2 Jane Street, Suite 505
Toronto, ON. M6S 4W3
If you have missing teeth, you might have investigated varying options for teeth replacement. While teeth replacement is always recommended, most patients are far more concerned if their front teeth are missing.
If you’re looking for the best option to replace missing front teeth, or a string of missing teeth, a new, more affordable option is available. It combines the best of both worlds using stable implants with a bridge of teeth called All-on-4.
With just 4 simple post inserts, you can replace your teeth for a natural look that restores your lovely smile. Here’s what you need to know about the All-on-4 option.
What is All-on-4?
All-on-4 is a hybrid combining the security of implants with the affordability of dentures. Realistic artificial teeth are permanently secured using 4 implants surgically implanted into your bone.
The implant posts fuse to your bone, providing a permanent way to secure your new artificial teeth. They are ideal for replacing either the upper or lower arches providing a very natural smile.
Adding to their appeal is that they are great for toothless patients or patients with severely damaged teeth. They can be used even if you have bone loss. This is not possible for traditional implants, which require bone augmentation procedures for patients with bone loss. All-on-4 provides highly functional, comfortable teeth replacements at a very affordable price.
How does the procedure work?
The All-on-4 process is not much different than traditional dental implants. However, what makes them so appealing is that they only require four posts, making it easier and more cost-efficient. There are a few steps to the process, including:
This is an important first step as it allows us to conduct an exam and assess your needs. From there, a treatment plan is designed, and your appointments are scheduled.
Once your treatment plan is laid out, the first stage can begin. This could include:
Contaminated or decaying teeth will first be removed and any included in the teeth replacement plan.
If you suffer from gum disease, treatments can be provided, including scaling and root planing, to get your gums into the ideal shape to reduce the risk of infection.
If you don’t require extractions or periodontal treatment, a dental impression is taken of your teeth.
Once your mouth is prepped and healthy, the surgical procedure is scheduled. At this appointment, you will be placed under local anesthesia to keep you comfortable.
Then, two implants at the front of the mouth and two at the back. This provides enough stability to support your new artificial teeth. In some cases, your new dentures can be inserted at this time.
At your final appointment, your dentures will be fitted. This is usually between 3-6 months from the implant procedure and provides enough time for the sites of the implants to heal.
You then take between 8 to 12 weeks to heal completely from the procedure.
What recovery time is required?
After Stage 3, it can take anywhere from a few days to a week to get back to your daily routine. However, where you will notice a difference is in your diet.
For up 8 to 12 weeks, you will require a soft or liquid diet, depending on how your healing progresses. Keep in mind; however, this is far less time than traditional implants, which can take up to eight months for a full recovery.
What is involved in recovery?
Taking care of yourself following the procedure requires some attention, including:
- Following the surgery, bite down on gauze to control bleeding
- Rinse with a saltwater rinse if bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours
- Continue your daily brushing routine, brushing gently
- Rest for at least 3-4 days and avoid physical exercise
- Do not smoke for at least 2 months
- Eat a soft food diet for at least three months or until we advise you healing is complete
What are the risks of All-on-4?
There is always a slight chance issues can arise for any procedure. The most common issues for All-on-4 include:
In some cases, patients experience issues detecting contact when biting. This could lead to extra force when biting, which can damage your implants or dentures. This is most common for patients who have a complete replacement using All-on-4 as opposed to those who have some of their natural teeth.
If you grind your teeth, All-on-4 can pose potential issues for patients. If issues do occur, it is possible to use bar overdentures that can be removed at night. You then insert a flat-planed night guard to protect your implants while avoiding damage to your new dentures.
In some cases, patients experience issues pronouncing certain letters such as “D," "T," and "N" or experience some slurring when pronouncing an "S" sound. This will take some time to adjust to but can be overcome.
This can be a result of poor care following your procedure, but on rare occasions can also be associated with the procedure itself.
When fusion between the bone and implant is unsuccessful, you can have difficulty chewing, inflamed gums, gum recession, swelling, and loosening of your dentures or pain.
At Bloor West Smiles Dental, we’ll monitor your recovery closely to watch for signs of complications.
Is it hard to care for All-on-4 dental implants?
No. All-on-4 implants are designed to require the same care as your natural teeth. You should brush twice a day, using either an electric or manual soft-bristled toothbrush. An electric toothbrush is always best as it helps you brush more effectively.
When brushing, always use a circular method to reach each tooth and all areas of your denture. You should also floss, and using a water-pick can greatly improve oral hygiene. They are great for removing food debris missed when brushing. Finish your hygiene with a non-alcoholic mouthwash.
How long do All-on-4 implants last?
With proper care, you should see at least 10-15 years from your dentures. However, your implants are designed to last a lifetime.
What are the benefits of All-on-4?
There are many benefits to All-on-4, including:
- They are more affordable than complete implants, yet look and feel just like them
- The procedure is easier than traditional implants as it just requires four posts as opposed to a post for each tooth
- They look and feel like your natural teeth
- They offer a comfortable fit and bite compared to traditional dentures
- The look more convincing than traditional dentures thanks to the fit
- You can get All-on-4 even if you have some bone loss, unlike traditional implants
- Even if you have periodontal disease, you can receive periodontal treatment and proceed with your All-on-4 implants
As you can see, All-on-4 offers an excellent tooth-replacement option. If you would like to learn more about All-on-4, call Bloor West Smiles Dental at 416-766-2853 or contact us here.