We have all seen those commercials on TV about getting a full mouth of teeth with dental implants in one day. I often get questions from my patients about the truth of this advertising.
My answer to these valuable patients of mine usually includes something like, “How can an advertisement promise you a dental treatment without even performing a comprehensive evaluation of your general and dental health?” In this way, the statements within these commercials pertaining to “same-day” treatment can be interpreted as mis-leading.
Many patients do not need all their teeth extracted. In addition, a fair number of patients have medical issues which must be addressed prior to treatment, and these medical issues may affect the delivery of “same-day” treatment or prevent the option of placing dental implants. Other patients may have an inadequate amount of bone or may have infected bone which should prevent to possibility of same-day treatment. Further, many patients must leave the first day of treatment with a temporary restoration while the final restoration is being fabricated. Other factors also lead to more than one visit being necessary.
Consequently, each patient should be individually addressed and evaluated, and this individuality should factor in to the plan of care. Yes, I too am bothered and confused with this interpreted “promise” of “same-day” dental implant placement and restoration.
Within my dental practice, I follow a step-wise approach of a well-planned series of visits. There are a number of reasons for this. First, I can gather all the information I need so I can individually plan the treatment for each patient. Second, my team and I create the plan of care physically with the end in mind, so I can plan each step that I need in order to attain the final result. Third, with each step I can check my prior steps and make corrections as needed before a final result is even fabricated. Finally, I can communicate with the patient during each step as I prepare the patient for their expectations of the final result. This communication enhances our patient’s satisfaction in the end, as they are properly prepared to receive their “new teeth.”
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