There are several reasons for teeth loss. Losing one tooth or multiple, always has a negative impact on the remaining teeth, general well being and confidence of the patient. Besides caries, trauma, infection and periodontal issues, aging is one of the most common factor for tooth loss. With rise in global life expectancy, changing dietary habits, and advancing age, the burden of chronic disabilities is increasing every day. Edentulism or loss of teeth is a chronic disability affecting approximately 302 million people globally and an increase of 27.3% over the last decade.
In patients with missing teeth, dentures or fixed restorations are tried and tested solution for many years, but they do not always deliver that level of comfort, aesthetics, confidence or satisfaction. The fortunate advances in technology and dental science has led to the development of a better solution for the replacement of multiple missing teeth, which provides far better results and multiple advantages over the older treatment protocols. This solution is known All-on-4 dental implants.
What are all-on-4 dental implants?
All-on-4 literally means all teeth on 4 dental implants in upper or lower jaw. All-on-4 dental implants is one of the latest technology in the field of dental implant industry. The focus behind this idea is to use less number of implants to keep the denture prosthesis intact and stabilized in patient’s mouth. In all-on-4 dental implant procedure, the base of the denture prosthesis is made up of four titanium implants placed strategically into the jaw acting as a foundation for the bridge to ensure proper stabilisation and aesthetics of the fixed prosthesis. Three features mainly characterize the all-on-4 technique as follows:
– four dental implants supporting a full bridge
– placement of angulated implants in back to overcome the bony deficiencies due to tooth loss
– immediate placement (no waiting period)
How do they differ from traditional implants
In traditional implant a minimum of two surgeries are required. The first surgery involves the placement of implants in the jaw bone and allowing them to heal for three to six months in order to attain an integrated relation between bone and implant. The second surgery is then performed to place the abutment and prosthesis. On the other hand, all-on-4 dental implants can typically be completed in one office visit.
In traditional implant procedure, it requires as many as ten implants to support the full arch prosthesis however, in all-on-4 dental implants, full prosthesis can be placed on just four implants minimizing the lengthy procedure and healing time.
Advantages of all-on-4 technique:
All-on-4 technique is an innovation in dentistry and provides multiple advantages to patients:
- Single day procedure
- Minimally invasive only one minor surgery required
- Quick healing and recovery
- Prevents the need for secondary bone augmentation surgery and uses only the existing bone.
- Implants function like real teeth
- Lower cost as compared to other full-arch restoration options
- Improves quality of life
- Improves the oral health with long-term prosthesis
- Improves the strength of jaw bones in long-term
Why should you opt for All-on-4
- More stability and reliability: Traditional dentures and prosthesis may be custom-made to fit your jawbone and gums, but even the best fitted dentures tend to slip out despite the use of adhesives. This usually happens when you are trying to eat hard food or chew foods while simply speaking or laughing.
On the other hand, the All-on-4 implant system prevents the embarrassing slippage by using fixed prosthesis over the self retained surgically placed titanium implant post in both the jaws.
- Comfort and confident speech: In traditional dentures upper denture covers the whole palate or the roof of the mouth, it could be uncomfortable while speaking as it changes the proprioception for the tongue. In All-on-4 system, the prosthesis rests on the gums and there is no extension onto the palate. After few days of adjustment period, they feel like natural teeth and the you sound like yourself again.
- Fully enjoy your meals: With fixed complete set of teeth in mouth, this not only helps you bite and chew more normally but also improves the feel and taste of your food too. Because of the minimal covered area, it helps in easy adaptation and better sense of taste.
- No need to remove and clean dentures: If you wear removable dentures, not only gums, tongue and mouth should be cleaned thoroughly after every meal but also you have to brush your dentures and then remove them and keep them soaked in special solution. On the other hand, having a fixed prosthesis over bone integrated implants feel like natural teeth and their cleaning requirements are also similar to regular brushing and flossing with half-yearly professional cleaning.
- Preserving and strengthening the remaining jaw bones: Traditional dentures take the support from the bone of the jaw for the placement and also exert additional stress on the bone while biting than the natural teeth. This causes stress induced changes in the architecture of the denture bearing bone causing the loosening of the denture over the years. With four implants into each jaw, the All-on-4 system creates a healthy stress free balance between the bone and the artificial teeth. It helps in strengthening the jaw preserveing the youthful appearance and shape of the face.
- Cost-effective: It is scientifically proven that implants are the most natural looking and feeling tooth replacement option. In traditional implant system, atleast single ten implants are required to support an entire set of teeth. It is time taking and expensive as well. The All-on-4 system gives you the best of both dentures and implants with just four implants and entire new set of teeth.
The All-on-4 system is relatively novel with various benefits for the patients. By this technique, all implants can typically be placed in one dental visit, with patients leaving our dental office with a brand new smile all in one day.