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Dental implants have given dentists the ability to easily replace missing teeth to restore smiles to their natural appearance. For those needing more extensive tooth replacement, dentures have been the traditional option. Traditional dentures come with many compromises. These include poor fit, oral sores from ill fitting dentures, along with decreased ability to enjoy our favorite foods. Luckily, newer techniques have been developed that can remove those compromises and give you a natural looking and feeling smile. This newer technique is called all on 4 dental implants or all on 4 dentures. This technique allows for 4 dental implants to be placed in strategic locations to give support and stability to a denture.

All On 4 Dental Implant Procedure Explained

The All on 4 Dental Implants procedure was developed in the 1990′s by researchers at dental implant manufacturer Nobel Biocare. The all on 4 dental implants system has allowed for many patients who were not good candidates previously to suddenly have options for a fixed denture.

The All on 4 Dental Implants technique uses four (4) specially designed dental implants on the upper or lower or both.  The dental implants towards the back are placed on an angle to take optimal advantage of the patient’s existing bone structure. These specially designed dental implants have the ability to support the immediate fitting of replacement teeth. This treatment is attractive to those unhappy with wearing a removable denture or those in need of full upper and/or lower restorations. With the All on 4 dental implants procedure, qualified patients receive just four dental implants and a full set of new upper or lower replacement teeth in just one appointment. This can usually be done without the need for dental bone grafts.  The real attraction to the all on 4 dental implants procedure is how quickly permanent dental implants can be placed. This allows patients the ability to leave the same day with a denture that is fixed in place and stabilized by the dental implants.

Traditionally, the  approach to restoring a full arch of teeth (either upper or lower) usually involved dental bone grafts, six or more dental implants, and as much as 18 months of treatment. In that time, the patient would be wearing an interim denture while the dental bone grafts and dental implants heal and integrate into the bone. This can be very expensive, time consuming, and uncomfortable for a patient to continuously go back for treatment.

Benefits Of All On 4 Dental Implants

-Proven Procedure. The All On 4 Dental Implants procedure is more than a decade old with over a 98% success rate.

-Immediate Results. Patients experience a dramatic improvement in chewing ability, teeth stability and overall comfort immediately. Since the dentures are placed the same day as the dental implants, the benefits are almost immediate.

-Stability. Unlike traditional dentures, All-on-4 dentures supported by dental implants are not removable by the patient. Because they are secured by implants, they fit more securely and do not have the ability to shift around in the mouth like traditional dentures.

-Improve Cosmetic Appearance. Ability to restore your facial features and remove some wrinkles around the mouth.

-Minimal Recovery Time. The procedure generally requires minimal recovery time.

-Convenience. The All on 4 dental implants technique can usually be completed in a minimum of two visits. You will leave the office with a beautiful new smile on the same day!

-Ability To Enjoy All Foods. All-on-4 dentures restores full chewing functioning, so your diet is no longer limited by impaired chewing. An all on 4 denture will increase biting force by as much as 70% or more over a traditional removable denture.

-Maintain Existing Bone Levels. Dental implants help prevent further bone loss.

-Increased Confidence. Missing teeth can detract from a person’s self-confidence. In addition to improved quality of life, many patients find that restoring the aesthetics of their smile improves their self-esteem and makes them less self-conscious. You will have greater comfort and confidence when smiling, speaking, and eating. You will look better. You will feel better.

-Denture Adhesives Not Needed To Keep Denture In Place.

Conclusion

The All on 4 denture procedure can restore the quality of life for many. If you are unhappy with your current denture or think you might be a candidate, see your dentist for a thorough evaluation. This first step could lead to a new smile and new possibilities in life.

 

Dental implants have become highly utilized in dentistry. Oftentimes, another procedure called a bone graft, is required to aide in the stabilization of  dental implants. The success of dental implants depends on the quality and quantity of bone present. If the bone is of poor quality or low quantity the dental implants have a much lower chance of success. Adequate bone structure is required for a dental implant to integrate (become one with the surrounding bone), and be strong enough to chew on. Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that can increase the quality and/or quality of the bone to then directly effect the chance of dental implants success. Not all dental implants require bone grafts, so when do you need them?

When Are Dental Bone Grafts Needed For Dental Implants?

-The existing bone has insufficient width. This could be a genetic factor where the bone width is lacking naturally or it could be from damage over time from periodontal disease.

-The existing bone has insufficient height. The height of the bone is just as critical as the width as it ensures the dental implant is properly anchored to support the stress of function (biting and chewing food).

-The maxillary sinus is too close to area of placement. This usually means that there is not enough bone between the tooth area and the sinus. Generally this can be fixed by lifting the sinus membrane (Sinus Lift) and placing bone graft material.

-Inadequate bone as a result of previous tooth or teeth removal. Sometimes when teeth are removed or fall out, bone can be removed as well. The bone will also decrease and remodel once the tooth is removed as it no longer is needed to hold a tooth in place.

-Not enough bone due to periodontal disease or trauma. Periodontal disease and trauma can lead to there not being enough bone for a successful dental implant.

-Inadequate bone due to defect in development that affects growth of bone in the jaw.

-Insufficient bone caused by the removal of cysts or tumors in the mouth. If the removal of a cyst or tumor is required there will also be removal of some of the bone, there may not be enough left for the dental implant to be successful. After removal of oral pathology, healing time is required so that bone quality and quantity can be reevaluated.

Bone Grafting Procedure

Where Does the Bone Come From?

Bone grafting procedures involve the use of your bone, cadaver bone, cow bone, and synthetic bone. Your own bone will most likely come from your chin or ramus (the back part of your lower jaw). If your dentist is unable to get enough bone from either of these areas, they may need to get bone from your hip or shin bone (tibia) instead. The hip is considered to be a better source because the hip bone can provide a large amount of bone. The marrow from either the hip or shin (tibia) contains bone-forming cells. However bone taken from your hip requires a visit to the hospital along with general anesthesia. Cadaver bone and cow bone is sterilized and broken down into small chips for easy placement.  Man made synthetic materials are also widely used for bone grafting. The synthetic bone acts as a scaffold for new bone to build on.

Newer products containing growth factors have also been developed.  Some are used to enhance bone graft materials and others are used in place of bone grafting. One of these products, BMP-2 stimulates certain body cells to turn into bone. The BMP-2 protein occurs naturally in the body.

What Happens During Bone Grafting?

A good example is a patient that needs to have a single tooth extracted and wants to have it replaced with a dental implant and dental crown. There may be a bone defect in the area or the tooth is large and needs to have some bone placed to fill in the expansive space. In this case, a dental bone graft is ideal and necessary to support the future dental implant.

Before the procedure, you will need to have either a CT scan or a cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scan. The images of a CT or CBCT provide valuable information about bone quantity and show where important nerves and sinuses are located which need to be avoided. A CBCT actually provides a 3-D image of your bone and any defects present. Local anesthesia will be used to numb the area where the bone augmentation is needed (called the recipient site) as well as the area from where bone will be removed (donor site) if using your own bone. An incision in the gum tissue where the implant will be placed is made to determine how much and what type of bone is needed.

The most common type of graft is called a socket graft. This is used to fill the space left behind by the lost tooth. The material used most often in a socket graft is often comprised of cow bone. This bone is harvested from known healthy cows and is processed through a freeze drying procedure that renders a sterile end product containing only the mineral content of natural bone. The graft is applied to the empty hole immediately after a tooth extraction and is secured using sutures (stitches).

Following the bone grafting procedure the patient will be given antibiotics, pain medicine, and an antibacterial mouthwash. You will need to avoid certain foods. You also will be told how to avoid putting pressure on the area or damaging it while it heals. If you wear a denture, you may not be able to wear it for a month or longer while the area heals. If you have natural teeth around the bone graft, your dentist may make a temporary removable bridge or denture to help protect the area.

Success of Bone Grafting

The success rate for bone grafts in the jaws for the purpose of placing dental implants is very high. However, there is a small chance that the bone graft will fail, even if your own bone was used. Bone grafts are not rejected like organ transplants. It is not exactly known why some dental grafts fail. There is a higher risk of failure in patients with diabetes, who smoke, or have periodontal disease. A failed graft can be removed. Once the area has healed, your dentist may choose to place a second bone graft.

Dental Bone Grafts Conclusion

Without dental bone grafts many would be unable to restore their smiles with dental implants. Just like dental implants, dental bone grafts are highly successful procedures to restore a smile to its natural state. Every case is different and the need for bone grafting varies from person to person and tooth to tooth. You can discuss the need for possible bone grafting with your dentist to see if it would benefit your procedure.

 

Looking and feeling younger has been an eternal quest for the human race. Science is ever advancing to keep us feeling and looking younger but did you know a full healthy smile can have a similar effect? Replacing lost teeth is more than just a cosmetic fix. Having a full smile can give you a youthful appearance as well as increased confidence.

Are Dental Implants Right For Me?

Dental implants are an ideal option for people with generally good oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, trauma, or any other reason. Dental implants are actually more conservative than traditional crowns and bridges, since dental implants do not remove healthy teeth structure or rely on adjacent teeth for support.

Sufficient bone is necessary to support the dental implants, and the best candidates for dental implants have healthy gum tissues that are periodontal disease free. Once dental implants are placed they are intimately connected with the underlying bone and gum tissues in the mouth. Maintaining proper dental hygiene is necessary for the long term success of dental implants. With technique and material advancements, dental bone grafts are now more successful than ever and can be used to augment your natural bone. Be honest with your dentist regarding health issues or anything that could ultimately affect the success of the procedure. There is an increased risk of failure in patients who smoke. For this reason, dental implants are frequently placed only after a patient has stopped smoking.

Dental implant success is related to surgeon’s skill, quality and quantity of the bone available at the site, and the patient’s dental hygiene maintenance. Failure of dental implants is usually due to the failure of the implant to osseointegrate (fuse with bone) correctly, or vice-versa. Dental Implants considered failures if it is lost, mobile or shows marked bone loss around the implant. Dental implants are not susceptible to tooth decay but they can develop a condition called Peri-implantitis. This is an inflammatory condition of the gingival tissue and/or bone around the implant which may result in bone loss and eventual loss of the implant. It is usually associated with chronic infection. Peri-implantitis is more likely to occur in heavy smokers, patients with diabetes, patients with poor dental hygiene and cases where the gingival tissue around the implant is thin.

More rarely, dental implants may fail because of poor surgical placement, not having enough bone healing prior to restoring with a crown or may be overloaded initially, causing failure to integrate. If smoking and positioning problems exist prior to implant surgery, dentists may often recommend to patients that implants may not be the best option.Then they will recommend a bridge or a partial denture to replace the missing tooth.

Once restored, dental implants are very natural looking and the patient will not feel any difference after it is healed. You may even forget you ever lost a tooth in the first place. A person’s self esteem is definitely affected by his/her smile. Perhaps you hide your smile because of spaces from missing teeth. Maybe your dentures don’t feel secure. Perhaps you have difficulty chewing. If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort and confidence, there is good news! Dental implants are teeth that can look and feel just like your own! Under the right conditions dental implants can maintain your smile for a lifetime. Long-term studies continue to show improving success rates for dental implants.

Dental Implants And Their Benefits

Dental Implants have the ability to provide the following benefits to make you look and feel younger:

-Dental Implants Feel Natural. They look and feel just like your own teeth.

-Cosmetics. Dental implants have the ability to restore a lost smile making you more attractive to others.

-Similar Dental Hygiene Maintenance As Natural Teeth. Not only do they feel comfortable but they are maintained just like our natural teeth. This includes brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist for professional cleanings.

-Restored Chewing Ability. Dental implants allow you to chew all your favorite foods without pain/discomfort or fear.

-Improved Communication. With a full complement of teeth your speech will be improved.

-Conservative Treatment. Any surgery is rarely considered conservative but in this case it is. Dental implants preserve natural tooth tissue by avoiding the need to cut down adjacent teeth for conventional bridgework.

-Preserving Bone. When teeth are lost, the bone in the jaws remodels and shrinks. When dental implants are in place the bone levels stay where they should maintaining a healthy bone structure in the face and jaws.

-No Tooth Decay. Dental implants are not susceptible to tooth decay.

-Increased Confidence and Self-Esteem. With a renewed smile, you will feel better about yourself and confident in knowing you can smile fully.

Dental Implants Conclusion

If you have lost your teeth due to aging, an accident or some other dental problem, be aware there is a solution to restore your smile to its youthful appearance. Dental implants can make you feel and look younger again. A healthy smile exudes confidence and optimism, and is the focal point of many conversations. Don’t you owe it to yourself to show the world the best side of you.

Dental implants are widely spread throughout dentistry and have become mainstream for many patients. In the past, patients were presented other options…go without a tooth or teeth, wear a removable denture, or have a cementable bridge made. Dental implants have allowed for a great additional option which does not cut down existing teeth, and is strong and unmovable. Unfortunately, many of us forget that dental implants need to be cared for and maintained just like  natural teeth.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are an artificial tooth root (usually made of titanium) that a periodontist or oral surgeon places into your jaw to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth. Dental implants can replace a single tooth, support  a bridge, or support a denture (making it more comfortable and secure).

Dental implants are an ideal option for people in generally good oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, injury, fracture or decay. Dental implants are actually more tooth saving than traditional crowns and bridges, since dental implants do not cut down healthy teeth or rely on adjacent teeth for support.

Sufficient bone, and good overall health will give you the best prognosis for ideal oseointegration, (the way bone fills in around the implant for strength). Dental implants are intimately connected with the underlying bone and gum tissues in the mouth. So, proper fit, good occlusion, and excellent oral hygiene are necessary for long term success. With technique and material advances, dental bone grafts are now more successful than ever and can be used to augment your natural bone. Periodontal disease, diabetes, bleeding problems, etc. can cause difficulty in placement, healing and longevity of the dental implants. Be upfront with your dentist regarding health issues so that the proper steps can be taken to give you the highest chance of success. There is an increased risk of failure in patients who are smokers. For this reason, dental implants are frequently placed only after a patient has stopped smoking.

Top Tips For Caring For Your Dental Implants

-Toothbrushing. Usual toothbrushing applies. It is recommended that you brush twice a day but it is even more beneficial to brush after every meal if that is possible.

-Flossing. Yes, flossing is important even with dental implants. Flossing is able to clean around the dental implants along the gum line. Just because the dental implants cannot get tooth decay it does not mean you cannot lose them. Bone loss is still possible around the dental implants which can lead to their loss.

-Maintain Regular Dental Visits.  Dental implants should be cleaned with different types of dental instruments as not to scratch the surface. They should again not be cleaned with ultrasonic or vibrating dental instruments of any kind. It is important to examine the dental implants at least once per year along with your regular professional cleaning schedule. Your dentist will evaluate the bone levels along with the soft tissues and occlusion. The important takeaway here is to have frequent examinations to catch any issues that might arise early enough so proper corrections can take place.

-Use A WaterPik. A great way to clean around dental implants is to use WaterPik.  The WaterPik is a water spray that cleans in between and around the teeth. But keep in mind again too much pressure may cause damage to the pocket so keep it at the lowest level possible. Recent studies have shown the WaterPik to remove up to 145% more debris than regular dental floss alone. Periogen in the waterpik can help remove tartar buildup around implants making it easier to keep them clean.

-Do Not Smoke. Smoking has been known to decrease oxygen flow to the gum tissues. This results in delayed healing, deterioration of the oral tissues, and bone loss. Bone loss and inflammation will cause your implant to loosen and fall out. If you want to protect your investment, do not smoke.

-Avoid Extremely Hot Liquids. Dental implants are made of metal and metal has ability to retain heat more readily than our oral tissues. If you drink extremely hot liquids, the metal of the dental implant  may heat up from the liquid and stay hot. The heat may cause a burning of a thin layer of cells around the implant. With repeated small damages this may cause inflammation around the implant. This is not backed by research, but is worth mentioning.

Caring For Dental Implants Conclusion

Just like your natural teeth, dental implants should be maintained if you wish to keep them. With proper maintenance, both at home and in the dental office, dental implants can last a lifetime. Dental implants can strengthen, and enhance your smile for years to come.