If you are missing multiple teeth, All-on-4 dental implants can provide you with a complete set of beautiful and functional teeth. This alternative to dentures is becoming increasingly popular, as All-on-4 dental implants are a permanent solution for those with damaged or missing teeth.
The term “all-on-4” describes a treatment modality where essentially a denture fused with titanium bar is immediately loaded onto the implants after surgery. This is a trademark to the Nobel Biocare implant system. Although at Balmoral Dental Centre we can provide exactly the same service, as the term is a trademark, we can’t call it that.
Using cutting-edge technology, All-on-4 gives you natural-looking teeth and a bright smile. It is important to look at various aspects before deciding to opt for All-on-4 dental implants. The information below will help you to have a clear mind about All-on-4 dental implants and why they may be a suitable option to replace your missing teeth.
Pros and cons of full arch implants — Full arch implants pros
The All-on-4 treatment is an effective oral surgery that can be used to correct several dental problems. You would be surprised to know that studies have found the survival rate for a prosthesis goes up to a whopping 98.8% after 18 years.
Fast and simple healing process
Patients usually only need a few days to recover, and they can go back to work without needing any strong medication. From the day of your surgery, the implants will start to fuse with your jawbone. The dental implants are secured properly in their place, which helps prevent any gum irritation.
Less long-term dietary restrictions
For the first few weeks after your procedure, you will need to eat softer foods. After that time frame, you can pretty much eat whatever you want. All-on-4’s give up to 80% of chewing power in comparison with natural teeth. So once you recover from surgery and get your permanent prosthesis, there won’t be many food restrictions.
Requires simple oral care routine
Traditional dentures have to be removed, cleaned, and stored with special care every night. All-on-4 implants are easier because you don’t need to take extra steps for your prosthetic teeth; simply brush and floss as normal.
Anything that helps you feel more confident will improve your health in general because confidence is linked to positive emotions—and these have lots of physical benefits. Plus, they help you live longer! Smiling is connected with both self-confidence and happiness, so if you don’t like your smile, it’s going to affect how happy you feel overall. All-on-4 dental implants give you a great-looking smile without the worries about dentures coming loose or falling out—so no more being self-conscious around other people!
Improves the ability to eat and speak
In addition to gaining more confidence, you’ll also be able to speak more confidently! All-on-4s are screwed into the bone instead of being glued onto the gums like dentures, resulting in a more natural speaking experience. Not only does eating become easier with All-on-4 dental implants, but you will also be able to taste your food more accurately. This is because dentures can conceal your soft palate and make it difficult to enjoy the flavours of what you are eating.
Pros and cons of full arch implants — Full arch implants cons
The most significant all-on-4 complaints are a result of temporary conditions or complications due to improper care and upkeep. Here are some issues you may experience related to all-on-4 dental implants.
Difficulty in speaking
If you have trouble saying specific words or letters after getting your implants, it’s most likely due to the air flowing through the space between your gums or your teeth being misplaced. Either way, this problem can be fixed when your dentist places your final prosthesis after surgery.
It is a considerable investment
The cost of all-on-4 dental implants can depend on elements such as the material used and the number of teeth you want to replace. Here in Australia, it typically starts from $23,000 per arch. You may think this is pricey initially, though it’s vital to keep in mind that All-on-4 treatment usually entails surgery, anaesthesia, and occasionally bone grafting procedures. Plus, it provides a permanent solution for several missing or decayed teeth. At Balmoral Dental Centre, we offer convenient payment plans for maximum ease of payment.
Any surgery will cause some level of tenderness around the incision site, and All-on-4 is no exception. You can expect to feel some discomfort until the implant sites have fully healed. This is normal and should go away within a few weeks as you adjust to your new teeth. Your dentist will explain what you should eat and avoid after surgery to help with recovery.
Complications due to poor hygiene
All-on-4 implants behave similarly to natural teeth, and they require the same dental care activities. Lack of proper oral hygiene can result in inflammation and bone loss around the implant (a condition called peri-implantitis). If peri-implantitis is left untreated, your All-on-4 may fail.
Gum colour mismatch
The All-on-4 is designed with an artificial gum that closely resembles the colour of your natural gums. A close inspection may reveal a slight difference between the shades.
It is a rare occurrence, but in some patients, the implants don’t merge with the bone, and the treatment fails. The dental implants may also fail due to trauma at the implant site in case of an accident or a severe infection build-up around the implants.
Quick overview of the full arch implants procedure
Consultation & Examination
The first step in the All-on-4 journey is a thorough examination and consultation with the patient. This will cover the dental health history, as well as x-rays, digital scans, and a full physical oral examination.
The purpose of these tests is to make sure that the dentist fully understands the state of the patient’s dental health, so any problems that need to be fixed are identified before starting treatment.
It is strongly recommended to inform your dentist in case you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on prescription medicines for any illness.
Pre-Procedure & Patient Prep
Once the patient is informed and gives consent, the next stage of the procedure commences.
Before starting surgery, the dentist will take many different measurements to ensure that the dental implants are placed precisely and that the shape and orientation of the replacement teeth prosthesis are designed correctly.
Dental imprints of the top and bottom jaws will be taken to create moulds that will aid in trying out the fit and size of the different pieces used in All-on-4 surgery.
The full arch implants procedure
The dental surgeon will take measurements of the patient’s top and bottom jaws to determine the natural distance between them. This is done to prevent any changes to the facial structure or jaw position after the surgery.
After the patient is sedated, the dentist will extract existing teeth and remove any damaged tissue.
Dental implants will be placed by first marking each location on the bone. Pilot holes for the implants will then be drilled at specific angles to create a stable structure while avoiding any other facial areas, such as nerves or sinus cavities. The final step is tightening the gum tissue around the implant before closing all incisions.
The abutments, which will act as posts to hold the replacement tooth, are then attached to the implants. To make sure the temporary prosthesis sits securely in place, the contact points are marked where it meets the abutment. Once everything fits well together, it is secured using some small metal screws.
Recovery & Final Prosthesis
After the surgery is complete, you will need to follow some standard post-operative guidelines for oral care. You will be prescribed pain relievers as needed and instructions on how to keep your mouth clean to speed up healing. Your dentist may also schedule follow-up appointments to check your progress.
Dental implants are made from a tough composite that does an excellent job of adhering to bone material. For most people, the bonding process is finished after 3 to 4 months.
After the healing process is complete, the patient goes back to the dentist for another set of impressions. The dentist needs these new moulds so he can make a final prosthesis that fits perfectly against gums and implants that have now completely healed. While waiting for this final prosthesis, the patient gets to keep the old temporary one.
Once the final prosthesis is attached, the surgery is over, and the patient can finally get back to living their life with a brand new set of permanent replacement teeth.
How to take care of full arch implants?
Maintain proper oral hygiene
One of the best things you can do for your new All-on-4 dental implants is to take care of your mouth, both in the short term after your surgery and as part of your everyday oral routine.
Although many people incorrectly assume that dental implants don’t require much upkeep, this simply isn’t the case. Just like natural teeth, All-on-4 dental implants need to be brushed twice a day and flossed at least once a day. To make sure your implants are a success, use an antibacterial mouthwash once daily as well.
You must take a few days off from your routine to rest after having All-on-4 dental implants placed. If you fail to do so, you may experience complications or an extended recovery time.
Follow the aftercare instructions
A vital step to take for a positive outcome after your All-on-4 implant surgery is following the post-operative care plan that your dentist provides. This includes taking any prescribed pain medication as directed. For the first few days post-op, sleep with your head slightly elevated to prevent too much facial swelling. If you feel any discomfort, use a cold compress and dab it gently on the sides of your face at 10-minute intervals.
Eat soft food
After your All-on 4 dental implants, you will have to be careful with what you eat for a little while to make sure the new implants are set properly. For the first few days after surgery, avoid hard or chewy foods. Your dentist may give you a list of recommended soft foods like smoothies, soups, and cooked noodles that are easy on your teeth.
You need to eat healthy foods and drink lots of fluids during your All-on-4 dental implant recovery. This will help you heal properly. Drink water, decaffeinated teas, and other beverages that are low in sugar. You should also avoid consuming alcohol or caffeine.
Smoking is one of the primary reasons for dental implant failure. Tobacco and nicotine cause the blood vessels in the gum tissues to shrink. This means there is less blood flow to the tissues and jawbone. This can starve the tissues of oxygen, which is needed for healing.
Are you a good candidate for full arch implants?
If you have decayed, broken, or impacted teeth due to gum disease, you may be a good candidate for All-on-4 treatment. All-on-4 can also be performed on patients who normally wouldn’t qualify for dental implants due to diabetes, osteoporosis, or other health conditions, as only 4 implants are required for a full dental arch. So patients who cannot tolerate a large number of dental implants due to a lack of bone density may be better suited for All-on-4 treatment.
If you have remaining teeth or only require an implant for one tooth, this may not be the most effective treatment. There are several alternatives to replacing natural teeth, like a dental bridge, partial denture, or single dental implant.
Is full arch implants painful?
Although you will feel some discomfort during the process, sedation options such as general anaesthesia or IV sedation make the procedure comfortable.
How long does full arch implants last?
All-on-4 dental implants are designed to last for many years, but several factors can affect their longevity, such as your age, the quality of your implants, and your oral health.
All-on-4 is an excellent combination of affordability, terrific aesthetics, speedy treatment time, mild after-effects and long-term results.
Do you want to know more about All-on-4s? Book an appointment with the friendly team at Balmoral Dental Centre by calling on (07) 3113 9789 and get professional advice to know if this treatment is the right option for you.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Step-by-step guide and expectations of dental implants
What to know about dental implants?