The only solution to tooth loss used to be dentures or regular bridges – until the ground-breaking innovation of dental implants. The advantages of implants have made them hugely popular among the millions of people in the U.S. who have lost their teeth, largely through tooth decay, gum disease, or injury.

Then in 1998 along came All-on-4 dental implants, with even more benefits for individuals missing all their teeth. All-on-4 implants can replace all your teeth and restore your smile in one day. And there are many other advantages, as you’ll discover here. To fully appreciate the benefits of All-on-4 implants, it helps if you understand the basic principles of implant dentistry and how All-on-4 has improved the patient experience.

How Dental Implants Work

The first placement of a titanium dental implant took place in the 1960s. Further research and clinical trials fine-tuned the procedure, transforming implants into a superior tooth replacement system. Dental implants are surgically inserted into the sockets of missing teeth, where the titanium bonds with jawbone to create an artificial tooth root. The synthetic root ensures the implant is held in place securely. It also promotes bone growth, which helps maintain facial structure and appearance.

How All-on-4 Implants Work

The All-on-4 implant system took the concept of dental implants to a new level. All-on-4 is the patented brand name of the full-arch fixed implant bridges developed by Nobel Biocare, a world leader in pioneering implant-based dental solutions. The trademark refers to all replacement teeth being supported on just four implants strategically placed in each dental arch.

The All-on-4 Process

With the All-on-4 technique, two implants are positioned at the front of the arch and two at the back. The posterior implants are placed at a 30- to 45-degree angle to provide optimum support for a full dental bridge with synthetic teeth. Sometimes, five or six implants may be needed in the upper jaw, where bone is less dense. A temporary bridge is attached to the implants, so you walk out of the dental office with your smile and oral function fully restored. A permanent bridge is fitted a few months later. If you need to have teeth extracted ahead of implant placement, this can generally be done the same day.

Recovery After All-on-4 Implant Surgery

Dental implants fuse with bone in the jaw in a process called osseointegration. With All-on-4 implants, the process tends to be much faster, and so is healing. Side effects during recovery after All-on-4 implant surgery may include soreness or swelling, or a small amount of bleeding. These issues can be managed with over-the-counter medication, and they usually disappear over the course of a week. Resting for a few days before resuming normal activities helps to speed up recovery, and a liquid diet is recommended for up to two weeks. Follow-up dental appointments over a few months will be necessary. These allows your dentist or prosthodontist to monitor your recovery and offer additional advice on ongoing aftercare.

Anesthesia and Sedation for All-on-4 Implant Surgery

As a minor surgical procedure, All-on-4 implant treatment in most cases only requires local anesthetic – numbing the area to minimize discomfort. If you’re a particularly nervous patient, sedation to ease dental anxiety is also available, usually in the form of laughing gas – a mix of nitrous oxide and oxygen – or taking medication shortly before the procedure (oral sedation).

All-on-4 Vs. Conventional Implants

As well as anchoring a single dental crown, the standard dental implant procedure can also support a full fixed bridge, but this may require eight implants or more per arch. The All-on-4 method halves this number, thanks to the angled placement of the posterior implants, which avoids the need for more implants in areas where jawbone intensity is lower. Furthermore, All-on-4 puts less pressure on the jaw than regular implant placement. Conventional dental implant treatment has to be done in phases and it can take several months. All-on-4 replaces teeth in a single appointment. And, because the procedure is less invasive, with fewer implants, recovery is faster. In the past, an individual with poor jawbone quality would have to get a bone graft if they wanted to go ahead with implant treatment. In many cases, All-on-4 can eliminate the need for a graft. The All-on-4 method is also typically more affordable than conventional implant treatment because fewer implants are needed.

All-on-4 vs. Dentures

Traditional dentures can slip and slide about in the mouth, or even fall out, because of a poor fit. This results in discomfort and embarrassment and problems eating and speaking. All-on-4 implants avoid these issues by providing a secure, permanent foundation for false teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. The artificial tooth roots of implants also avoid jawbone deterioration that occurs over time if you wear dentures and can affect facial appearance.

Implants generate a much stronger bite than dentures, and the All-on-4 solution spares you the cost of having to constantly replace dentures – on average every five years. In fact, All-on-4 implants can last a lifetime with proper oral hygiene. The attached bridge is also durable – with artificial teeth typically made from porcelain, acrylic or zirconia – and should last at least 10 to 15 years. The bridge can be replaced without disrupting the implants.

All-on-4 Implants in Prosthodontics

As specialists with advanced training in full-mouth restoration, oral surgery and cosmetic dentistry, prosthodontists are particularly well placed to perform the All-on-4 procedure. Pacific Northwest Prosthodontics in Spokane Valley, WA has fully embraced the All-on-4 concept, having the highest levels of the required expertise and recognizing the multiple benefits of the system for patients.

With the help of state-of-the-art technology, the practice provides All-on-4 same-day teeth replacements unrivalled in maintaining optimal oral health, enhancing appearance, and boosting self-confidence.

And you’ll get all the advantages of the All-on-4 system compared with conventional implants or dentures, including:

  • Less invasive and more affordable procedure than traditional implants.
  • Faster treatment and shorter recovery time.
  • Greater comfort than traditional dentures
  • A permanent solution that avoids the inconvenience of cleaning removable dentures.
  • No messy dental adhesive.
  • No weakening of jawbone.
  • No dietary restrictions.

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment and find out more information about All-on-4 Implants. Our experienced and dedicated professionals can help guide you through the process and restore your perfect smile!