All-On-4/Teeth in a Day: Are These Denture Alternatives Right for You?
You may have seen a television commercial promising “teeth in a day” as an alternative to dentures. These commercials usually imply the patient walks in with their troubled teeth and walk out with their brand new perfect smile. I am asked about this heavily-marketed procedure at least weekly by our patients and I would like to take this opportunity to explain.
First and foremost, the teeth in a day procedure is an alternative to dentures for patients who are going to lose their teeth. No dental procedure exists that functions better than healthy, natural teeth! I recommend this treatment when there is no other alternative or when there are serious doubts to the longevity of keeping your natural teeth.
The most pressing question is, “Is this procedure really done in one day?” The short answer is no. There are 1 to 2 preparation appointments for surgery day. Part of these appointments include choosing the color and shape of your new teeth. At surgery day, the teeth are removed and (usually) four dental implants are placed. This is for the upper teeth lower teeth or both sets. The team usually consists of a surgeon, a dentist and a dental lab technician to affix an acrylic bridge on top of the implants. This bridge is a three to six- month temporary, transitional set of teeth that can only be removed by your dentist or surgeon. A transitional restoration must be placed to allow for proper healing of the implants and gum and bone tissue.
With the “teeth in day” procedure, most patients heal and adapt quickly to their new teeth and report minimal discomfort. During this three to six- month transition period, you should visit your dentist and surgeon to monitor you healing and to check and adjust your bite as necessary. During this healing time I like to discuss the appearance of the temporary teeth and see if there are any changes you would like to make to the final teeth. It is a great time to make sure you are satisfied with the color, size and shape of your teeth.
We will make any change for you that are functionally possible in the final set, or make exact duplicates if you like them just the way they are. After healing has occurred a few simple appointments are required to establish your bite, smile line and speech for your final teeth. You will get a chance to see the prototype of the finals at these appointments before they are completed. These appointments are simple, non-invasive and do not require any more healing time