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Understanding the "Teeth in a Day" Procedure

I thought I'd start my first post to explain the "Teeth in a Day" procedure. You've probably seen the advertisements. They state that you can change your smile "instantly." If you are in the market for this procedure, you might have already been quoted starting from $25,000 and up. Some advertisements out there claim they can do it for $15,000!

This procedure, often called an All-on-X (e.g., All on 4 is the most popular), entails pulling your remaining teeth, placing implants, and putting teeth on the implants all in the same day. Let me be clearthis is a great procedure for folks whose teeth are all failing or do not have any teeth.

However, there are a few things to understand before pursuing a procedure like this. People often have a few 'misconceptions' that I'd like to review:

1) "I'm done after this one appointment!"

2) "I can get everything for cheap!"

3) "They guaranteed that I'll have my teeth that day!"

I have seen the above misconceptions lead to unhappy patients the day of the procedure and afterwards. It is important to manage your expectations when pursuing this type of treatment. Let's dive into each misconception.

"I'm done after this one appointment!"

Unfortunately, no. The All on X procedure does involve removing the remaining teeth, placing implants, and putting teeth on the implants. HOWEVER, these teeth are temporary and meant to be there for the next 4-6 months while the implants osseointegrate (i.e., heal and integrate into the bone) before the final teeth are placed.

So this means that after that procedure is complete, you will have additional appointments over the course of 6-8 months. These appointments will be for checking how you are healing, taking impressions for the final teeth, etc.

"I can get everything for cheap!"

"Cheap" is obviously a relative term. I have seen a couple of advertisements that at first make me wonder how these offices are able to substantially reduce the price considering lab costs. Then, I realize that some utilize an in-house lab. Others only include the initial prosthesis in the price.

Note that the initial prosthesis = the temporary teeth that I mentioned before. THE FINAL TEETH WILL ADD ADDITIONAL COST!

When planning for this procedure, PLEASE make sure you and your dentist are also budgeting in the final teeth in your cost. I have seen too many patients not understand that they paid for the procedure and the temporary teeth, but not the final teeth. As you can imagine, they are not happy when they see the additional costand it is substantial.

"They guaranteed that I'll have my teeth that day!"

While most of the time this is true, it is also important to understand that these implants need good initial stability to put teeth on them. If not, you CAN'T place teeth on these implants.

Let's say it's the day of the procedure. The implants are placed, but they do not have good initial stability. The question is how do you work around this?

You can either:

1) Use the temporary teeth as a regular denture while the implants heal

2) Do a splinted bridge on natural teeth

Most of the time, the temporary teeth start out as a denture that is converted to fit onto the implants. So if the implants are unstable, the doc will usually seal up your mouth and send you home with a denture.

In my residency, much of the time we would do the second procedure. By saving 3-4 teeth on one arch, you can splint them together with a bridge and it will work just as well as the temporary teeth on implants. However, this needs to be planned ahead. It is important to talk to your dentist about this possibility.

Bottom line: Make sure you completely understand the extent of the procedure, the costs involved, how long the whole process will take, and the risks involved at every step. All of this information will help you make an informed decision about your treatment.

-Dr. J

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