All-On-4 Dental Implants
The All-on-4 Treatment Concept is a variation of dental implant procedures that have caught on widely since it was introduced in 1998. Dr. Paulo Malo, the concept's pioneer, tinkered around with four dental implants on a patient's dentition, and many dentists have since then attempted to replicate his procedure with varying degrees of success. Although many still don't achieve results with the same level of finesse as the pioneer did, the procedure has, nonetheless, gained traction in mainstream dentistry, providing dental restorations that stand a great chance of serving their purpose for a lifetime.
The All-on-4 Treatment Concept basically entails the implantation of four dental implants across a full arch to create a foundation for a fixed bridge on which replacement teeth can be mounted. The procedure makes for a sturdy, stable, implant that can hold replacement teeth in place permanently, especially for a full arch of teeth.
At Cameo Dental Specialists, we use industry-best techniques and technologies to administer All-on-4 procedures that are cost-effective, graft-free, and highly efficient. Two implants are placed upright in the anterior and two in titled angles of up to 45 degrees in the posterior. This creates a well-rounded structure to mount replacement teeth on, even in people with degraded jawbones. Besides eliminating the extra cost of bone grafting, it also significantly shortens the time patients need to wait for their dental implant to heal before getting their replacement teeth, thanks to the fixed bridges mounted on the implants.
Cameo Dental Specialists offers the innovative All-on-4 procedure for patients who have lost all, or most of their teeth. As a permanent solution to missing teeth, just four dental implants are placed in the jaw to hold a complete arch of teeth securely in place.
Why Consider an All-on-4?
The All-on-4 treatment is suitable if you have already lost all of your teeth. If you do have any remaining teeth, these will have to be extracted for this procedure. Tooth extractions can take place before the procedure is carried out, or we can remove your remaining teeth, place the implants, and affix a new arch of teeth during your All-on-4 surgery.
If you have considered dental implants in the past, you may be aware that you have to have a healthy, viable bone in the jaw so that the dental implant is held securely in place. However, in the All-on-4 procedure the position of the implants, as well as their longer length, could mean that even patients who have some bone loss are able to benefit from the procedure. This cannot be determined with just an examination, however; we will need to arrange appropriate scans, such as 3D/CT, to get a good picture of your jaw, teeth, and other structures in the mouth to make an assessment about your dental implant suitability.
An All-on-4 may be a suitable treatment alternative for patients who wear dentures, particularly if their dentures are loose, ill-fitting, or they would prefer a more secure tooth replacement option. Dental implants are embedded permanently into the jawbone. In time they fuse with the bone to provide a strong, immovable base on which to attach a full arch of teeth that do not become dislodged, shift, or fall out.
Your new teeth should last for a lifetime if you take care of them properly. Although they won't require any special care, you will need to have a good, daily oral hygiene regime. This includes cleaning the teeth as well as around the dental implant that protrudes through the gum line. Bacteria can still affect the tissue around the implant, causing gum disease which potentially may lead to peri-implantitis—a condition that may compromise your dental implants.
Fine Details of the All-on-4 Procedure
During the initial consultation, our dentists will examine your teeth using first-rate clinical tools and techniques from diagnostic radiographs to photographs, CT scans, and 3D imaging. We will combine the results of the diagnostics with information about your medical and dental histories to create a plan for your dental implant procedure. We will plan the final positions of the tilted and upright implants as well as the final teeth that will allow for the teeth's optimal functioning and flawless aesthetics.
Unlike conventional dental implants, which can take several months or even longer to complete especially when bone grafting is involved, All-on-4 dental implants can be completed within just three days. That's because with All-on-4 treatments, the patient only needs four implants even for a full-arch restoration, whereas they may need several more implants and even bone grafting with traditional dental implants.
On day one of the procedure, we'll remove any remaining teeth and prime supporting bones to make way for the dental implants. Still on the same day, we will place the dental implants under local or general anesthesia and then close them off with sutures to prepare them for the next stage. On the next day, we'll try out wax teeth in your mouth and then make adjustments to the temporary teeth in relation to your bite, aesthetics, and other features and functions of natural teeth in preparation to mount the permanent teeth. Twenty four hours later, we will then mount the permanent replacement teeth on the bridge, and that's it. You will have your pristine smile and fully-functional replacement teeth etched permanently in place.
Note, however, that the dental implant might take as many weeks and months to heal as traditional implants depending on the unique personal needs of the patient. However, with regular follow up appointments at our Cameo Dental Specialists office, we'll help see to a speedy recovery.
Am I Suitable for an All-on-4?
It is worth remembering that the All-on-4 is a surgical procedure. Generally, your health should be good. Some medical conditions, including diabetes, will have to be well-controlled before consideration for an All-on-4. Although some degree of bone loss in the jaw may be acceptable for the All-on-4 procedure, if it is extensive the treatment will not be viable without undergoing another surgical procedure, such as a bone graft beforehand. This will build up the bone in the jaw to provide suitable width and height to hold an implant. However, it could take up to a year for the bone graft to take before the All-on-4 can be carried out.
People who smoke are not considered to be good candidates for the All-on-4 treatment. Smoking diminishes blood flow, which is required to send oxygen and nutrients around the body. After dental implants have been placed, the healing process may well be compromised by smoking, possibly leading to infection and failure of the dental implants.
Contact Cameo Dental Specialists today if you are interested in finding out more about the All-on-4 procedure. Call us at (630) 425-4488 to schedule your appointment.