While dental implants have been used for decades to replace missing or extracted teeth, All-on-4® implants are a newer development used to substitute an entire arch of teeth. This solution is an alternative to traditional removable dentures and is designed for patients who have lost a majority of their teeth due to gum disease or…
All-on-4 Treatment from Your Dentist
Are you missing teeth? You are not alone. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, over 36 million U.S. residents have no teeth. An All-on-4® treatment can treat a full arch of missing upper or lower teeth, restoring your ability to chew, speak, and swallow normally while providing a natural look.
What is an All-on-4® procedure?
All-on-4® dental implants are fixed implant bridges. The All-on-4® technique completely restores the upper or lower arch of teeth using a non-removable dental bridge affixed to just four implants. Other implant methods can require six or eight implants in each arch.
The All-on-4® dental implant technique can offer you a few advantages over conventional dentures or traditional implants:
- Because only four implants are required for the dental bridge, you may have a reduced healing time. It can still take a few months to heal while the jawbone and implants fuse through a process called osseointegration.
- All-on-4® implants can be more cost-effective than other dental implant methods because it uses fewer posts.
- Conventional removable dentures can slip, making it hard to eat and speak. Dental implants stay in place.
- According to MIT Medical, your gums and jawbone shrink 1/32 inch per year when you are missing teeth. However, implants can protect bone health by stimulating the jawbone as tooth roots do.
- Dental implants enjoy a high rate of success compared to other dental procedures, according to North Caroline State University. Implants have a success rate of up to 98%.
- Patients with bone-health issues who are generally not candidates for implants may be able to use the All-on-4® method.
Before starting an All-on-4® procedure, you meet with your dental professional. You can discuss the procedure, talking about your desired oral health goals, what to anticipate before, during, and after the process, and what the expected outcome is.
Your dental professional will perform some preliminary procedures, which may include scans, X-rays, measurements, and bite impressions of your teeth and jawbones. These strategies allow the dentist to determine whether you are a candidate for dental implants. You need to have a healthy bone structure to receive implants so that your jawbone can heal properly after the procedure. The X-rays and scans also give the dentist an exact view of where the implants should be placed.
The implant posts are inserted with precision into the jawbone during the procedure. Once the posts are in place, your bones need time to heal and osseointegrate, fusing them to the posts. This stage can take a few months. The dental professional will fit you with a temporary prosthesis to wear during the healing phase.
Once your bones have recovered, the dental professional can fit you for a permanent prosthesis that matches the contour of the healed gums. Follow-up visits can ensure that your new teeth fit correctly, look good, and feel comfortable. Finally, your at-home oral hygiene routine is a crucial part of your post-procedure care.
What skills does an All-on-4® dentist require?
Dental professionals who fit patients with implants need a special set of skills to properly perform the technique. First, they need to have good communication skills. They work with you to understand your oral health care objectives and devise a plan to meet them. Dental professionals want to make sure you understand the procedure and answer any questions before you begin. They also need to communicate your oral hygiene plan so that you heal properly and maintain a healthy mouth while you wear implants.
The ability to provide empathy and reassurance throughout your treatment is another vital skill for dental professionals. The implant process can be lengthy and perhaps unnerving for some patients. It can require several visits and unfamiliar techniques. Your dentist's calm and reassuring demeanor can be a consolation for a nervous patient.
Dental professionals who perform the All-on-4® procedure must have a thorough knowledge of a candidate's requirements, such as healthy gums and a high enough bone density for proper healing. They also need to be precise and have lots of attention to detail, as your implants must be fitted with exact measurements and placement.
If you are interested in an implant procedure, an All-on-4® procedure can offer you advantages. It is an option that can be less expensive and may heal faster than traditional implants. It can also be a favorable alternative to removable dentures. Talk to your dental professional to find out if you are a candidate and learn more about the All-on-4® treatment.
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