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Dental implants have been long advocated to replace missing teeth but a more recent dental implant technique can help even more people in a cost effective way. For those patients with no teeth or failing teeth, the traditional treatment has been placement of a full removable denture. These removable dentures came with many compromises like poor fit, denture sores, and inability to enjoy the foods we know and love. A newer technique has been developed using only 4 dental implants strategically placed to give support and stability to a traditional removable denture. This procedure is known as all on 4 dental implants.

What Is The All On 4 Dental Implant Procedure?

The All on 4 Dental Implants procedure was developed in the 1990′s by Nobel Biocare. The all on 4 dental implants system has allowed for a variety of patients who, for various reasons, were not considered good candidates for traditional dental implants to now become candidates.

The All on 4 Dental Implants technique uses 4 dental implants per arch (upper or lower).  The dental implants in the back are placed on an angle to take maximum advantage of the existing bone structure. Specially designed dental implants were created that could support the immediate fitting of replacement teeth. This treatment is attractive to those with loose dentures 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 usually able to 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

The benefits include the following:

-Immediate results. Patients experience a dramatic improvement in chewing ability, teeth stability and overall comfort right away.

-Improve your cosmetic appearance.

-Renewed Lease On Life. You’ll have greater comfort and confidence when smiling, speaking, and eating. You will look better. You will feel better.

-Ability to eat the foods you enjoy again without worry. An all on 4 denture will increse biting force by as much as 70% or more over a traditional removable denture.

-Allow you to taste your foods properly. You can enjoy food again, and not be fearful of losing your denture when you eat.

-Get a long lasting smile.

-Eliminate possible future health issues from teeth that are failing.

-Dental hygiene becomes much easier with fewer areas to keep clean. Just brush and floss regularly, and visit your dentist for routine dental cleanings. Simply treat them like regular, natural teeth.

-No need for denture adhesives to keep your denture in place.

-Prevent future bone deterioration.

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

All On 4 Dental Implants Conclusion

All dentistry is done on the basis of helping the patient function and smile fully without worry. The all on 4 dental implants technique does that and more. For many with failing teeth or already in dentures it can open a whole new world for them that they did not believe could ever exist again. If you are considering this procedure, contact your dentist for a full evaluation and chances are your new smile is closer to reality than you think.

For many, the fear of the unknown keeps them from making decisions that can improve their lives. The same holds true when it comes to our smiles and dental health. A well educated patient makes informed, smart choices that can have dramatic effects on their overall well being. Below you will find some common questions about the all on 4 dental implants procedure.

What Appointments are Needed for All On 4 Dental Implants?

The All on 4 Dental Implants procedure consists of the following visits:

Initial Visit(s) – The initial visit(s) for the all on 4 dental implants procedure is necessary for the dentist to do a proper treatment plan for you. These visits will include gathering pertinent medical history, needed X-rays, dental impressions, photos, and a CAT Scan. The dentist will then be able to review all the information with the patient and develop the proper course of treatment.

Actual All On 4 Dental Implants Procedure Visit – At this visit the patient will undergo the procedure for placement of the 4 dental implants. Following placement of the dental implants, the dentist will place the denture in and the patient will leave in the afternoon with a beautiful set of fixed, functional teeth.

Follow-up Appointments - The patient will need to return to the dentist for occasional dental examinations over the next several days, weeks, and months to ensure comfort and fit. In about 6 months, the patient will return for a final set of dentures. The reason for the 6 month wait is to give the tissues in the mouth time to heal properly, correct anything the patient wishes to change, allow the implants to properly integrate into the bone, and to fabricate a titanium bar to fully support the teeth.

Common All On 4 Dental Implants Questions

What is the difference between traditional dental implants and all on 4 dental implants?

The dental implants used in the all on 4 procedure are specially designed to use as few dental implants as possible while giving proper support and stability. Traditionally, 6-8 dental implants would need to be placed to give similar support to a traditional denture. By placing the dental implants at slight angles it is possible to use fewer dental implants (generally 4-5) which decreases cost and healing time. This also has the advantage of not needing bone grafts prior to surgery.

How Do I Know If I Am A Good Candidate?

The ideal candidate for the All-on-4 dental implant procedure is someone who is currently wearing dentures or who is headed in that direction. Age does not matter but all dental implant candidates should be in good health and be a non smoker.

What is the success rate with All on 4 Dental Implants?

It is very similar to traditional dental implants. Long term studies show that all on 4 dental implants have a success rate over 98%.

Published studies show a 98% success rate using All-on-4 dental implants.

How long is the All-on-4 dental implant surgery?

The surgery itself takes approximately 2-3 hours per arch.

Will I leave the dentist with new teeth on day of surgery?

Yes! On the day of surgery a temporary set of dentures will be placed. The reason the dentures are temporary is to give your dental implants a chance to heal properly. Once the healing is complete a new set of dentures will be fixed in place. Sometimes the denture can not be secured to the new implants immediately. In this case, the bone is not strong enough and needs to heal for a few months while a traditional denture is worn.

Will my results look natural?

Yes! The All-on-4 dental implant procedure gives you permanent teeth that look, feel and function much like real teeth. No one should ever know but you and your dentist.

Can All On 4 Dental Implants be used on both arches?

Yes! The procedure can be used for either an upper or lower denture or both at same time.

How Are My New Teeth Maintained?

Dental implants should be treated like your natural teeth, daily brushing and flossing is required to maintain your new smile. There is also still a need for regular dental visits to have the implants and teeth cleaned and screws changed  to ensure the dental implants are solid, clean and free of infection.

All On 4 Dental Implants Conclusion

All on 4 dental implants have revolutionized dental care for many. To have secure, strong teeth made in a day removes many of the barriers that prevented treatment in the past.  Your dentist will let you know if all on 4 dental implants is a viable option for your oral condition.

Removable dentures are a compromise in form and function for many who wear them. Whether it be with reduced cosmetic features, decreased taste sensation, difficulty chewing substantial foods, speech issues, or poor fit. Did you know there are complications that can arise from a poor fitting denture?

Loose Denture Issues

These can be broken down into short term and long term issues. It is important to note that you should openly communicate any issues you have with your dentist to ensure the best possible fit for you.

Short Term Issues

-Discomfort. When dentures do not fit properly, they place pressure against the gum tissues, rub against them, or feel uneven at certain spots. This may be slightly annoying at first, but over time, irritation, pain, and sores will continue to increase.

-Speech problems. If your dentures do not fit properly, you will have difficulty speaking. Usually the first noticeable clue is the inability to pronounce simple sounds like the letter S.

-Difficulty eating. Most people will struggle initally, with even the best fitting dentures, but when wearing a denture that does not fit quite right it will be even worse.

Long-Term Issues

Over time, any denture will loosen as the bone and gum tissues change. A denture that is loose from the beginning will only get worse over time. Below are some of the longer term issues you can experience.

-Swollen Gum Tissues. When dentures are loose they will irritate the gum tissues. This constant irritation will get a response in the form of inflammation and swelling in the areas affected.

-Development Of Sores And Blisters. Once an irritation occurs, mouth sores can develop. These can be quite painful.

-Nutritional Issues. Patients with loose fitting dentures will change the way they eat to accomodate the loose dentures. This can lead to poor dietary habits.

-Fungal infections. Poorly fitting dentures increase the risk of thrush, a fungal infection that results in painful white spots and red areas along the inside of the mouth. Thrush can also lead to difficulty swallowing, and may be spread to other regions of the body if not treated.

-Bacterial infection: If tissue becomes exposed due to sores or cuts, it can become infected. Additionally, stomatitis is a common oral infection from loose dentures, which causes a red and swollen inflammation of the mouth.

-Overuse of denture cream: When denture cream is perpetually used to secure loose dentures, patients may be overexposed to zinc. This has the potential to create symptoms of neuropathy, which temporarily or permanently numb various nerves in the body.

Can Poor Fitting Dentures Be Fixed?

If dentures are only slightly loose, dentures can be relined to give a better fit and more comfort. If the dentures are very loose then a new denture may be recommended. It is important to remember our mouths are constantly changing and this is especially true when the teeth are no longer present. Our teeth serve to maintain the bone levels in the mouth. Once those teeth are gone the bone will undergo remodeling. There are also marked changes in denture fit after severe weight loss.

Dental implants provide a way to permanently secure dentures and ensure a proper fit. By installing as little as 4 dental implants, your dentures can benefit from increased stability, strength, and support. Moreover, dental implants help maintain your bone levels, reducing bone loss over time.

Dentures Conclusion

If you notice problems with your dentures when you first get them, don’t overlook the issues. Communicate with your dentist. Tell them your concerns and see what options are available to you. There will always be compromises with removable dentures but comfort should not be one of them.

Over time, our smiles change and may begin lose their youthful appearance. These changes can include a change in smile esthetics due to  loss of teeth. Teeth may be lost as a result of trauma, periodontal disease, fracturing, infection, and tooth decay. In the past, the only options for tooth replacement were a permanent cemented dental bridge or  a removable tooth or teeth set into some form of denture. Luckily, that has changed with the widespread use of dental implants. Dental Implants give the dentist and patient a better way to restore that smile and return it to its youthful appearance.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants have been researched and improved upon for quite some time now. Implants have been shown to be safe and successful (over 90%success rate) for the long term replacement of missing teeth.  A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth.  Dental implants can be used in a variety of situations including replacement of a single tooth, as support for a dental bridge, or as support for a denture (allowing it to be more comfortable and secure). Dental implants are a major part of cosmetic dentistry today. Only you and your dentist will know you have dental implants.

Best Options For Dental Implants

Dental implants, like most of dentistry, is highly personalized. The treatment plan will depend upon how many teeth are missing as well as the available quantity and quality of bone present. Below you will find some of the situations where dental implants can replace lost teeth:

-Loss Of A Single Tooth. The replacement of a single tooth with an implant can be done quickly and easily if there is adequate bone support. At one time, replacing a tooth meant wearing a removable appliance (commonly called a “flipper”) or removing natural tooth structure from surrounding teeth to create a fixed bridge of dental crowns. The flipper can be quite uncomfortable to wear and may affect speech and taste. The dental bridge, while a good option, may compromise the support teeth by having them do the work of the lost tooth, and by increasing the possibility of tooth decay over time. The long term success rate is lowered due to difficulties in cleaning under and around the bridge. A single tooth dental implant, when completed properly, will last a lifetime. The dental implant will function and look just like your lost natural tooth.

-Loss Of Multiple Teeth. When missing multiple teeth in a single area, dental implants can be used to form a fixed bridge. The beauty of this arrangement is stability and the ability not to affect the natural teeth in any way.

-Replacing All Teeth. In the past, the only way to restore a full dentition was to fabricate a removable denture that snapped into the implants. With newer techniques, dental implants have the ability to restore natural function and esthetics  and stay fixed tightly in the mouth. The new technique used is an all on four dental implants denture. Four dental implants are strategically placed to allow for a more secure, comfortable, immovable denture.

Dental Implants Conclusion

It has long been known that a full complement of teeth conveys beauty and youth. When teeth are missing we smile less and and are less confident in ourselves. Dental implants are a way to restore that youthful smile and confidence.