Will I be Toothless While my Implants are Healing?

Will I be Toothless While my Implants are Healing?

Feb 15, 2021

Q: I am having a tooth pulled which will be replaced with an implant and crown. I am hesitant to move ahead with treatment, as the doctors said I will be missing a tooth for months until the implant has healed and the crown is ready to go in. How can this be avoided; I have social events to attend?

Dr. J’s Rant: Funny how things just don’t change. My son was reporting on some on-call experiences in the emergency room at 3:00 AM at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. He is dealing with the same rampant disease that I dealt with 33 years ago at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York during my residency program:

Sumguy Syndrome. (Pronounced: “sum-guy sin-drum”.)

Example: After midnight, patients show up all night long with knocked out teeth and lip, chin and facial lacerations, requiring more stitches than a baseball mitt. When you ask them what happened, they respond unanimously: “I was just minding my own business and, “some guy”, came up behind me and just hit me with something, like a bat.” Hence, “Sumguy” syndrome.

There are options in creating a temporary tooth or teeth for you while you are going through the healing process of implants which can take from three to five months after the extraction site has healed.

  1. Nesbit flipper: one or two plastic removable teeth which clip to the adjacent teeth.
  2. Full arch flipper: Replaced several teeth and usually covers most of the plate; may have metal clasps.
  3. Essix Retainer: A bleaching tray with built in teeth to fill the gaps.
  4. Orthodontic Retainer with Denture teeth: A retainer with metal clasps and denture teeth.
  5. Temporary crown attached to the implant: Avoid this if you can; may cause implant to fail.
  6. Full Upper or Lower dentures: used for full mouth extraction cases where there are no remaining natural teeth to clasp.
  7. Mini Sacrificial Implants to retain the denture: Skinny pegs placed in the bone to allow some retention of the dentures vs. Fixodent or Polygrip. These implants will not be used to attach the permanent teeth.

Due to space limitations and my mediocre sense of humor built into every column, please call or email me for more info.

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