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Secure Smile

Your Dental Problems End Today with Secure Smile

What’s different about Secure Smile?

Your high-tech, gorgeous smile that’s really strong. With an extensive background in cosmetic dentistry, I am very excited to create a beautiful smile with a material that is almost impossible to break. Prettau Zirconia is an extremely durable material. Initially strong but not pretty when invented, now it has evolved into a superior combination of strength and esthetics. A five-year study of several hundred cases had ZERO breaking or chipping of the teeth.
A commonly-used way to make teeth on implants is using a metal base with acrylic denture teeth. The problem with acrylic is that after a short while, the acrylic teeth start to chip and break, and stain. A good friend of mine who makes them this way tells the patient that they need a new bridge every few years. Yikes!

The Secure Smile protocol has two significant advantages.

My patients are much more comfortable when they head home on day one with implants placed and an impression taken. You can be home and nap while our lab works on the temporary teeth to seat the next day. Using the dental laboratory makes your temporary teeth stronger and more durable, a better final product that’s more comfortable for you. And tomorrow, you won’t have to get numbed to set your temporary teeth on the implants.

What is Prettau Zirconia and what are its advantages?

As a dental material, Zirconia has undergone a transformation. It is bio-compatible, super-strong, durable. You can make a crown out of it and hammer the crown into a piece of wood without it breaking. Early on, it was very opaque-looking; not very pretty to recreate natural-looking teeth. New formulas allow great tooth coloring and translucency, so it is increasingly used for full-arch dental implant solutions. There are other choices for restoring individual teeth with crowns or onlays, or for cosmetic veneers. But for a full arch of smile supported by implants, Zirconia has significant advantages. Because of Zirconia’s combination of great cosmetics and fantastic strength, I no longer use plastic denture teeth on fixed-implant cases.

Are there studies on the Secure Smile arch strength?

Absolutely. A study examining 219 full arches followed the durability of Prettau Zirconia.
Fitted with acrylic (plastic) bridges, nearly 1 in 4 patients experienced chipping, breaking or cracking that resulted in their final bridge needing replacement. This is different; 219 Prettau® Zirconia Bridge arches placed over a five-year study in 159 patients showed zero failure. The success rate for individual-tooth PZ implants was 99 percent, a success rate well above most implant studies.

What does it cost?

That’s kind of like asking how much a car costs; there’s a big range. We’ll be able to provide an answer after we see your specific situation. Many factors affect how your case is evaluated and planned. (Do you have a lot of bone to hold the implants? Do you need bone grafting first? Where are your sinuses positioned, and what is their size?) Each one makes a difference, and everyone is unique. A three-dimensional CT X-Ray, which takes only 8.7 seconds, will properly assess your individual requirements for long-term success. After your consultation and X-ray, we can figure a specific fee for your case.

How long does it take?

The day after your implants are placed, your first full arch of immediate teeth goes on top. Depending on your situation, you may need only four treatment visits, plus later post-op. Your final Prettau Zirconia teeth are fitted after implants heal in about six to eight months.

I’ve heard about Teeth in a Day. Why Secure Smile instead of same-day?

I used to place temporary teeth on the same day as the implants. When the temporary teeth were placed during the implant day, patients had to hang out with us extra hours, waiting while the temporary teeth were fitted to the implants. Fitting the teeth on the same day made sit-time a lot longer. I felt my patients would much rather be home instead.

I’ve heard about All-on-4™. How is this different?

The former uses four implants for attachment. Secure Smile uses more than four on an arch for greatest stability and support. When you are engineering something for long-term success, the more support you have, the better it works. The success rate for individual implants is very high, but nothing is 100%. If you have an All-on-4 situation and one implant is lost, then to me it’s called “None on Three” (this means you start over, which is no fun).

What can I expect at my appointment?

During your consultation, we will evaluate your jaw bone structure to assess the possibility of dental implant placement. Dr. Highsmith will conduct a CAT Scan during the procedure. The results are imported to a special computer program, allowing for virtual implant placement into a 3-D image of the bone. Together we can see how the implants will fit into the bone, make precision measurements, and create a treatment plan that works for your schedule and budget.