Many people ask us what the process is for getting a 3 on 6. They are concerned at how long the visits will take, the total time before completion, and are concerned that they might have to leave our office without teeth! Let’s look at the actual process.
The total time from consultation to final teeth will generally be 3-4 months.
The first visit to our office will be for the consultation. The consultation usually takes around 30 minutes. This visit is important, because it gives us the opportunity to look at your unique situation and explain what we can do for you individually. At the consultation we take a 3D scan of your mouth and bone. This allows us to see if you have enough bone to be a candidate for the 3 on 6. It will also be the scan that we use to later plan your surgery and the placement of your implants for greatest longevity. All Smile Systems certified dental offices are equipped with a 3D CT scanner to make sure we are getting your implants in the right place every time.
Also at the consultation, your treatment plan will be created and explained to you. You will have the opportunity to ask the doctor any questions, and explain any concerns. After your visit with the doctor, the office manager will review payment options including financing. If you know at this first visit that you want treatment, the office may be able to take impressions of your mouth to create your temporary denture, as well as schedule the date for your implant surgery.
During your implant surgery, the doctor will take care of any tooth extractions, bone grafting, and then place the implants using a surgical guide. The surgery can take anywhere from 2-3 hours for a single arch, and 3-5 hours for both arches. We recommend you take the next day off of work to recover from this surgery. Some people will want more. Most people are able to manage the pain from this surgery with Tylenol and ibuprofen and doesn’t typically last more than 1-2 days after the surgery.
There are many options for anesthesia during the procedure, but regardless of the option you choose, you shouldn’t feel any pain during the procedure. The options range from a local anesthetic being administered and you being wide awake, all the way to being completely asleep during the procedure. Options and costs associated with this will vary by office.
Once the surgery is complete, the hard part is over! Everything else from this point forward is painless. You will leave the office with a temporary denture. If you have never worn a denture before this will take some getting used to. The denture will look great, but will be somewhat uncomfortable to eat and speak with. The good news is that this is only temporary and your new teeth will feel and function just like real teeth. We will give you instructions on maintenance and cleaning of the denture.
We usually allow around 3 months for the implants to heal. At the 3 month visit we test the implants to make sure they are sturdy enough to handle the restorations before they are placed. We will also take a scan and impression of your mouth that we use to design your temporary bridges. You will be able to request the color, shape and size of your teeth. We will make recommendations, but it is ultimately up to you. This visit can take up to an hour.
A couple weeks later we will place the temporary restorations in your mouth. We do a temporary restoration so you can do a test drive and make any requests for changes before your final teeth are made out of zirconia. These teeth will look like your natural teeth. You will be able to eat with them and smile confidently. This visit will typically take around an hour.
Your final restorations will be placed a couple of weeks after this visit. They’ll look pretty similar to the temps, except for the changes you requested. At this point the restoration of your smile is complete. We hope to see you again every 6 months for a standard cleaning. The restorations should never have to be removed, and with good care and cleaning can last a lifetime.