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.
How All-on-Four Dental Implants Work
All-on-Four dental implants can give you a full set of teeth with only four implants. These four implants will provide the support for a full arch of non-removable replacement teeth. With the All-on-Four procedure, you can enjoy a full set of teeth without having to undergo multiple surgeries.
Benefits of All on 4 dental implants
The All-on-4 dental implant treatment has been developed to simplify treatment for those suffering from tooth loss, periodontal disease, and/or bone atrophy and resorption (melting away of the natural jaw bone)—all of which can lead to poor oral health, low self-esteem, and quality of life issues. With the All-on-4 treatment, your oral health and overall well-being will be enhanced. Besides these benefits there are other benefits to mention.
The overdentures used in All-on-4 dental implants are attached to the implant posts that are embedded in the jaw. This means more strength for chewing your favorite foods. You can eat all the foods you love again – no restrictions.
Natural Appearance and Feel
All-on-4 dental implants provide a beautiful new smile that looks natural – for most of our patients, their new smile looks better than their natural teeth ever did. Plus, the design of the overdenture is horseshoe-shaped. The roof of the mouth is not covered, like it is with conventional dentures, for a more natural feel.
Preserves Face and Jaw Structure
When you lose teeth, the jawbone loses stimulation and may begin to shrink. Teeth implants stimulate bone growth to maintain the jaw structure, while dentures do not. All-on-4 dental implants can help you preserve your bone structure for a more youthful appearance.
All-on-4 dental implants can be maintained just like natural teeth. You can brush and clean them like normal with regular checkups at your dentist.
Quicker and More Affordable Than Teeth Implants
All-on-4 dental implants are cost-effective compared to a full restoration with teeth implants. Plus, the procedure is less invasive with a quicker recovery time. All-on-4 dental implants can restore your smile in as little as a day.
Good All on 4 dental implant Candidates
Good candidates for All on 4 dental implants may include:
- People who have lost numerous teeth due to injury.
- People who have lost numerous teeth due to tooth decay.
- People with advanced gum disease.
- Individuals who are unable to see significant benefits from restoring the teeth or those who cannot have teeth restored.
Good candidates don’t necessarily have an entire arch missing, but they do have a significant number of teeth that need replacing.
If you are a dental patient who is torn between dental implants or traditional dentures for replacing an entire arch of teeth, All on 4 may be a good choice for you, and you may be a good candidate.
However, the criteria for All on 4 is slightly different than for dentures or single or multiple implants. For this reason, candidacy is determined on an individual basis.
Individuals Who Wouldn’t make Good Candidates for All on 4 dental implants
Dental patients who do not make good candidates for All on 4 have a history of poor oral health and have underlying conditions that would make healing after the implant surgery difficult or unusually slow. These would be individuals with a history of uncontrolled diabetes as well as high blood pressure and autoimmune disorders.
If you are missing a significant amount of jaw bone or gum tissue, All on 4 typically wouldn’t be a good option. Unfortunately, when individuals have lost a significant number of teeth, the human body tends to reabsorb the jaw bone, causing low bone density in the areas where teeth have been lost.
The All on 4 dental implant 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 the dental 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.
Recovery Period for All-on-4 Dental Implants
Since this is a minimally invasive procedure that uses oral sedation, the recovery period is fairly simple. The sedation should wear off in approximately 4 to 5 hours following the procedure, therefore you will need to ask a trustworthy friend or family member to drive you home. You’ll also need to follow a liquid and soft food diet for a few days. In the event you do notice any immediate pain and swelling, pain medications can help. You’ll be able to resume work within two to three days.
On the other hand, if you have teeth and bone grafting is required, you can expect a healing period of three weeks. Following the procedure, you will have a temporary denture placed on top of the implants. After approximately six months, the implants will have integrated with your bone. After this period, you will return to our office so that your dentist can remove the temporary fixed denture and place your final fixed denture which in most cases will have a titanium bar in it that makes it very strong and durable. You’ll need to take antibiotics and use an antimicrobial mouthwash during this time. These dentures that are screwed to the implants are called hybrid dentures and they don’t come out of the mouth like traditional dentures and they look like dental bridges.
What Are the Side Effects of All on 4 implants?
Patients who follow their post-surgical instructions diligently are more likely to achieve a successful dental implant recovery and greatly reduce their risk for complications. As with any type of surgery, there are always a few side effects. Knowing what they are and how to manage them in advance can provide peace of mind and clarity when they arise.
Although dental implants can often be placed under local anesthesia, for patients who require stronger sedation, such as an oral sedative, they may feel groggy and fatigued for the first 24 hours. This is completely normal. After your loved one drives you home, the key to reducing the effects is immediately resting.
As with any surgery, there will be some bleeding involved. Most can be contained by applying pressure to the surgical site with gauze. To prevent infection from developing, we recommend changing out the gauze every couple of hours or once it has completely soaked through. In most cases, bleeding will dissipate within 24 hours. If bleeding persists past the first day, please contact our office immediately.
Pain and Discomfort
It is normal to feel some pain for the first few days after surgery. However, taking your medications as directed will help minimize any discomfort. You will be prescribed an antibiotic to prevent infection from developing, as well as an anti-inflammatory to control swelling. In addition, you will be encouraged to maintain a soft food diet to avoid disrupting your implants and causing further discomfort.
Swelling and Bruising
You will experience some swelling and bruising after surgery. The degree to which you experience it will depend on how your body responds to surgery. Each patient is different. Taking your medications, keeping your head elevated, and applying cool compresses to your outer jaw will help reduce swelling and bruising. Most swelling and bruising will subside after the first week.
How many teeth are in All-on-4?
Usually, the four implants support a fixed prosthesis with 10 to 14 teeth, and it is placed immediately, typically within 24 hours of surgery.
How painful is the All-on-4 procedure?
Most patients who get All-on-4 implants report experiencing less pain than they anticipated. This is due, in part, to the fact that you have the option of local anesthesia or IV sedation. This is also due to the extensive training and experience of dentists offering All-on-4.
Does food get under All on 4 dental implants?
No, food should not get under All on 4 implants. If there is food under your implant you should talk to your dentist.