According to the American College of Prosthodontics, approximately 178 million Americans have lost at least one tooth with about 40 million of them missing all their teeth. These stats get worse with age. From the same study, 30% of American adults between the ages of 65 and 74 do not have their natural teeth. As shocking as these stats are, they reveal a significant improvement from the early 1970s—the situation was worse back then.
Thanks to technology, when you lose your teeth, you don’t have to settle for uncomfortable treatment methods anymore. Dental technological advancements have seen the introduction of effective all-on-four dental implants. Now, you can walk into a dental clinic and have all your teeth replaced in one sitting. Sounds too good to be true? Follow through as we explain in detail what all-in-four dental implants are and why there’s so much fuss about it lately.
All-On-4 Implants Explained
All-On-4 dental implants, also known as full-arch implant bridges, or simply All-on-4is a one-time restoration of a full arch of teeth. Essentially, this concept uses only four implants to support an entire arch of teeth. These implants are typically manufactured from materials such as porcelain, cobalt, acrylic, titanium, and monolithic zirconia. They can be installed on both the lower and upper jaws to replace missing teeth. Unlike other artificial teeth, all-in-four implants feel, look, and function similar to natural teeth.
An All-in-4 requires minor surgery to insert the titanium screw (implant) inside your jaw. Basically, this is what plays the role of the root of your missing tooth. Once the implant is secured in place, the dental surgeon will attach a beautiful crown that closely resembles your missing tooth.
Why the Fuss?
The concept of all-in-four implants has gained traction in the last few years. This is because they offer tremendous benefits some of which include the following:
- Fewer implants
Unlike other conventional methods that require 6-10 implants to appropriately fix bridges, the all-on-4 utilizes only four implants placed strategically on your jawbone.
- Zero bone grafting
The procedure also doesn’t require bone grafting compared to traditional dental implants. The technology is based on effectively tilting the posterior implants at an angle of 450 that reduces the demand for bone grafting. The positioning is also done to avoid the interaction with the nerve canal and sinus cavities in the lower and upper jaws respectively.
The All-In-Four implant is made from sturdy materials (commonly titanium) which possess the ability to fuse to the bone and become a part of it. Alongside cementing your implants permanently in place, the bone fusion concept prevents further bone loss within the jaw. This maintains a healthy and pretty facial structure and overall better oral health.
- Quick Turnaround
An All-in-four dental procedure takes a relatively short amount of time (1-2 hours long). Patients can have their teeth replaced and added without sacrificing their normal eating functions. You don’t have to wait for two weeks before resuming your daily life as is the case with traditional dentures. The best part is that the dental procedure eliminates the need for multiple dental visits to complete. One treatment and a few follow-up visits to ascertain that everything is okay is enough. Therefore, the all-in-four procedure offers the same functions of traditional implants albeit with faster treatment time and more comfort
Being a one-time procedure, many people assume that having a full arch dental implant is an expensive affair. However, the opposite is quite true. The procedure is the most affordable option especially if you have issues with your teeth that require a set of surgical intervention and implants.
Is It Safe For Everyone?
Overall, All-on-4 is safe. Apart from minor and temporary effects of anesthesia such as pain, headaches, inflammation, and nerve sensitivity, the procedure is pretty harmless. Having said that, the choice of dentist matters. Skill and experience are two invaluable factors to consider here.
What to Do Before an All-On-4 Procedure
Before you book yourself for surgery, you will need to visit your dentist one or two times to get the right treatment plan for you. Typically, the dentist will take a few X-rays, impression, photos, and other measurements deemed necessary before the procedure. After the consultation process, your surgery will be scheduled. When you go in, your dentist will administer local or general anesthesia to make you comfortable. He or she will then prepare your mouth by removing all the remaining teeth and infected tissue after which they will carry out the implant process.
If you are missing more than half of your upper and lower teeth, you’ll probably make a good candidate for an All-in-4 dental implant procedure. Why suffer through long treatment periods, discomfort, and a series of implants when you can replace all of your teeth in one sitting? All-0n-4 is both safe and effective. Get a good dentist with a proven track record and give your face the smile it really deserves.