What is All-on-4?
Also referred to as ‘implant supported dentures’, All-on-4 is a permanent tooth replacement solution designed for patients needing a full-arch of new teeth.
The process is simple. A fully-functional prosthesis is attached to 4 screw-retained titanium implant posts embedded in the jawbone to install an immediately capable set of teeth.
Patients receiving the treatment are able to resume eating most foods on the same day of their surgery.
All-on-4 can be used to replace top or bottom teeth, or both.
Who is a Good Candidate for All-on-4?
Severe tooth decay, badly damaged teeth or gum disease can lead a patient to require a full-arch replacement. With a few exceptions, most candidates for traditional dentures can also be fitted with All-on-4.
Even patients with insufficient bone density for individual tooth implants are generally eligible for All-on-4.
Advantages over Traditional Dentures
Opting for implant supported dentures over traditional false teeth offers a host of benefits:
- Convenience: Traditional dentures are secured in place with a special adhesive. They must be removed and cleaned every night and fixed again the following morning with fresh paste. An All-on-4 appliance snaps on permanently and will only need to be removed by your dentist for periodic cleaning/repair.
- Improved Comfort: Unlike dentures or partials, dental implants do not slip, slide or press against your gum tissue. All-on-4 provides a comfortable fit that does not irritate your gums.
- Appearance: All-on-4 implants appear more natural and lifelike. Smile with confidence, nobody has to know you’ve had your teeth replaced.
- Functionality: The All-on-4 bridge allows patients to consume foods that are difficult to eat with traditional dentures. As pressure is absorbed by the jawbone and not the gums, it’s possible to bite with much more force.
It should also be noted that a major advantage of the All-on-4 procedure is the removal of bone grafting requirements. In most cases, posts can be placed and angulated to take advantage of available bone without grafting.
When comparing the cost of All-on-4 to single tooth implants the procedure is surprisingly affordable – particularly when you take into consideration that the treatment is permanent.
What Can I Expect from the Procedure?
One or two visits to the office are sufficient to perform the CAT scan, X-rays, impressions and photos required to build the appliance.
Day of Surgery
The entire procedure is completed in a single visit. Even in cases where the patient requires a number of extractions.
Patients leave the office with a set of fixed new teeth. Note that the appliance installed at this stage is provisional and patients will be asked to eat a modified diet that does not include foods that require ripping, tearing or breaking for approximately 6 months.
Several checkups will be required in the weeks and months following the operation. At the 6-month mark, once the posts have fully fused to the bone, new impressions will be taken to manufacture the permanent, titanium backed prosthesis.