A reason to smile again: all-on-four dental implants
Can just four implants replace all of the teeth on the top or the bottom of your mouth? Thanks to advances in dental implant technology, that answer is a resounding yes.
Believe it or not, tooth loss is extremely common among adults, especially as we age. In fact, more than 35 million people in America are missing all of their upper and/or lower teeth. Rather than living with the discomfort and hassles of dentures, many people are opting for what is called “all-on-four” dental implant restoration.
What are All-on-4 dental implants?
All-on-4 dental implants can support a whole arch of teeth using only four implants. This can be used on either the upper or lower jaw and immediately replaces missing teeth which not only look and feel similar to your natural teeth, but function normally also.
All-on four: One full arch of teeth, four dental implants
To fully understand this remarkable technique for replacing teeth, you should first understand what a dental implant is. An implant is a small titanium screw that fits inside your jawbone and replaces the root-part of a missing tooth. Minor surgery is required to insert the implants. Once the implant is in place, a crown is attached to give you a highly realistic-looking and functional prosthetic tooth.
Here’s where it gets really interesting: You do not need a dental implant for each and every one of your missing teeth. All you need is four precisely placed implants on the top of your mouth, and four on the bottom, to restore your full smile. That’s the beauty of the all-on-four. And because the implant is made of titanium, it has the unique ability to fuse to living bone and function as part of it. So eventually, the dental implant becomes part of the jawbone and serves as a strong, long-lasting foundation for your new teeth.
Besides ensuring that your implants are permanently fixed in place, this bone fusion has another important benefit: it prevents future bone loss in the jaw. This helps to maintain a more youthful facial structure—and better oral health. But perhaps the biggest surprise about the all-on-four is how quickly it can transform your life.
How does all-on-4 work?
All-on-4 consists of four titanium implants inserted into each jaw. These implants act as a foundation for a bridge. A fixed set of teeth, which will look like your natural teeth, can then be added to the implants replacing your teeth.
If you have some bone loss, All-on-4 can still be used as a good solution. When the posterior implants are tilted 45 degrees, it reduces the need for a bone grafting and can provide you with a set of teeth virtually indistinguishable from your set of natural teeth. All-on-4 procedures take advantage of the denser bone that often remains in various parts of the jaw. This positioning is angled so it avoids the nerve canal in the lower jaw and sinus cavities in the upper jaw.
Before you have surgery, you will need to have one or two appointments at a baytown dentist so the oral surgeon and restorative dentist can develop a treatment plan for you. This may involve taking X-rays, photos, impressions and other measurements.
Following this consultation process, you will be scheduled for surgery implantation. Here, your new teeth will be fitted and adjusted within a 24 hour period, even if extractions are necessary. You will be sedated during this procedure, usually using an IV drip.
You may need to return for check ups in the next few months to ensure the replacement teeth fit properly. At the six-month mark, your gums should have fully healed and your implants fused to the natural bone.
Is All on 4 right for me?
All-in-4 treatment is typically recommended for patients who need to replace the majority of their natural teeth. They are also usually good for patients with low bone volume who cannot have a bone graft due to health conditions such as diabetes or osteoporosis.
Your dentist will first give you an appointment to evaluate your current dental health. He or she will also give you some advice about the treatment options that will best fulfill your needs.
Benefits of All on 4
All-on-4 implants are a good treatment for patients that need to replace virtually all of their natural teeth. The procedure has a high success rate and can virtually eliminate the need for bone grafting which is an invasive, uncomfortable and costly procedure.
The procedure is generally quick (around one to two hours long) and you will have full function afterwards as opposed to traditional dental implants that require multiple visits over 3-6 months to complete
The result will be natural-looking teeth that work effectively and efficiently.
After your surgery you may need to come in for check-ups to ensure everything is in order. However, your new implants will function naturally from the day you leave the dentist’s office. Your dentist will advise you about how to care for your implants, but this is very easy and it is not hard to keep them clean.
If you are anxious about your surgery or treatment, make sure you talk to your dentist about your needs so he or she can make you feel more comfortable. Remember, you will be sedated during the surgery so you won’t feel pain or stress.
We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions so get appointment today.