Unfortunately, losing teeth is a prevalent issue as we age. Because our teeth experience wear and tear daily, or due to poor dental hygiene, many of us will end up losing more than a few over time. It is estimated that about a quarter of Americans aged over 75 have lost all their adult teeth. It will undoubtedly be problematic for most.
As options go, when faced with replacing missing teeth you can choose among a few:
As you might have guessed, there are pros and cons to each option, including price, functionality, time to recovery, and aspects such as cleanliness and mechanical stability, among others.
As previously stated, if you have lost most or all the teeth in one jaw, an option known as All on Four dental implants can help you gain full function of your mouth again and never be afraid to smile or eat your favorite food! Continue reading to find out all about the All on Four dental implants.
All on Four dental implants are a complete set of implants designed to replace your upper or lower sets of teeth. It is a registered trademark of Nobel BioCare and uses four implants per jaw (hence the name!) instead of one implant per lost tooth. Furthermore, these implants are permanent and more natural-looking than full dentures.
This technique to deal with lost teeth has three traits:
If you opt for the traditional implant methods, you can typically expect around 8-10 implants per jaw. However, with the All on Four technique, you will get only four implants. Exceptionally, sometimes patients will require around five or six implants on the upper jaw, due to lower bone density.
The rear implants are inserted at a 30-45 degree angle as it lessens the need for bone augmentation. Therefore, if you have suffered bone loss, you can also be eligible for All on Four without spending time and money on the bone graft process.
The best part about All on Four implants is the recovery time, as you do not have to wait for more than a day for new teeth! Because of this, the technique is sometimes also called "teeth in a day," or "same day teeth," or "smile in a day."
In comparison, should you opt for traditional methods, they can take up to six months or more to complete and tend to require a longer recovery time.
There are many advantages of All on Four dental implants, most technical and some psychological. On the latter, many patients can regain their self-confidence after this procedure since they'll have a beautiful set of teeth. The following are technical advantages of All on Four dental implants:
- Treatment and recovery time is short (you can replace your set of missing teeth within one day!)
- Implants are permanently secured to your mouth. Therefore, you don't have to worry about them loosening, shifting like dentures, or even losing them.
- They are comfortable and have a stable structure that supports crowns and bridges.
- Cumulatively, it is cheaper than replacing each tooth.
- There is no need for bone grafting.
All on Four implants are certainly an excellent option for people of all ages. However, much like other procedures, there are some disadvantages of this technique as well. The following are potential downsides to All on Four you can expect:
- You will not have the ability to test how the teeth look or feel until after the procedure.
- Some patients have reported issues such as spitting or hissing while speaking.
- Given their not-irrelevant cost, they can be a financial burden to some.
These disadvantages should not scare you. But we must undoubtedly list them to be transparent about them since it involves your health. The All on Four dental implants technique has received thousands of positive results and reviews over the years.
All on Four dental implants are supposed to be a permanent dental solution for your missing teeth. Your implants can undoubtedly last 20 years or more if you maintain and take proper care of them. Because the implants are so long-lasting, the average cost of the procedure becomes financially worth it for many patients as compared to other options.
The first step for the All on Four procedure is the initial consultation, where your dentist examines your mouth and conducts a CT scan. Through the scan, the dentist can check how suitable your mouth is for the implants. Furthermore, the scan also reveals your jawbone density and where the implants will be inserted.
The dentist you choose must also discuss alternative treatment options with you, particularly if you have low jawbone density. Once you have decided to get the All on Four implants, the dentist will take your dental impressions to create your new denture, which is customized to fit and look like your natural teeth.
If your dentist needs to extract some teeth before the implants, it can be done on the same day. There is no need to worry as your dentist will offer you a sedative to help you relax and stay calm during the procedure. Furthermore, you will also be given anesthesia, so you do not feel any pain.
Once the remaining teeth are extracted, your mouth is thoroughly cleaned to ensure no damaged tissue and bacteria are left behind. The dentist then proceeds to drill two or more holes at the front of your jaw. This is where the front implants are inserted. Next, they will drill two holes at the rear, one on each side, which will be angled, so there is better support.
After the implants are placed, your dentist will clean your mouth again and stitch all the incisions. Dentists typically use dissolvable stitches, which disappear after a couple of weeks. The best part about All on Four dental implants is that they are fitted on the same day. However, some dentists do create a temporary overdenture, which is then replaced after a few months.
You can expect some bruising, swelling, or slight discomfort for a few days after the surgery. Therefore, you should consider either taking some time off from work or having the procedure done on a Thursday or Friday to completely recover and get used to your new set of teeth.
Ask your dentist about what foods you can eat and need to stay away from for a few months after the treatment. It is pretty standard for the dentist to tell you to stick to soft foods the first few months, so the implants are not disturbed when blending with your bone. Furthermore, it would be best if you stayed away from smoking too.
Removable dentures typically are made of a gum-colored acrylic base, and the teeth are made from resin or porcelain. Dentures are fit over the gums and can stay in place with suction or a dental adhesive (although when dentures are properly fit, they don't need adhesive to stay in place). But the bone does shrink over time because there are no teeth to hold it in place.
Therefore, the changed shape can lead to the dentures becoming loose. Consequently, removable dentures need to be replaced over time so that the patient wearing them does not experience any problems eating or general discomfort.
On the other hand, All on Four implants are fixed in place and are just like your natural teeth – appearance-wise, when chewing, and are as comfortable as your natural teeth. You also do not need to worry about the teeth slipping out when talking or eating.
Unfortunately, implants are not cheap. The cost stems mostly from the materials being used and the expertise required to install them. One-by-one implants can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500. So, a full jaw of 16 teeth will cost anywhere in the range of $24,000 to $40,000.
The cost of your All on Four implants depends on a few factors, such as the material you choose, the number of teeth needed, and whether you have dental coverage. Typically, the prices of All on Four implants are as follows:
- Acrylic or composite: Around $20,000 to $30,000
- Porcelain: Around $25,000 to $35,000
If you have experienced severe teeth loss and are looking to solve this issue, the All on Four dental implants are an excellent option for you.
At Woodshore Family Dentistry we believe in staying current with technical changes. Woodshore Family Dentistry has experienced dentists that can help you solve your missing teeth related issues. Do you have any questions about All on Four Implants? Call Woodshore Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment with a dentist.
Your blog post "Woodshore Family Dentistry is privately owned by Dr. Vishal Pattni and Dr. Saumeen Desai. Both doctors have extensive experience in improving and customizing smiles. Please call the office at 979-341-9890 for a free consultation and smile evaluation."