Going All in on All-On-Four
Having a healthy smile that you’re proud of has a major positive impact on your self-confidence. On the flip side, poor dental health can have a major impact on your physical health, but also on your emotional health as well. When you don’t feel confident in your smile, it can be difficult to feel sure of yourself at all. Losing a singular tooth or multiple teeth makes you confront the physical and emotional issues that ensue. Thankfully, there is hope to have a full smile once more!
There are numerous kinds of implants that are available in the dental world today. Some implants cover a single tooth, while dental bridges cover multiple teeth. For some people, there are no viable teeth left in the mouth. Previous implant surgeries would require many appointments and numerous painful surgeries in order to restore a dental arch (all of the teeth on either the upper or lower jaw). In the early 1990s, a new technique revolutionized the dental world: the All-On-Four implant procedure was created.
What is the All-On-Four and why is it special?
Like the name implies, the All-On-Four technique implants all of one of your dental arches (all of the teeth on either the upper or lower jaw) and it only requires four points of implants. This significantly reduces the amount of implant points needed to restore your smile. By strategically placing the implants in a very specific manner, it significantly reduces the amount of post-implant pain, recovery time, and risk of complications. For people who have been told they don’t have enough bone for implants, the All-On-4 technique requires no sinus bone grafting in order to place the implants in most cases. For just 4 points of contact, you can have an entire arch of teeth put into place. If the arch allows your doctor may place additional implants for additional stability, but only 4 are needed to leave with a beautiful new smile. While this still may be a bit uncomfortable, IV sedation is available to help with the discomfort that may be experienced.
What are the limitations of All-On-Four?
As with any type of dental implant, there are limitations that apply to All-On-Four as well. One of the main disadvantages with the All-On-Four technique is the cost involved. In order to do the procedure, doing just one dental arch can cost upwards of 25-35 thousands of dollars, varying widely by what kind of material is used. Another disadvantage is that depending on the material used, new dental restorations may be necessary later down the road. Most likely the implants (the most expensive part) are healthy and do not need to be replaced. This could be a potential financial burden. However, most dental All-On-Four implants last well over 20 years with a potential to last a lifetime if they are well cared for.
What maintenance is needed?
Just like normal teeth, you’ll need to keep your new smile clean. Brushing is an absolute must, as is using a Waterpik™ on your gums. Your dentist will ask that you still come in for regular cleanings to both examine the health of your implants, but also clean below the gumline. If you do this your new smile is likely to last for decades to come!
If you are ready to have a full smile and learn more about the All-On-Four technique, call our Mission, KS office at (913) 384-0044.