Breaking Down the Entire All-on-4 Dental Implant Procedure
All-on-4 is a revolutionary approach to solving the problem of multiple missing teeth and reconstructing the mouth of a patient to restore full function. In this guide, we explain the entire process of All-on-4 dental implants, and what a patient can expect from the procedure.
Losing teeth is an unfortunate situation that can arise due to a wide range of factors. Sometimes it’s due to an accidental impact, sometimes it’s due to advanced stages of tooth decay, and sometimes it’s due to other oral health problems. Regardless of the underlying cause of lost teeth, it is a problem that must be dealt with appropriately in order to get the patient’s mouth back to full function. One of the most exciting and modern methods of achieving this goal is a procedure known asAll-on-4.
The All-on-4 Difference
While traditional styles of dentures that simply sit on top of the gums are still very common, there are several aspects to them that many patients find to be shortcomings. For instance, it’s not unusual for denture adhesives to loosen prematurely, which can result in potentially embarrassing situations where the dentures separate from the gums unexpectedly. Furthermore, the strength of the bond of denture adhesive limits what the wearer can eat, sometimes preventing the person from enjoying many of their favourite foods.
In addition, there is one major drawback to traditional dentures that isn’t always apparent, and that is the gradualloss of bone density that results from the absence of teeth from the jaw. When a tooth is in place in the jaw, it exerts pressure on the bone by the natural movements of the mouth, such as when eating. This pressure stimulates growth and strengthens the area by increasing the density of the jaw bones. When the teeth are lost, either by accident or by necessity related to other dental health issues, this pressure is reduced and the bones begin to gradually lose density and strength over time.
The All-on-4 dental implant solution offers a superior outcome in all of these respects, thanks to the secure adhesion created by directly embedding the anchoringdental implants into the jawbone. This approach works to provide the same stimulation as natural teeth in order to prevent the loss of bone density and maintain the strength of the jawbone. The stability provided by the implants also offers a much more solid connection for the replacement teeth. This means the patient can enjoy virtually any type of food without ever needing to worry about looseness or accidental separation of their teeth at any time.
With all theseadvantages over other methods of replacement teeth, many patients are eager to learn more about what’s involved in the procedure and what their experience will be like. Let’s take a look now at how the process typically flows.
Consultation & Examination
To start the journey to a full-mouth restoration, a comprehensive examination and consultation is performed with the patient. This will include a detailed review of the patients dental health and past medical history, as well as x-rays, digital 3D scans, and a thorough physical examination of the mouth. The purpose of these tests and inspections is to ensure that the dentist has a complete understanding of the state of the patient’s dental health, thereby identifying any underlying issues that may need to be addressed or corrected prior to the commencement of the All-on-4 procedure.
During the consultation and evaluation stage, the dentist will also have an in-depth conversation with the patient about what their goals are, and provide guidance on the type of outcome that can be expected once the procedure has been completed. This is an important part of the process in order to ensure that all aspects are given their due consideration. We firmly believe that it is essential for patients to be as informed as possible when making the decision to undergo any major surgical procedure for the benefit of their overall health and well-being.
Pre-Procedure & Patient Prep
Once the patient has been fully informed about the process, the dentist has confirmed that the patient is an eligible candidate, and the commitment has been made to moving ahead with the treatment, the next stage of the procedure will begin.
To prepare for the start of the surgery, many different measurements must be taken in order to precisely plan out the placement of the dental implants and design the shape and orientation of the replacement teeth prosthesis. This is done to ensure a perfect fit and optimum comfort for the patient, and provide the greatest stability between the implants and the prosthesis.
Some of the measurements include the height of the natural gum lines, the extent of any overbite or under-bite, and how much ridge reduction will be necessary to achieve the desired final outcome. Ridge reduction, also known as an alveolectomy, refers to the process of removing a certain portion of bone material from the top and bottom jaw in order to accommodate the replacement tooth prosthesis and create enough space for a natural look and feel for the patient.
Bite impressions will also be obtained of both the top and bottom jaws. These impressions will be used to create molds that will help test the fit and sizing of the various components used in the All-on-4 procedure. Wax testing dentures are created from these molds to verify the correct placement and fit, from which temporary implant-supported dentures will be crafted. Once all the various components are prepared, the patient will have their All-on-4 surgery scheduled and things will move ahead.
The All-on-4 Procedure
At the time of the surgical portion of the treatment, the dental surgeon will measure and mark the correct natural distance between the top and bottom jaws of the patient in order to ensure that this distance is preserved at the conclusion of the procedure. Basically, this is done to keep your facial structure and jaw in the same position after the procedure as it was before.
After the patient is sedated, the surgery will begin. Existing teeth and any remnants of previously lost teeth will be extracted, and excess or damaged gum tissue will be removed. An incision will be made along the length of the ridge on both the top and bottom jaws to expose the jawbone for ridge reduction. The ridge will be reduced by removing the predetermined measurements of bone from each of the top and bottom arches, and the remaining bone will be smoothed and prepared for the insertion of the dental implants.
The placement of thedental implants will begin with marking each insertion point on the surface of the bone. Pilot holes for the implants will be drilled at precise angles to obtain the greatest possible strength and stability, while avoiding contact with any other parts of the facial anatomy, such as nerves or sinus cavities. Once the implants are inserted and tightened to the optimum torque requirements, the dental surgeon will replace the gum tissue around the implants and close all incisions.
At this point, the abutments that will serve as the mounting posts for the replacement tooth prosthesis will be attached to the ends of the implants. The contact points where the abutments meet the temporary prosthesis will be marked and drilled, and then tested to ensure secure fit. Now that the temporary prosthesis has been prepared, it will then be secured in place using mechanical fasteners.
The holes in the temporary prosthesis will be filled and sealed, and the bite pattern will be checked and verified. This is now when any high spots or irregular contact points will be corrected to ensure the proper occlusion of the top and bottom jaws. The healing process can now begin.
Here’s a great video on YouTube that shows the complete procedure, from sedation to completion and shows what you can expect with the All on Four procedure.
Recovery & Final Prosthesis
After the procedure has finished, the patient will be required to follow the standard guidelines for post-surgery oral care. Pain relievers will be prescribed as needed, and you will be provided with information on how to keep the mouth properly clean to accelerate healing and tips for a swift recovery. As deemed necessary, the dentist will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor progress.
The patient is recommended to follow a soft-food diet for the first few months after the procedure in order to allow the implants to fully integrate and bond with the surrounding bone in the jaw. Dental implants are made from an advanced composite that is extremely strong and highly effective at forming a strong and secure bond with the organic material that makes up bone. This bonding process is usually complete after about 3-4 months, at which time the patient can once again broaden their diet to include firmer foods, for example raw vegetables and nuts.
Once the healing process has completed, the patient can then return to the dentist office for another set of impressions which will be used to craft the final prosthesis. To do this, the dentist will remove the temporary prosthesis and take molds of the gums and implants so that the fit of the new prosthesis will be customized to match the contours of the fully healed gums and implants. After the impressions have been obtained, the temporary prosthesis will be put back in place until the final version has been crafted.
After the final prosthesis has been attached, the procedure is officially complete and the patient is now ready to enjoy their life with their brand new set of permanent replacement teeth.
Achieve a Higher Quality of Life with All-on-4 Dental Implants
Imagine the difference this procedure can make in the life of someone who has been dealing with the challenges of lost and missing teeth. Suddenly, their smile looks brand new. A wider world of amazing food options reopens for them. Their self-confidence is rejuvenated, and they are able to finally get back the full mouth function they had lost. It’s a profound change, and one that we are proud to have provided to so many patients.
If you or someone you love might be a candidate for this life-changing procedure,contact Georgian Dental today to arrange for your initialAll-on-4 consultation. We will be glad to provide all the information you need, and help you determine if the All-on-4 dental implant solution is right for you. We look forward to helping restore your smile with this amazing treatment!