In recent years, improvements in dental techniques have offered options beyond dentures for patients with many missing or failing teeth. However, getting dental implants can be both costly and involved, requiring many surgeries. For patients who need a full set of upper teeth, lower teeth, or both, a newer dental implant technique known as All-on-Four surgery may be a better option. This technique uses only four implants to secure a full arch of teeth, as opposed to older techniques which require at least six to eight implants. The benefits of this simplified approach are numerous.
As is true of traditional implants, the All-on-Four technique offers a superior choice to traditional dentures or bridges. When patients lose teeth, the underlying bone continues to erode, which can be exacerbated by wearing dentures. Over time, this loss of bone results in a sunken-in appearance that can negatively affect a person’s self-esteem. In addition, dentures typically result in a weaker bite, which means that hard or chewy foods may be difficult to eat. Dentures may also be hard to fit properly, resulting in pain or embarrassing slippage. Implants help retain the bone, improve the patient’s appearance and self-confidence, and result in a more stable set of teeth, allowing the patient to eat a wide variety of foods.
The All-on-Four technique offers some benefits beyond those achieved by a traditional implant approach, however. By minimizing the number of implants needed to support a full arch of teeth, the All-on-Four technique typically avoids the need for bone grafts and does not require multiple surgical procedures, both of which may be required when setting a larger number of implants. The necessary implants for the All-on-Four procedure are put in during a single surgical procedure, and patients go home with new temporary teeth immediately. After a short period of recovery while the implants fully fuse to the jaw, patients are fitted with permanent teeth and are able to eat a full range of foods. This short recovery period can be particularly beneficial in the case of older patients, for whom a long wait for new teeth or an extended recovery period with multiple grafting and implanting procedures may not be ideal. Minimizing the number of procedures also means that All-on-Four surgery is less expensive than other implant techniques.
Implants are also easy to care for. Just like regular teeth, they are best maintained with regular brushing and flossing and periodic dental cleanings. This ease of maintaining good oral hygiene is important, as proper oral care can help prevent periodontal disease, which in turn promotes good overall health.
The success rate for dental implants is high. If you’re a patient with multiple missing or failing teeth and you’ve been advised that you will need dentures, or if you are currently wearing dentures, an All-on-Four surgery can give you teeth that look and function like the real thing. For the best possible results, you should consult an oral surgeon experienced in the All-on-Four technique to determine if you are a suitable candidate. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Hale, please call 818-999-0900.