Losing your teeth can be a devastating blow to your self-esteem. When you smile, you are making yourself open to new interactions and making new friends and acquaintances, but tooth loss can put a damper on this valuable social experience. A smile can span across language barriers, and even infants instinctively know the warmth and value of an open, friendly smile.
However, missing teeth can make you feel like you cannot share your smile, and you may feel as though you need to keep your lips tightly closed to prevent drawing unwanted attention to your mouth.
Furthermore, losing your teeth can not only make you feel poorly about yourself, but it can also start to have other lasting problems, such as bone loss, gum shrinkage, and a diminished quality of life. When we here at Rai Oral Surgery & Dental Implants meet a patient in our exam chair who is lamenting their lack of teeth, we are proud to be able to help them restore their confidence and enjoy their life once again with the All-on-4
What is the All-on-4 Dental Treatment Concept?
Tooth loss is extremely common, so if you are missing teeth, you are in good company and do not need to feel alone in your struggle. Some 178 million Americans are missing at least one of their teeth, and from these numbers, 40 million of them have none of their natural teeth remaining. The epidemic only gets worse as you age, too. Thirty percent of all-American adults over the age of 65 are entire without their teeth. With so many people dealing with tooth loss, what can be done to restore your smile?
In the past, it was just generally understood that tooth loss was an inevitable fact of life. Some of the wealthier individuals could fabricate prosthetic teeth out of wood, and some people even forcibly took teeth from their servants for makeshift dentures. Fortunately, more modern dentures are less unsightly than their older generations and do not require abusive measures to acquire, but even those fall short. Conventional dentures simply do not compare to All-on-4 dental implants in many ways.
For starters, they will never feel natural in your mouth, no matter how good of a fit you have. They will always need relining, especially because they do not prevent shrinkage of your gum tissue. Even worse, they do not stop you from losing bone in your jaw, which can cause even further complications. Dentures can slip around in your mouth, clicking and clattering together. You may develop an unwanted speech impediment and lose your ability to speak clearly due to difficulty talking around your dentures. You cannot enjoy your favorite foods because you know that one bite of an apple will result in an embarrassing accident. Even with a good set of dentures, you will need to replace them every seven to ten years.
Why Select Dental Implants
With conventional dentures out of the picture, many other people are turning to dental implants to help them restore their missing teeth. Dental implants have many advantages over dentures, but even those do not meet the same qualifications as All-on-4. While they do look and feel natural, it requires invasive surgery to place them and several months of waiting and healing to finally finish with them. Each dental implant needs to be manually surgically placed into your mouth, and sadly, not everyone is a good candidate for them. If a patient has significant bone loss in their mouth, they may not be eligible for dental implants.
Eliminating conventional dentures and dental implants may seem like it is limiting your choices, but the fact is, your choices are not limited at all! Where dental implants and conventional dentures fall short, All-on-4 dental treatment concept stands out as an excellent choice for many of our patients. When you are not a good candidate for conventional dental implants and are turned off by the inconvenience of dentures, we love to introduce our patients to All-on-4.
The Best Of Both Worlds
Also known as full-arch fixed implant bridges, the All-on-4 combines the best of both worlds, giving you all of the benefits of conventional dental implants without all of the downtime or surgery. Instead of surgically placing a post in your jawbone for every tooth we are replacing, we are instead placing just four titanium screws into your jaw and supporting your dental prosthesis onto these four posts. We can give you a full mouth of teeth that look and feel natural in just one appointment, restoring your smile to its previous beauty in just a few hours.
Knowing how the All-on-4 treatment concept works do require a little bit of understanding of how dental implants work. To place a dental implant, we first surgically cut into your gum tissue and place a titanium screw into your mouth. We use titanium because your body will accept that metal instead of rejecting it.
Your bone tissue will start to bond and fuse with this titanium screw in a process that is known as osseointegration. This makes the implant stronger and sturdier in your mouth, helping you have a tooth replacement that will last you the rest of your life. Once the titanium screw is placed into your bone, we wait for your body to heal up around it. In the case of conventional dental implants, this can take months. For All-on-4, we are talking about between four to six hours from start to finish.
Less Waiting Time
In All-on-Four, we do not have to wait months for your mouth to heal. Bone loss is also less of an issue, too. For conventional implants, some patients may be rejected for this procedure or advised to get a bone graft before we can proceed. With All-on-4, because your dental prosthesis is placed on just four titanium posts, we do not need to delay your procedure while we wait for a bone graft (also known as a sinus lift). We can immediately move forward, helping you get the smile you want right away.
The All-on-Four treatment concept is nothing like a conventional denture. It does not conceal your soft palate, and it is not a gaudy, hideous bubble-gum pink color. It will hold in place, thanks to your body’s ability to heal around it, preventing any slipping or embarrassing mishaps. You will be able to eat all of your favorite foods once again without worrying about your teeth getting dislodged.
Unlike conventional dentures, the All-on-4 treatment concept can also help preserve your bone matter in your mouth. Not only is this better for you in general, but it can also help keep your face looking full and healthy. Tooth loss used to mean that your face would start to prematurely sag and take on a sunken, hollow appearance. With All-on-4, this is no longer a concern of yours.
The Process Is Safe And Recovery Time Is Reduced
Getting All-on-4 is an incredibly safe and routine procedure that we can perform in our clean and sanitary office. Before we begin, we will make sure we completely understand your concerns and expectations and discuss them with you. We will take your complete medical history and may also take X-rays of your mouth.
Once we are confident that we are ready to proceed, we will then take measures to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. This includes providing you with anesthesia. We may offer a combination of local anesthesia with light sedation, such as IV sedation or nitrous oxide. For other patients, general anesthesia may be required. One we know for certain you are properly sedated and comfortable, we will begin.
If you have any remaining teeth in your mouth, we will start by removing those first. This is another way that All-on-4 excels. Conventional dentures often require that we wait for your mouth to heal before we can fit you with them. All-on-4 does not require any such waiting period.
After your dental extraction, we can immediately move to the next stage of placing your implants. That includes addressing any spots of lingering infection or disease. We want to make sure you are in good oral health, so we will first remove any infected areas in your mouth. Next, we will place the titanium posts. Two posts will go toward the front of your mouth, and the other two will be placed near the back of your mouth. This ensures that your prosthesis is fully and evenly supported. Next, we will carefully sew your incisions shut using surgical sutures.
Healing from your procedure will begin immediately as your body begins to fuse to the implants. We advise that you adhere to all recovery protocols that we recommend to you to help your All-on-4 procedure succeed. Discomfort after the procedure is normal, and we will work with you to minimize it. Avoid using any tobacco products, and make sure you follow a soft-food diet until we tell you otherwise. Be extremely gentle with your mouth as it heals and you are sure to love your results!
If you have been told that you are not a good candidate for conventional dental implants, or you are hesitant about the many surgeries involved in them, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised to learn how easy All-on-4 is. They look and feel just like real teeth, giving you back your happy, radiant smile. To learn more about All-on-4, or to schedule an appointment with us here at Rai Oral Surgery & Dental Implants, please give us a call today at (757) 425-5781!