All-on-4 Dental Implant Process?
What are All-on-4 dental implants?
All-on-4 dental implants have been specifically designed and developed to allow dentists to replace teeth with fewer implants than conventional dental implants. The overall procedure is less intrusive and less expensive.
All-on-4 are fitted with four implants per jaw. These four implants are placed and will then support 12 custom-made crowns. In some cases, five or six implants may be needed to counteract lower bone density. All-on-4 consist of a gum-coloured acrylic base to resemble gum tissues, while crowns can be made of zirconia or porcelain.
All-on-4 dental implants are fitted at a 30 to 45-degree angle rather than vertically as regular dental implants. Angled fitting increases the strength of the implant. It also allows individuals with jaw bone loss to have implants fitted without the need for expensive and time-consuming bone grafts.
Benefits of All-on-4
All-on-4 implants, often referred to as 'teeth in a day', offer an almost instant solution. Unlike traditional implants, where the healing process after bone graft can take up to six months, temporary teeth can be glued immediately after the implants are placed. Thus, by skipping the healing process of the bone graft, permanent teeth can be inserted 2 months later.
How does All-on-4 work?
It takes a few steps to create a new smile with All-on-4 implants. Here's a breakdown:
In fact, although the dental implant is a very advanced screw system, the attachment mechanism of the implant to the bone is different from the attachment mechanism of a normal screw to wood. Therefore, the dental implant does not stay in the jaw by being supported by the friction force.
- Initial consultation and CT scan. The dentist will assess the overall condition of your mouth and jaw and take a CT scan. If you decide that All-on-4 is right for you, the dentist will take impressions of your mouth. These will then be sent to the lab for the creation of customised prostheses - the jaw and tooth sections or bridges that will be attached to the implants.
- Anaesthesia and extraction (if needed). When you attend the surgery to have your implants fitted, the dentist will give you an anaesthetic so that the entire process is painless. If teeth need to be extracted, this can normally be done at the same time. Your mouth is then thoroughly cleaned to remove bacteria and damaged tissue.
- All-on-4 dental implant placement. Two holes are drilled at the front of the jaw and two at the rear. Your implants are then placed at a 30 to 45-degree angle and any holes are stitched with soluble thread that dissolves in a couple of weeks. Either the same day or the next day, your new teeth will be attached to the implants. When fitted, all joins are hidden behind the lip and are virtually undetectable.
- Affix permanent dentures. Your dentist prefer to fit you with temporary implants for the first six to nine months. This is to reduce bruising and to ensure that less pressure is put on your implants as they heal. Once your mouth is fully healed, the dentist will affix your permanent implants.
What are the alternative treatments to All-on-4?
There are three viable alternatives to All-on-4 implants, and your dentist may discuss them with you during your consultation: dentures, conventional dental implants and implant retained overdentures.
Dentures: Dentures are the least expensive option. They consist of an acrylic base, which is pink or gum coloured, and teeth made from porcelain or resin. Well-made dentures should stay in place without adhesive although this is rarely the case. They don't prevent further bone loss as All-on-4 do, and over time, they will become looser as the jaw bone diminishes. Dentures have to be replaced at approximately 5-year intervals.
Implant Retained Overdentures: Overdenture implants can come as a fixed denture or as a removable denture. Both types of implant dentures are better than regular dentures as far as comfort, convenience, and overall health go. Once a person has implant dentures placed, they'll need to take good care of them like with regular teeth. Overdentures have to be replaced at approximately yearly intervals.
Dental implants: Dental implants can be chosen when one or more teeth need to be replaced. They are the most expensive option for those requiring full mouth reconstruction. People with bone loss may require lengthy bone grafts before the implant can be fitted. Unlike All-on-4 implants, where teeth can be fitted the same day, there is a four to six-month healing period between the placement of implants and teeth. The overall treatment time increases significantly if grafts are necessary, and this can add to the cost.