Living with a full set of upper or lower dentures (or both)? Maybe you’re tired of the discomfort, maintenance hassle, and speech problems you have endured for years. You may have even suffered progressive jawbone loss to the point where your dentures no longer fit well, and it’s time to take action.
For the patient who needs full upper/lower tooth replacement and either wants to replace or avoid full dentures, there is a dental implant procedure known as the “all-on-four” implant. The “all” refers to all the upper or lower teeth attached to a single prosthesis. The “four” is the number of implants the patient receives as the anchors for the full set.
There are others who should consider all-on-four dental implants, for example:
- chronic periodontal disease sufferers who have lost multiple teeth and whose prognosis for saving the remain teeth is not good
- those who have lost a significant number of their teeth to the extent that only radical procedures like root canals and gum surgery provide a treatment plan with an uncertain outcome
Whatever the reason for the all-in-four implant solution, the success of the procedure is, according to WebMD, typically in the very high 90 percentile. Patients opting for the all-on-four procedure may have to undergo bone augmentation to provide a stronger foundation for the implants.
The goal is to ensure that the titanium implant posts fully integrate with the jaw/sinus bone for a successful implant. (A residual benefit of dental implants, by the way, is that it prevents further bone loss.)
The implant process and schedule
When you undergo the surgery to implant the four anchor posts, plan on spending the greater part of a day resting in the dentist’s office before receiving your first temporary teeth. You will wear the temporary teeth for about three months as your jaw or sinus bones integrate the implants.
After healing and implant integration, you return to receive your permanent teeth. The permanent teeth are stronger and more durable than the temporary set. They are light, comfortable, and just look totally natural.
No more flossing between, but…
Once the new complete replacements are in, it is best to avoid the habits of neglect that caused original tooth loss. Your dentist will schedule at least one follow-up visit to make sure the implants are solid. Plan on at least a twice-yearly visit for cleaning and removal of plaque buildup.
For those who hate flossing between their teeth, the (sort-of) good news is that with full implant replacements, there are no spaces between the teeth, just between the prosthesis and the gums. Routine dental hygiene with implants consists of brushing and usual and flossing between the gum and the contact surface of the prosthesis.
At Exquisite Smiles we know that each patient is special and unique, but each has one common need: relief from suffering caused by chronic dental problems. Contact us and begin your path to great dental health through modern implant dentistry.