It’s not a rare occurrence to lose your teeth over time. Most of us have fallen victim; more so as we gracefully age, to dental problems of varying degrees. So if you happen to be one of the people experiencing this, there is no need to panic and be embarrassed by your smile anymore. All-on-4 dental implants are a complete dental implant solution designed to restore a full, perfect and natural looking smile.
When you lose a tooth there is normally a gap left behind on the jawbone. Proficient dentist can fix the problem using dental implants which are small in size, made of titanium with a screw that can be put in at the gap on your jawbone. On that screw is where your dentist will attach a fake tooth.
So when you have a handful of missing teeth, instead of using an implant for each missing tooth, you can opt for the all-on-4. What the procedure technically involves insertion of four implants on either arch i.e. the upper or lower, or both depending on the patient and replacement set of teeth are then attached to the implants. These replacements are also non-removable and unlike most dental procedures that will require several appointments. With this technique you can successfully get a full set of new teeth in just one sitting.
All-on-4 dental implant procedure
The thought of going to the dentist does freak out quite a good number of people, so getting implants especially for a first-timer may be scary but this process ensures the least amount of pain, comfort and the most permanent results. Here is what it entails:
Your dentist will administer to you anesthesia. Once you are fully sedated, the surgery can begin.
2. Mouth preparation
The dentist prepares your mouth for implantation by:
- Removing all teeth that need to be replaced due to failure
- The gum and jaws may have infected tissue resulting from tooth decay or infection. The tissue is removed.
Once the jaws and gums are clear, the screws made of titanium are inserted into the jawbone through the gum. In most cases, the dentist starts with placing two of the implants where the bone tissue is mostly present i.e. towards the anterior part of the mouth while the other two towards the rear part of the mouth. This is done because the screws are the anchors for the dentures and they need to be able to firmly support the dentures.
After the implantation process is over, your dentist then sutures and cleans all the surgical incisions thoroughly to prevent infection and other complications that could occur.
From there you are wheeled to a recovery room where you are given time to wake up and recover from the anesthesia effects. When done consulting with your dentist, you can now go home. Sounds less terrifying, right?
5. Care period at home
It is highly necessary to take some precautionary measures after the surgery to ensure its success. Some of the things you need to do are:
- On the first night post-surgery, rinse your mouth with warm salty water
- Ensure your mouth stays very clean
- Do not disturb the tender surgical sites. As much as you will be brushing your teeth, be careful not to be too vigorous or use too much force
- As long as the surgical spots have not healed completely, avoid smoking
- You may want to maintain a soft diet for a few days to allow the implant to take root firmly in the gum and jaws
After a few months you will most likely have an appointment with your dentist to confirm integration of the implants. From doctor and patient reviews, most cases have proven to be successful. After that, maintenance in future won’t be much complicated and you will only need to go to the dentist if you need further work done from a personal perspective e.g. scaling.
Benefits of all-on-4 Implants
- It prevents further loss of bones
- It takes a shorter time for the process and recovery compared to other implants
- Bone graft is not necessary
In Australia, the cost of having this procedure done ranges roughly between $15000 – $30000 which is generally cheaper than having a single implant done for every lost tooth, which would go for about $2850 – $6500 per implant.
Over the years this implant method has become popular and many people nowadays prefer it as opposed to other implant methods. While cost friendly and permanent, there is no need to have a toothless grin on your face when you can have that perfect smile with this procedure.