I recently saw this sign in the street and said “wow, that is fast- implant and crown in an hour! That is record time!”
First, the buzz was all about doing an implant in an hour. Next, the stakes were raised to include an implant and a crown in an hour. Well, let me be the first to suggest something entirely new and exciting: an implant and a crown in 15 minutes! Yes, 15 minutes. Should draw a lot of patients, don’t you think?
Here’s how my pitch would go…
If you have a missing tooth, come in and see our doctor. In the first five minutes, he will examine you, take X-rays, and check out your other teeth to make sure they are healthy. He will take an impression of your teeth to determine exactly where the implant needs to sit. He will make a special guide to put the implant in just the right place. He will numb the site, make the incision, and drill in your mouth (quickly, but accurately!). He will place the implant perfectly and take another X-ray to make sure it is positioned correctly. In less than five minutes.
During the next five minutes, our doctor will take an impression of the implant and make a special model for the crown. Not the final crown. Just a temporary. He can’t send you off without a crown, especially since he made a promise that you would have an implant and a crown in 15 minutes. So he will make this temporary crown, shape it, polish it, and prepare it to sit on the implant. Perfectly.
In the final five minutes, he will place a temporary extension on the implant and then fit the temporary crown. He’ll line the crown with some acrylic material and then adjust the margins so it’s flush with the implant. He’ll also make any adjustments necessary to support the overlying gum tissue. Then he’ll cement or screw the temporary crown onto the implant. Of course, he needs to adjust the bite to make sure it’s not too high. And, oh, yes…he made that incision for the implant, so he’ll have to place some sutures to make sure everything is closed up nicely. Quickly, too.
The final crown is another procedure for another day. Sorry, it’s not included in the 15-minute offer because that would be…well, impossible. But the implant and temporary crown in 15 minutes? That’ll be no problem, especially assuming your bone is perfectly adequate and there is no adjacent gum disease. Oh, and the other teeth are sitting perfectly upright in the normal position, too.
One final detail: sorry to disappoint you, but we really cannot do the above in 15 minutes. No one can. It’s about as realistic as the implant and crown in one hour that we so often see advertised. Really, read through the above again: would you want your doctor performing all of those detailed steps under pressure?
So, the next time you see a sign in the street that says, “Special: Implant and Crown in An Hour,” tell them you can get it in 15 minutes! Beat that!