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Implants – new teeth in 10 hours?

Despite publications written by groups interested in the promotion of ground breaking developments of tooth implants, the reality is that these methods are no more than previously tried and tested methods enhanced by the application of new treatment methods. Additionally in reading these ‘sensational’ articles you can be left with the illusion that synthetic tooth roots (implants) can apparently heal within ten hours.

Be warned, this is not the case. In reality this process will take at least 6 – 8 weeks even under perfect conditions, such as having a jawbone of sufficient quality available whose density does not first have to be improved as well as assuming the application of perfect implant surfaces and finally ignoring any variances in healing abilities. Simply halving the healing process under these ideal conditions would already be a huge step for implant technology.

Quite often the need for the additional regeneration of the jawbone is the deciding factor in the length of time the whole process will take, as it is always the regeneration period that takes longer than the healing time for the implants. Even with the application of processes on hand, such as obtaining and applying catalysts obtained from the patient’s own blood, to speed up the regenerative healing process, the regeneration process still remains the time determining factor. Additionally the success of catalysts obtained from your own blood has proven to be effective, however, it has yet to be corroborated by relevant academic studies.

When implants were first being developed, some thirty years ago, it was common to apply a replacement tooth as soon as the artificial root has been implanted. This tooth, however, was generally a temporary tooth fashioned that same day, similar to screwing the fractured sections of a broken arm bone together instead of applying a cast that has to be worn for several weeks.

With reference to ‘new teeth in 10 hours’, it is possible to achieve this with efficient teamwork between the dentist and dental technicians, however this relies on ideal conditions such as sufficient jawbone quality, an optimised and catalysed healing process and availability of final tooth replacements. In most cases, though, these ideal conditions are not available and temporary solutions such as provisional tooth replacements have to be applied until the healing and regenerative process has been completed and the customised implants are available.

With all of this we shouldn’t forget how many years it takes for us to lose our teeth. The success of the process will be measured over the years after the procedure, not in the time saved during the procedure.

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