What are All-on-4 Dental Implants? Understanding Advantages & How They Work
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having several missing teeth, you may find that you are experiencing a great deal of frustration and loss of confidence as a result. Missing teeth can be a contributing factor to several other dental health problems and can also have significant effects on your overall well-being. Patients in this situation should take steps to have their missing teeth replaced as soon as possible to ensure that good oral health is maintained and that the overall quality of life is improved. But other than dentures, what are the options for replacing several missing teeth?
While dentures are a tried and true solution for many patients who are missing multiple teeth, they don’t always deliver the level of comfort or confidence that leads to complete satisfaction with your treatment. Fortunately, advancements in dental science and technology have led to the development of a better solution for the replacement of multiple teeth that delivers far greater results and many advantages over other treatment options. This solution is known as All-on-4 dental implants.
What are All-on-4 Dental Implants?
The All-on-4 system is a combination of different dental methods and technologies that provide a solid and secure connection for the replacement teeth that is much more stable and reliable than traditional methods for affixing dentures, such as simple natural suction or denture adhesives. All-on-4 uses a set of fixed dental implants that are embedded in the patients jaw in order to provide a firm and solid platform that holds the set of replacement teeth in place. Because of this, All-on-4 are often also referred to as a type of ‘implant supported dentures’, although this is a broad term covering other styles of replacement teeth as well.
The dental implants that are used in the All-on-4 treatment procedure are slightly different from a normal dental implant, which is designed to simply replace an individual tooth. The portion of the implant that is affixed inside the bone of the jaw is essentially the same, but the top exposed portion of the implant replaces the artificial tooth of a regular implant with a specialized cap-shaped tip. These four tips are used to provide a physical connection between the jaw and the artificial teeth, which has a matching set of four receptacles on the underside. It’s this solid, physical connection between the implants and the new teeth that provides a much more natural feeling for the patient when wearing their teeth, especially when chewing or talking.
The four implants used to provide the secure connection are strategically positioned in the patients jaw after careful examination and analysis by the dental surgeon to ensure the most effective placement for each implant to achieve the best results. Usually, the most common arrangement for the implants is two near the front of the mouth that are inserted in a nearly vertical alignment. Two more implants are inserted towards the back of the mouth, in the molar area, and are usually placed at a steeper angle to provide greater stability and support thanks to the increased contact with the bone of the jaw. Once the implants are securely in place, the implant supported dentures can be used immediately, providing a fast recovery time and a quick return to your daily life and usual routines.
What are the Advantages of All-on-4?
The advantages of the All-on-4 method are numerous, both directly related to your oral health and indirectly as they provide benefits in other areas of your life. Here are some of the key benefits that patients will realize from undergoing the All-on-4 procedure.
Prevent Bone Loss & Degradation
One of the most common effects of lost and missing teeth is the degradation of bone in the jaw as a result. The All-on-4 system is effective in minimizing the effect of bone loss since the implants are affixed directly to the jawbone and act in a similar fashion to the roots of natural teeth. The pressure exerted in to the jawbone mimics that of natural teeth, encouraging the retention of bone mass and providing strength to the area.
Even in patients that have experienced some level of bone loss, the All-on-4 system can still be used. Since the implants provide such a secure connection in to the existing jaw bone, there is a substantially reduced likelihood that a bone graft will be needed in order to proceed. By avoiding the need for a bone graft, recovery and treatment timelines are significantly reduced.
Greater Self Confidence
Patients who receive All-on-4 treatments end up with a complete set of natural-looking teeth connected securely and comfortably in their mouth, enabling them to enjoy all their favourite foods, and a great variety of food and drink, without worry. Knowing that your teeth will stay in place at all times, patients experience a great boost in their self-confidence as they no longer need to be concerned about situations where loose dentures may be a source of embarrassment.
Easier Care & Better Hygiene
Caring for your All-on-4 teeth and implants is easy and follows many of the normal oral care habits that you are already familiar with. Brushing, flossing, using oral rinses, and going for regular dental checkups are all still necessary habits that you need to keep up with. All-on-4 has the added benefit of doing away with the need for any messy or costly adhesives that are commonly required with other traditional styles of dentures. This saves time, hassle, and money in the long run.
A Permanent Solution
One of the major benefits that the All-on-4 treatment provides is that the results are permanent, and do not necessitate the frequent fitting sessions that traditional dentures require. Because the All-on-4 system uses a denture that is securely fastened to the mouth via the implants, the connection is not prone to the same problems that result from gum recession, which cause traditional dentures to become loose and uncomfortable over time. All-on-4 provides a permanent solution that results in greater comfort and convenience for the patient.
It’s important for patients who are missing teeth to understand that the more time that passes before they receive treatment, the more likely they are to risk developing conditions as a result, such as gum recession, bone loss, and other oral health concerns that can become quite serious if left untreated. By taking action early to replace missing teeth, you are investing in your overall health and well-being and will avoid these potential problems in the future.
If you are missing several teeth and would like to learn more about what the best treatment options may be for you, we recommend scheduling a free, no-obligation consultation with our team here at Georgian Dental®.
Our staff is professional and friendly, and we will take the time to discuss all your available options, including whether the All-on-4 method is the solution that you’ve been waiting for. We are happy to answer all your questions on All-on-4, including what you can expect from the treatment and the types of results that other patients have already achieved through this innovative procedure.
A full set of natural-looking teeth is assuredly in your future, and with the All-on-4 system, you can be confident that your smile will definitely be back in style!