If you need to replace one or more teeth, for health or aesthetic reasons, you may be interested in All-on-4 dental implants. This type of full mouth dental implant is an innovative way to replace more teeth with fewer implants.
What are All-on-4 dental implants?
The All-on-4 is a screw-retained superstructure, supported on as few as four dental implants, and replaces an entire arch of teeth. It is the most functional choice and performs just like your natural teeth. It is a permanent solution without covering the roof of your mouth – giving you up to 95% of your chewing ability without impairing your taste buds compared to traditional dentures.
Why choose All-on-4 implants?
All-on-4 dental implants offer many benefits over conventional implants and removable dentures. These include:
- Short treatment and recovery time
- Replacing any and all teeth
- Feeling & functioning like natural teeth – so you can eat the food you desire
- Being fixed in place – so no need to remove for cleaning
- Can be fitted in a single day, so your implants are placed on the same day as any extractions
- Long-term solution
- Great value – cheaper than traditional techniques using 8-10 implants
- A comfortable and stable structure to support your crowns and bridges
- Don’t slip or fall out
- Preserve your jawbone and are suitable for patients with jaw bone loss
- Generally negate the need for sinus grafts – meaning less surgery overall
All-on-4 Dental Implants vs Dentures
All-on-4 implants are sometimes mistakenly referred to as ‘All-on-4 dentures’. That’s probably because the traditional way to replace a full jaw of teeth is with removable dentures, which consist of a gum-coloured acrylic base and teeth made from resin or porcelain.
Dentures fit over the gums and stay in place either with suction alone or with a dental adhesive. Properly fitting dentures shouldn’t require any adhesive.
However, with dentures the supporting bone shrinks over time as there are no teeth for it to hold in place, and this change of shape will cause dentures to become loose. This means they need to be replaced regularly to avoid discomfort and problems when eating. Dentures also increase the rate of bone loss.
Removable dentures are custom-made to precisely fit the patient’s mouth. The upper denture covers the roof of the mouth and the lower one is a horseshoe shape to allow room for the tongue. They must be removed for cleaning, usually overnight (hence the cliché of false teeth in a glass on the bedside table).
In contrast, All-on-4 implants are fixed in place and should act just like natural teeth in terms of their appearance, chewing and comfort. There is no risk of them slipping out of place while the wearer is talking or eating.
Dentures offer a clear cost advantage over any kind of implants – but they do need to be replaced, on average once every five years.