The need of replacing lost teeth usually emerges when our mouth activities become limited. If it happens to you, you need to check all-on-4 dental implants as a further improvement of the conventional dental implant. Not only does this kind of implant save you money, it also brings other benefits for patients. Find out the basic information about all-on-four dental implants below.
What is All-On-Four Dental Implants?
All-on-four dental implant is an official trademark of Nobel Biocare. All-on-four dental implant is actually a teeth replacing technique that requires few implants only. Compared to the traditional methods, all-on-four dental implant uses fewer number of implant. To see the details of what makes this implant different from the traditional, look at the tree traits below.
First, as how the name of this dental implant suggest, this teeth replacing method only need as few as four implants per jaw. However, the number of implants can sometimes get to five or six if the patients’ upper jaw has lower bone density. Compared to the traditional methods, this dental implant is surely much simpler. In traditional methods where a full mouth implant is needed, the number of implant that is needed can reach up to 10 implants for each jaw.
The second trait of all-on-four dental implant is how the implants are inserted. In traditional methods, the implants are vertically inserted. Meanwhile, in all-on-four dental implant, they will be inserted at a 30 – 45 degree angle. This angle is needed in inserting the implant for obtaining the optimum strength.
Besides, the way the implants inserted is also beneficial for patients who suffer from the loss of bone. This method of dental implant can save that kind of patient lots of money and lots of time as they don’t need to undergo a bone graft. In other words, this dental implant method suits any kind of patients.
The third trait of all-on-four dental implant is how fast it can be done. All-on-four dental implant is also called ‘teeth in a day’ or ‘same teeth day’ or ‘smile in a day’. All these names emerge due to the fact that all the procedure of this dental implant can be done in a day.
This is indeed able to eliminate patients’ discomfort and frustrations from day-to-day procedure of the dentures insert. The short period of time needed here also enables the patients to again enjoy the freedom of having any dietary with natural teeth. All-on-four dental implant is really a sophisticated solution to edentulism and tooth loss.
This short period of time needed for the whole procedure marks a huge improvement in a dental implant history. In the traditional method, a patient need to be as patient as spending six months or even more to complete the whole procedure of dental implants. What is worse, the patient still needs to undergo extensive recovery when every step of the procedure is completed.
Advantages of All-On-Four Dental Implants
All-on-four dental implant is undeniably beneficial for patients. Apart from the three traits explained above, this kind of dental implant still offers you many more advantages. The list of the advantages make this dental implant method wins over the removable dentures and conventional implants.
The first advantage of this ‘same teeth day’ dental implant method, as mentioned above, is the short period of time needed for both recovery time and the treatment. The short length of time is possible as the implants can be inserted on the same day the extraction is done. Although it seems to be many procedures done within a day, the implants can provide stable and comfortable structure that can support bridges and crowns.
The next advantage of this dental implant is the ease of the maintenance. If you happen to have this dental implant, you don’t need to remove the implants just to clean them as they are fixed in their place. The way they are inserted is also great making them not easy to fall out of slip.
In addition to the advantages above, what makes this all-on-four dental implant a great choice for everyone is that its ability to meet any patient with any kind of jaw bones. Although a patient has a jaw bone loss, they can still have this ‘smile in a day’ dental implant. Besides, this dental implant also offers lower cost compared to the traditional techniques. It is actually pretty obvious as the number of implants needed is only four or five; unlike the traditional ones that requires 8 up to 10 implants.
Disadvantages of All-On-Four Dental Implants
Although all-on-four dental implant has many benefits to offer, it, unfortunately, also brings disadvantages that any patient should be aware of. The drawbacks of this kind of implant are quite plenty as mentioned as the following.
This type of implant may seem to offer simpler procedure than what the traditional implant does; however, the result of this implant can be not as great as the result in traditional method. Besides, some patients have reported problem on this dental implant. One of them is the hissing or spitting when they are speaking.
The next drawback of this dental implant is that this is actually not a fully customized solution, meaning that every implant is not designed specifically to suit every patient’s type of teeth, jaw bone, and other mouth elements. That being said, this dental implant also brings another bitter fact which is becoming a kind of ‘short cut’ for some dentists in the way they provide patients with a proper teeth loss treatment.
Furthermore, this type of dental implant can cause a big problem even when only a single implant is troubled. When one implant is failing, the whole implants will be affected, giving you whole jaw problems. Even more, the presence of artificial gum bridge from the implants leaves a bulky feeling in your mouth, making your mouth uncomfortable.
The Procedure of All-On-Four Dental Implants (Pre, Whilst, and Post Procedure)
All kinds of dental implants should carry both advantages and disadvantages. I you think you are already certain with the all-on-four dental implant, make sure you equip yourself with the knowledge of the implant procedure. It doesn’t mean that you cannot trust your dentist. But knowing the exact ways of how this implant is done can help you make any necessary action to minimize the side effects of this type of dental implant.
First, to begin your all-on-four dental implant, as how other kinds of dental treatment do, you will have to make an initial consultation with your chosen and trusted dentist. In this consultation, you need to go through a CT scan and mouth examination. The result of these two is your suitability for the dental implants, the density of your jaw bone, and the proper and exact location where the implants can be inserted.
In this first consultation, your dentist will also make an alternative to the options of your treatment before commencing any further steps. If your dentist is sure you are suitable for this all-on-four dental implant and then if you are completely sure with this implant, you will proceed to the next step which is dental impressions. The dental impressions are then sent to a lab to produce a new dental bridge for you so that it can fit your best and look like natural teeth.
X-rays may be needed in this process so that your dentist can get the best planning for your next steps in your treatment. When everything is settled, you can proceed to the surgery.
The next procedure is the surgery. To make you relax during the surgery, your dentist may offer a sedative to you. Then your dentist will make your mouth numb by giving your anaesthetize that can make you unable to feel any kind of pain during the surgery. However, you are able to opt for a general anesthetic. If you think you prefer this kind of anesthetic, tell your dentist in your initial consultation.
When your dentist makes sure your mouth is numb already, he will start extracting your teeth. After that, he will clean your mouth to remove any bacteria and damaged tissue. The next step will be the insert of the implants.
Before inserting the implants, your dentist will drill two or more holes. The drilling will start at the front part of your jaw. These drilled holes are made to hold the implants placed at the front. To provide a great support to the front of the bridge, the holes need drilling as follow: two at the front, one on every side, and all are made into angled.
When the holes are finished, the implants are then inserted. When finished, your mouth will be cleaned again and be stitched up to cure any incisions. The stitches which are used are the dissolvable ones. The stitches can disappear in a week or two.
The next step in the surgery will be fitting your new teeth. For this step, you may undergo it on the same day or you may need to wait for the following day. At this stage, your dentist may or may not make a temporary overdenture. If they do, the overdenture needs replacing a few months later.
The overdenture is usually made from a lighter and less durable resin. This kind of material is chosen to provide you less pressure on the inserted implants. Also, this kind of resin is chosen to help you heal from the implants insert.
After the surgery, here you have aftercare stage. In this stage, be ready with any discomfort such as swelling, bruising, and other kinds of general discomfort on the few days after the surgery is done. You may need to take some days off from work to enable you to get full recovery time to get used to the new teeth better.
In this stage also, your dentist will tell you what kind of food you should eat and hinder in a couple of months after the surgery. One kind of food for sure is the one which is very soft, a kind of food that will not cause any trouble to the process of implants fusing that happens to your bone. Besides, you may also need to avoid heavy exercise and smoking for a while.
The way your dental implants should be cleaned is just like the way you clean your normal teeth. Simply brush them at least once day. However, your dentist may advise you some techniques in brushing the implants properly and some ways in flossing your implants using special tools. If needed, you may have to invest some money in a water flosser that comes with special attachments. This feature is specially designed to help patients clean the area around their dental implants.
Finally, you come to the stage of final check and fitting. Before coming to this stage, you need to wait around 6 up to 9 months for your implants to be ready. During that length of time, your implants will take their time to gain strength so that they can support the permanent overdenture. Unlike the temporary one, the permanent overdenture is made from high quality and durable material such as porcelain.
Once the permanent overdenture is inserted, you are done with the whole process of the all-on-four dental implants. What you need to do next is treating your new teeth well and carefully to make them last at least ten years.
Besides, you also need to make a regular visit to your doctor to get checkups and maintenance. Before making the visit, it’s advisable to ask your dentist whether the cost of the checkups and maintenance is included in the previous cost you have paid or you may need to make another payment.
While all-on-four dental implants feature many benefits, they also come with a couple of drawbacks. However, with a proper treatment and consultation with your dentist, the side effects should be able to be minimized. Before starting your dental implant, make sure you already have the information above in your head.