All-on-four teeth offers a complete set of prosthetic teeth that is supported by just four dental implants. With all-on-four teeth, you get fixed teeth that remain in your mouth just like your natural teeth. Getting all-on-four teeth is the most economical way to replace all of your missing teeth with a fixed, non-removable prosthesis. Otherwise, you’re stuck wearing dentures, which are removable teeth. So, if you’re missing all of your teeth or need to have them all removed, and you’re looking for a fixed replacement option, then all-on-4 teeth might be the ideal solution for you.
Why choose all-on-four teeth?
All-on-four teeth are fixed in your mouth. This makes them much more comfortable than wearing dentures. Many people find out that wearing dentures is difficult and cumbersome. Denture wearers face lots of problems with their false teeth, for example:
- Dentures offer poor chewing capability
- They require constant maintenance and frequent require redo
- Dentures become loose over time and cause sore lesions inside the mouth
- Wearing dentures causes your jawbones to shrink and your facial muscles to collapse
- The psychological impact of not having teeth can be profound
With all-on-four teeth, you get teeth that resemble natural teeth. All-on-4 teeth offer excellent chewing capability, beautiful aesthetics, and the feeling of having your missing teeth back. You can chew a steak, talk without slurring, and smile with confidence. These are the reasons why people invest so much time and money into replacing their missing teeth with all-on-4 dental implants.
What are the steps involved in all-on-four procedure?
The all-on-four process has simplified replacing all of your teeth by minimizing the steps involved. All-on-four teeth bypasses complex surgical procedures and simplifies the restorative process. Treatment is typically completed within weeks or months, instead of years, as is the case with full mouth dental implants. Treatment begins by placing just four dental implants into your jaws. Once healed, your dentist fabricates a full set of teeth and attaches them to your implants. You now have a perfect set of teeth permanently locked into your mouth! Here’s a bit more information about the all-on-four teeth process:
Implant surgery & tooth extraction
To begin your all-on-four journey, you must remove every tooth in that arch and replace them with four dental implants. If there are any remaining teeth in your mouth, they need to be removed at the time of surgery. All-on-four teeth replaces all of your teeth. This means that even if you have one or two healthy teeth left, you must sacrifice and remove them before making your new teeth. Typically, teeth extractions and implant placements are all performed at the same time. Not only does this spare you, the patient, an additional surgery, but it allows your dentist to take advantage of your existing bone to better position your implants. This is a very technique-sensitive treatment that requires a skilled and experienced oral surgeon, periodontist, or implant specialist.
All-on-four surgery is a time consuming process. Your surgery typically takes about 2 to 6 hours to complete. Consider going under sedation if you’re worried about your surgery. Almost all dentists who perform all-on-4 treatment offer some type of sedation to help you get through your surgery. Once sedated, you can relax and fall sleep while your dentist removes your bad teeth and places the dental implants in their place.
Wearing temporary teeth allows time for your implants and extractions to heal. It also permits your gums to settle into their final position. If you have existing teeth that need to be removed, you will definitely have to wear temporary teeth. However, if you’re without any teeth, you might be able to skip this step and go straight to making your final teeth.
Temporary teeth after all-on-four surgery
Once you receive your dental implants, you need to wait for them to heal, During this time, you will be wearing temporary teeth. There are several different options when it comes to temporary teeth, which are:
Removable temporary teeth
Removable temporary teeth are basically dentures you wear while your gums and bone are healing. If you already have an existing denture, your dentist may be able to modify the teeth so you can continue wearing it afterward. Otherwise, you will require a new temporary denture. Your dentist should prepare your temporary teeth in advance of your surgery. This way, you leave with temporary teeth after your surgery and you’re not walking around toothless!
Fixed temporary teeth
Wearing fixed temporary teeth is another option. Fixed temporary teeth stay in your mouth throughout the 3 to 4 month healing process and you can not remove them. Making fixed temporaries is a time consuming process and most dentists charge an extra fee to make them. Regardless of whether you choose a removable or fixed temporary, your final results will be the same.
Permanent teeth options for all-on-four implants
All-on-four teeth are high-quality teeth that last a lifetime. This is in contrast to denture teeth which are made from acrylic. Acrylic is not strong enough to support your bite pressure over the long run. Acrylic teeth flatten quickly and they lose their chewing ability within a few years. There are two types of permanent teeth for all-on-four dental implants, both which are great options. These two options are:
Porcelain plus a supporting metal bar
Porcelain teeth look very natural and beautiful. They closely resemble your natural teeth and most people can’t tell them apart. However, since porcelain is not strong enough to support bite pressure, an internal metal bar is incorporated into the design. Don’t worry, the metal bar is completely invisible and it does not affect your smile at all!
Another excellent option for all-on-4 is Zirconia teeth. Since Zirconia is stronger than porcelain, there’s no need to add a metal bar inside. Zirconia teeth are slightly more durable than porcelain teeth. However, they are significantly heavier and they’re also very difficult to repair in case of an accident. In terms of looks and function, both Zirconia and porcelain offer amazing and durable results. They are also both nearly indistinguishable from your natural teeth. The decision between the two typically comes down to your dentist’s preference and technique. Either way, you can’t go wrong with Zirconia or porcelain.
Get your smile and teeth back with all-on-four dental implants
All-on-four teeth is a life-changing experience. It’s important that you do your research and find a reliable, skilled dentist before committing to treatment. Make sure that you have future access to your dentist, just in case there are complications down the line. Contact a implant specialist near you to learn more about all-on-4 and see if you’re a good candidate for them. Get your smile back, chew and talk with teeth that don’t move, and live your life with the confidence of having permanent teeth in your mouth!