At All Alaska Oral and Craniofacial Surgery, we’re proud to remain up-to-date on the latest procedures developed to improve our patients’ appearance and oral health. The All-on-4 (AO4) “implant supported denture” certainly embraces the most advanced technology in the field and the patients who’ve opted to proceed in this direction have been more than pleased with the results.
The term All-on-4® refers to the fact that this technology allows for a full set of upper and/or lower replacement teeth to be permanently affixed in the patient’s mouth, anchored by a total of as few as 4 dental implants per set of teeth. Conversely, a full mouth of implants using traditional methods would require 8-10 implants per jaw and significantly higher costs and longer recovery time.
Because only 4 to 6 implants are generally necessary (with some exceptions), the procedure is much less costly than other replacement options and the entire process is much quicker as well. This means far less downtime for patients and a quicker road to recovery as well as a shorter journey to looking their best and to the resumption of normal eating habits.
In addition, unlike with traditional dentures, the All-on-4® “implant supported denture” allows the mouth’s supporting bones to keep their shape. On the contrary, when wearing traditional “false teeth” the jaw bones gradually shrink as there are no teeth or implants to help maintain bone structure.
This change in shape causes the dentures to become loose and, as such, the dentures may need to be periodically replaced, adding to the expense a patient must shoulder during their lifetime.
The benefits of All-on-4® treatment
After consultations about various options for teeth replacement, including conventional dentures, many patients opt for All-on-4® “hybrid” dentures because of the many advantages this technology provides. With All-on-4®:
• Full arch rehabilitation is achieved with as few as 4 implants
• Patients enjoy minimum recovery time and immediate function of their new teeth
• Dentures remain tightly in place and don’t have to be removed for cleaning
• The solution is often more affordable than other implant replacement options as fewer implants and bone grafting procedures are generally required.
• Patients with bone loss can take advantage of this technology
• Top dentures do not require coverage of the roof of the mouth to maintain stability
• An excellent success rate has been recorded amongst patients choosing the All-on-4® treatment option
• Ultimately, patients receive a beautiful, dazzling smile and the restored self-confidence that comes with straight, white, healthy-appearing teeth
About the procedure
Any remaining teeth will have been extracted before your AO4 surgery. This can be done on the same day though your surgeon may schedule it for a different time, depending on your individual situation.
Surgery begins with anesthesia, which might be “local” numbing injections in the gums or could potentially be a general anesthetic that will put you to sleep, if you prefer. Once remaining teeth are extracted, your surgeon will determine if you require bone grafting prior to implant placement. If no bone grafting is required, your own jaw bones will be smoothened in preparation for your implants.
Your implants will be placed with the help of a computer-generated custom surgical splint, that will allow your surgeon to perfectly locate the implants in your jaw bone. After the implants are placed, any incisions are stitched and the mouth is cleaned.
At this point, you’ll be fitted with your new teeth. You may receive a temporary “immediate denture” first, which is lighter and will put less pressure on the implants. This will be replaced just a few months later with your “permanent” teeth.
Your surgeon will provide instructions on after-surgery care and you will be instructed as to when to return for regular check-ups and maintenance. With proper care and regular dental visits, your new teeth can last a lifetime.
Sound intriguing? For more information about the All-on-4® implant supported denture option and the benefits related to this technology, call our office to schedule a consultation with our surgeon.