Dental implants have changed the treatment options available in dentistry over the last 15-20 years. They have been nothing less than a miracle in the replacement of teeth whether it be a single tooth,
multiple teeth, or as anchor and support for a denture. As any technology matures, new advancements and techniques come into the fold. One of those newer procedures is called All On 4 Dental Implants. This dental procedure allows for the placement of four dental implants (hence the name all on 4 dental implants), and the restoration to be placed on the same day. Patients leave the office with teeth. For this reason all on 4 dental implants are also called “new teeth in a day“.
The patients who choose all on four, do so for many reasons including, poor fitting existing dentures, terrible trauma causing tooth loss, tooth decay or advanced periodontal disease causing progressive tooth loss. The most common patients to choose all on four, are not existing denture wearers. They are patients who have been fighting an uphill battle for a while and know that they are losing their teeth slowly. These individuals have been trying to hold on as long as possible because they do not want to have any time in their life without teeth, and the thought of a removable denture is not an option for them.
The All on 4 Dental Implants procedure was developed in the mid 1990′s. 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 procedure uses four 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. Special dental implants were developed 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 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.
In the past, the approach to restoring a full arch of teeth (either upper or lower) generally meant dental bone grafts, six or more dental implants, and as much as 18-24 months of treatment. During 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 more and more treatment.
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 develop the right treatment plan for you. These dental visits will include gathering important medical history information, needed X-rays, dental impressions, photographs, and a CAT Scan. The dentist will then be able to review all the information with the patient and develop a custom treatment plan.
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 the mouth 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 (both cosmetically and functionally), and to allow the implants to properly integrate into the bone.
Over 100 million people in the United States alone are missing between 11 and 15 of their permanent adult teeth. By the age of 60, almost 70% of these people are completely without teeth and in desperate need of complete oral rehabilitation. This is where the all on 4 dental implants procedure comes in and is able to restore people’s teeth and change their outlook on life. Restoring not only their teeth but also their self esteem and self confidence.