Denture Alternative

All-On-4 Dental Implants – the Latest Alternative for Dentures

All-On-4 dental implants are relatively new in the world of dentistry, but quite effective for patients with little bone volume looking for permanent replacement teeth. To understand how the All-On-4 dental implants work, we have to look at normal dental implants first. Read on to learn more about dental implants and the revolutionary All-On-4 treatment!

What Are Dental Implants and How Do They Work?

A dental implant can be described as an artificial tooth root, which is inserted into the jawbone by an oral surgeon. Once the implant has fused with the surrounding jawbone, the dentist will be able to connect the replacement tooth or bridge via an abutment.

In general, there are two types of dental implants. The first type is the endosteal dental implants. These dental implants are placed in the bone and greatly resemble screws, cylinders or blades. Each endosteal dental implant inserted in the jaw can hold a prosthetic tooth, so it can be a viable option for patients looking for an alternative to bridges and removable dentures. Of course, there is also a second type of dental implant, the subperiosteal implant, which are placed on top of the jaw, with the framework protruding through the gum; this type of dental implant is used in patients with minimal bone height.

all on 4 implant schematic

Which Patients Are Eligible for Dental Implant Procedures?

In order to be a good candidate for a normal dental implant procedure, patients must have sufficient bone volume to support the dental implants and the replacement teeth that will be inserted during the procedure. The patient must also be in general good health and not suffer from any conditions that may prevent the fusion of the bone or slow down the healing process considerably.

Gum disease can also affect the success of a dental implant procedure. With dental implants, there is a close connection between gum tissues and the bone in the mouth. If you suffer from gum disease, it could cause the dental implants to fail. Therefore, a thorough evaluation of your oral health will be done by the dentist. The evaluation is also discussed by the team that could be executing your procedure.

How Do Normal Dental Implant Procedures Work?

Normal dental implant procedures can be divided into several categories and these categories are subject to the needs of the patient. Common dental implant procedures are therefore the single tooth replacement, several teeth replacement, full teeth replacement, sinus augmentation and ridge modification. The first three procedures are quite self-explanatory, but the last two procedures will need further detail.

What Is a Sinus Augmentation?

Sinus augmentation is a procedure that is executed by an oral surgeon to enable the insertion of dental implants. The upper back of the jaw tends to be one of the most difficult places for dental implants, because the quality and quantity of the bone is usually not enough to support the implant. In addition to that, the positioning of the dental implant would also be too close to the sinus.

During a sinus augmentation, the surgeon will lift the floor of the sinus, which enables the development of quality bone for the insertion of the dental implants. Before such a procedure is executed, the problem is usually discussed by a team of experts.

What Is a Ridge Modification?

Some patients may suffer from deformities in the upper and lower jaw, which could cause problems with the bone mass in the jaw. To ensure there is sufficient bone volume, oral surgeons can lift the gum away from the ridge and access the area where bone is insufficient. Then, the surgeon is able to fill the defect and build up the ridge.

larry and patient

What If a Patient Does Not Have Sufficient Jawbone for Normal Dental Implants?

Patients lacking jawbone for normal dental implants may be eligible for the all-on-4 dental implant procedure, since this procedure can be executed with very little jawbone. During the procedure, an oral surgeon can provide the patient with one or two full arches of fixed replacement teeth, which are placed on four or six dental implants, depending on the needs of the patient.

In its entirety, All-On-4 is quite similar to the traditional dental implant, but simply placed strategically so multiple teeth can be fixed to four or six dental implants. During this procedure, the surgeon can also use longer implants, which is common in patients with low bone density.

What Should I Expect After a Dental Implant Procedure?

Even though artificial teeth are not quite the same as real teeth, they still need to be looked after properly to prevent problems in the future. When you come home after a dental implant procedure, the patient should ensure good daily oral care; this includes brushing and flossing. Patients should also book a regular appointment with their dentist and dental hygienist to ensure their replacement teeth and dental implants stay in good condition.

When you leave your treatment facility, you will be working closely with the dental team where aftercare is concerned. Starting to look after your replacement teeth may sound a little complicated at first, but it is not much different than looking after your original teeth. Simply follow the plan provided by your dental team and make sure you attend all follow-up appointment to avoid problems.

Can Replacement Teeth Get Affected by Poor Oral Hygiene?

Replacement teeth and dental implants are very similar to normal teeth, so it is no surprise that similar problems can arise if you do not look after them. When a patient has poor oral hygiene, a coating will develop that could lead to gum infection, bleeding, soreness and serious discomfort. In other words, problems that occur when you do not take care of them.

At the end of the day, dental implants can last for many years if you take good care of them, and if the bone they have been fitted into remains strong and healthy, so be sure to consult your dentist on a regular basis after you have obtained dental implants to ensure their longevity.



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