All-on-4 implants combine implants and a permanent, hybrid prosthetic appliance to replace an entire arch of missing teeth. It’s a great solution for those Mesa, Arizona patients who are wanting a more reliable option than just a traditional denture (“plate”). The term All-on-4 implants refer to all of your teeth being supported by just four implants that are strategically placed throughout the arch, rather than one implant for every missing tooth.
All-on-4 Implants: What Sets Them Apart
All-on-4 implants are unique because they are the only system that allows you to have a prosthetic appliance that is permanently fixed to a minimal number of implants.
The hybrid denture, or bridge as it’s sometimes called, is custom-designed to contain a full arch of teeth. We ensure that the teeth on the appliance are the ideal size and shape to complement both your mouth and face. When selecting the shade of the teeth we can go with many different colors so if you have something in particular in mind be sure to let us know. For example, if you want to stick with a natural-looking shade that’s great, or if you would rather have a brighter smile, we can make that happen too.
The bridge has special anchor points that coordinate with the location of the installed implants. Through each opening, we place a post that is threaded into the inside of the corresponding implant. This process holds the denture securely in place. The openings are then filled in so that the appliance is smooth and they don’t collect debris.
The Difference Between All-on-4 Implants and a Traditional Denture
Keeping a traditional upper denture in place strongly relies on the appliance’s ability to form a good, strong suction with the roof of your mouth. If you have a shallow bone ridge, then you may find it difficult to secure the denture throughout the day.
Lower dentures are harder to wear than upper plates because the only suction that they can form is on the bone ridge, which is usually very thin. Additionally, the movement from your tongue, lips, and cheek muscles may prevent the appliance from sitting securely.
These full plates are also known to affect the way you speak and eat. Plenty of practice is necessary.
With all-on-4 implants, none of these issues are a concern because the appliance is permanently fixed in place. It has a design that’s much less cumbersome to wear.
All-on-4 Implants vs. Snap-on Dentures
A snap-on denture does incorporate implants to help hold the appliance in place, however, the plate is still removable.
The components of a snap-on denture are a bit different. A small ball attachment is placed over each implant and the inside of the appliance has rubber washers that line up the implants. When putting the denture in your mouth the washers will snap around the ball attachments, holding the denture in place.
Candidates for All-on-4 Implants
Candidacy for an All-on-4-implant system is fairly straightforward. You will be missing all of your teeth ー or plan to have them removed—have enough bone to support implants. Even if you don’t currently have enough bone, there are augmentation procedures that can provide a better foundation.
When you come in for an All-on-4-implants consultation, we’ll take a 3D X-ray that allows us to measure the width and height of your bone, as well as see how dense it is. With this state-of-the-art imagery, we can strategize and plot where the implants need to go for proper support of the appliance.
In some cases, depending on what we see, we may recommend getting more than four implants.
All-on-4 Implants Treatment Process
After having the implants placed, there will be a bit of an integration period in which new jaw bone will form around the implants. Until this occurs, the implants won’t be stable enough to withstand the forces of having an appliance attached to them. As a temporary measure, you’ll wear a traditional denture. Typically, it takes about 12 weeks for your bone and implants to fuse together. Premature attachment of the bridge can traumatize the bone, loosen the implants, and cause the entire process to fail. A 3D X-ray will be taken at the appropriate time to determine if the implants have integrated enough and we can proceed to the final restoration step.
All-on-4 Implants in Mesa, Arizona
If you’re already missing all of your teeth, or need to have them removed and are considering your tooth replacement options, then call Eastport Dental to schedule a consultation.