerated timetable. As part of planning your surgery, your dentist will already have had your implant's porcelain tooth manufactured.
Immediate Tooth Attachment
The implant is placed, and its prosthetic tooth is attached. Your jawbone still needs to integrate with your jaw, and the onus is on you to make sure that your implant doesn't experience excessive bite pressure while it stabilizes. You'll need to be careful with your diet (hard and chewy foods are a no-go in the early stages), and chewing on the unaffected side of your mouth will be necessary at first. Your dentist can give you an expected healing time frame, and you can adjust your diet accordingly.
If you're eligible for a same-day dental implant, there's no need for concern—the final product is exactly the same as a standard implant, just achieved with fewer appointments on a slightly different timetable. For more information on dental implants, contact a professional near you.