If you are missing some or all of your teeth, you are certainly not alone. In fact, millions of Americans suffer from the same condition where they are missing teeth. Missing teeth doesn’t just affect your mouth, it also affects your quality of eating, speaking, and confidence in social situations. The good news is that there are several permanent options for people with missing teeth, including dental implants.
People with missing teeth understand the hassle and struggle with dentures. Removable dentures can slip when eating or laughing and cause uncomfortable situations for people because they are worried about their dentures moving. If you are a denture wearer, you may want to consider all-on-4 dental implants to help secure your dentures in place.
What are all-on-4 dental implants?
All-on-4 dental implants are 4 individual titanium implants that help secure a full denture. It is the best way to get permanent dentures so that there is no movement or slippage when eating and speaking. The dental implants are placed in the densest bone area to give them the most support. Most people require some type of bone graft to help give support to the natural bone prior to implant placement.
Who is a good candidate for all-on-4?
Any patient missing all of their teeth in the upper and/or lower arches is a potential candidate for all-on-4 implants.
You should always speak to your dentist about your medical and dental history to ensure you are the right person for implants. People that would not make a good candidate for all-on-4 dental implants include conditions like:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Immunocompromised conditions like cancer
- Heavy smokers or alcohol consumption
- Severe bone loss
- What is the benefit of all-on-4 implants?
Dental implants provide people an incredible transformation as it provides a permanent solution to missing teeth. All-on-4 is a great option for denture wearers because it delivers a permanent smile, as well as:
- Most natural looking dental prosthetic
- Long lasting if cared for properly
- Comfortable and convenient compared to traditional dentures
- Restores a natural bite force
- Prevents further bone deterioration
- Easy to maintain
- Minimally invasive
What is the process of all-on-4 implants?
For most people, the all-on-4 implants are a safe and efficient way to replace natural teeth. However, you should always be prepared for the entire procedure because it is considered surgical and always poses some risk.
Before the procedure, talk to your dentist about any concerns you have, including your budget and expectations. Dental implants come at a cost, but it is a valuable investment in your dental and overall health.
Prior to your procedure, your dentist will take several images of your teeth to ensure you have sufficient bone height and quality for treatment. If you have any significant medical history or alcohol/smoking habits, it is important to discuss this with your dentist because it can impact the success of your implant healing process.
The all-on-4 dental implant procedure usually follows the same steps regardless of the dental provider:
- The dentist will remove any remaining non-restorable teeth before placing the implants.
- Then, your dentist will surgically place implants into the jawbone. You won’t feel any discomfort because you’ll receive local anesthesia to prevent pain.
- The bone around the implant will need to heal for a few months. This process is called osseointegration, which means ‘combines with bone.”
- While the implants heal, the dentist will typically place a healing cap and sometimes give temporary teeth abutments before a permanent crown is placed.
- The dentist will require you to follow a special diet while the gums heal and osseointegration takes place.
- Impressions of the mouth are taken by scanning or traditional putty to ensure the permanent teeth fit perfectly. A shade is chosen to resemble your adjacent natural teeth.
- Once the gums have fully healed and the implants have bonded with the natural bone, the dentist will place permanent replacement teeth.
Following your all-on-4 dental implant surgery, you will need to follow certain aftercare instructions to ensure you heal safely and properly. Some common recommendations includes:
- Soft food diet for a few days to avoid pressure on your new implants
- Avoid highly acidic foods and beverages
- Take antibiotics as directed if your dentist recommends it to avoid infection
- Return for follow-up visits to ensure your implants are healing properly
- Take pain medication as directed
- Practice good oral hygiene at home to maintain healthy gums
If you are missing all of your teeth or most of your teeth are non-restorable, consider all-on-4 dental implants to get back a natural and healthy smile. Implants that help secure a denture in place should be considered because it prevents further bone breakdown, which contributes to an aging appearance and difficulty keeping a denture in place. All-on-4 implants are minimally invasive because it prevents dentures from pressing down on your gums the way traditional dentures would.
Don’t delay speaking with your dentist or getting a consultation about all-on-4 implants because it is one of the best replacement options for those with missing teeth. You’ll be on your way to more comfortable eating and socializing with a highly natural and permanent tooth replacement. Contact us today to get started!