Orthodontics

A Guide to All-On-4 Dental Implants

April 22, 2022
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ave you considered all-on-4 dental implants to improve your smile? If you have a missing tooth or one that’s badly damaged and should be removed, then your dentist may recommend a dental implant. But if you have several missing teeth, or if your whole smile is suffering from gum disease, decay, broken teeth, or other types of damage, it may be best to talk to your dentist about all-on-4 dental implants.

What are all-on-4 dental implants?

Dental implants, according to Healthline, are “artificial tooth roots that are surgically placed into the jawbone. Over the course of several months, the bone surrounding the implant grows, holding it securely in place. Replacement teeth are then attached with a metal connector to the implant, filling in the gap.”

The most common types of implant look like small screws, made of materials like titanium, onto which false teeth can be attached. The Mayo Clinic adds, “Dental implant surgery can offer a welcome alternative to dentures or bridgework that doesn't fit well and can offer an option when a lack of natural teeth roots don't allow building denture or bridgework tooth replacements.”

All-on-4 dental implants are designed to replace multiple teeth, or as their name implies, all of your teeth, on just four anchors. For an all-on-4 dental implant, the dentist will remove all of the remaining teeth in the patient’s mouth, strategically install the titanium implants, and then attach the false teeth to the implants.

Benefits of all-on-4 dental implants

All-on-4 dental implants are a way for a patient to have beautiful teeth and a beautiful smile relatively inexpensively. And even better, all-on-4 dental implants can often be completed in just one day.

This procedure is for patients who suffer from an undesirable smile, gum disease, broken teeth, lots of fillings, or a bad bite and are sick of the pain. Instead of constantly spending money restoring their teeth, the all-on-4 dental implants allow for a solution to all of these problems at the same time. Think of it a little like clearing a real estate lot for construction–sometimes it’s just easier and more cost-effective to tear a house down and start with a blank slate.

The most important benefit of all-on-4 dental implants is that timeline. That the procedure can be completed, from before to after all-on-4 dental implants, in just a matter of hours and that those hours and weeks spent in the dentist’s chair can end immediately. Additionally, as Healthline says, all-on-4 dental implants give you the choice” to have an implant denture, which is a removable denture that snaps into the implants, or a fixed bridge, which is cemented or screwed into place.”

All-on-4 dental implants are also easy to care for. Healthline says “your new teeth will look and feel natural. They must be cared for with daily brushing and flossing. No special materials are needed to clean them. You can treat them the same way you treat your natural teeth.”

Are you a candidate for all-on-4 dental implants?

For dental implant treatment to be successful, candidates should have healthy gums and bone structures in the surgical area. Bone density can change after tooth loss. In some cases, it may be necessary to build up the jawbone using bone graft material. This helps secure the implant and maintain its stability for several years.

For the bone and gums to stay healthy and strong, it is best for all-on-4 dental implant patients not to smoke. Results seem to be better in patients who do not have health conditions that affect their healing process. Finally, dental implant patients should be willing to commit to good oral health practices after their procedure.

How long do all-on-4 dental implants last?

When properly performed, and with proper care and maintenance (which should be no more difficult than maintaining your natural teeth, all-on-4 dental implants can last for a very long time. Healthline explains, “Implants are meant to last for decades. For this reason, their sticker price is somewhat higher than other procedures that replace missing teeth, such as bridges or dentures.” 

To help ensure that your all-on-4 dental implants last their longest and look their best, The Mayo Clinic says that good oral hygiene is vital, saying: “Just as with your natural teeth, keep implants, artificial teeth and gum tissue clean. Specially designed brushes, such as an interdental brush that slides between teeth, can help clean the nooks and crannies around teeth, gums, and metal posts.” Further, they recommend visiting your dentist regularly and avoiding habits that would damage your natural teeth.

Have more questions about all-on-4 dental implants or want to schedule a consultation? Learn more here.

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