The All-in-4 dental implant technique is a procedure for restoring a full upper, lower or both arches of teeth. It addresses the problem of restoring the mouths of patients who have lost all their teeth and don’t have much bone left to retain dental implants. This treatment has an appeal to those with dentures or in need of full upper and/or lower restorations.
In the All-on-Four dental procedure, four dental implants are placed in a highly angled position in the anterior of the jaw where there is usually better bone density. Such a placement provides stable support for a complete denture. The all-on-4 procedure eliminates the need for a bone graft surgery and gives the patient a functional set of fixed, non-removable replacement teeth in a short period of time.
The patient needs one or two visits to the dental office for the team of dentists to prepare the case which includes CAT Scan, X-rays, impressions, photos, etc. The patient is then scheduled to have the implants and the new teeth placed after any extractions, all in a single visit.
After about six months, when the gums have fully healed and the implants fully fused to the natural bone, the dentist will take new impressions of the patient’s mouth and prepare a final, permanent set of teeth with additional titanium support in the bridge for long lasting functional teeth with greater aesthetics.
Also, in many cases, where the patient has several broken or missing teeth or has an uneven bite, it is best to do both arches at the same time (two-jaw cases) to avoid compromising the final result. This allows dentists to control the patient’s biting plane and bite.
Difference between the All-on-4 and a denture
Both the all-on-4 procedure and dentures are a solution for restoring the mouths of patients who have lost all their teeth. However, there are several differences between the two making the all-on-4 a naturally better choice than dentures. Some of the advantages of the all-on-4 over dentures are highlighted below:
- In an all-on-4 technique new teeth are firmly fixed in place and look and function as close to natural teeth as possible. A full denture or partial denture is a removable appliance, and should be taken out every night for cleaning.
- No slippages occur with the all-on-four implants as the new set of teeth is connected to the implants and is solidly fixed in place. Since a denture is not fixed in place, it will often slip or sometimes fall out.
- Since the stresses are transferred directly to the bone, patients are allowed to bite and eat hard foods with the all-on-four dental implants. Since the stresses are transferred to the gum tissue, patients cannot bite with a lot of force with dentures.