All-On-4 Dental Implants
Dr. Peck and Taylor Street Dental provide All-on-X dental implants, commonly referred to as All-on-4 dental implants. The number of implants utilized can vary, and often times 6 or 8 implants are placed instead of just 4.
What are All-on-4 Dental Implants?
Dental implants have long been the gold standard for replacing a missing tooth or two. But replacing a full arch with implants isn’t realistic. In the past, implants have been used to anchor dentures, but these procedures have required six to eight implants to anchor an entire arch of artificial teeth. Plus, these implants needed to be placed vertically into the jawbone. That precluded this option for patients with insufficient bone mass, especially in the area formerly occupied by the back molars.
All-on-4 dental implants require only four implants per arch. The key is the two back implants on each arch. They are typically placed at 30 to 45-degree angles from the biting plane. The advantage of this angled implant placement is that it usually precludes the need for bone grafting. Even if the patient has lost some bone mass due to his or her missing teeth, these angled implants can usually still be placed. The front two implants are placed vertically.
A prosthesis containing from 10 to 14 teeth is permanently attached to the four implants. This entire process takes just a single day. Once the jawbone has integrated the implants over the course of three to six months, you return and we replace the temporary artificial teeth with your permanent arch of porcelain teeth.
Candidates for All-on-4 dental implants
One of the great things about All-on-4 at Taylor Street Dental is that just about anyone can qualify for them. This is because the placement of the back implants at an angle, which enables those with bone loss to still have the procedure.
Good candidates should be missing all or most of their teeth, as this is a procedure for either the full upper or lower arches of teeth or both. Age is not a limiting factor.
What are the benefits of having All-on-4 dental implants?
Our Taylor Street Dental patients love this procedure and it’s difficult to express the changes they experience going from having few or no teeth to returning to a full set of fully functioning teeth once again. Their confidence soars. They enjoy food again. They smile again.
These are the benefits to our All-on-4 dental implant patients:
- Return to having a fully functioning set of teeth in a short amount of time – The All-on-4 implant procedure takes around 2.5 hours per arch, and you will have temporary functioning teeth the same day (they will be replaced with your permanent teeth when your implants have fully healed and solidified).
- Have a smile once again – Your new teeth will function, feel, and look just like natural teeth. Your smile will be back.
- Don’t be afraid to bite – Chew and bite with confidence. Your anchored new teeth will give you a bite force with 70 percent more power than dentures. Because your new teeth are fully anchored into your jawbone, you can now return to a normal diet.
- Enjoy a full set of teeth for the duration – Your four or eight implants are permanent. Implants are the most successful dental prosthetic and will likely last the remainder of the patient’s life.
- Implants without the need for bone grafts – If you’ve lost jawbone mass you won’t need to suffer through the bone grafting required with traditional implants.
- Put an end to further bone loss – Your implants will now transfer your bite force energy down into your jawbone. This energy triggers the jawbone to continually create new bone cells, the key to healthy bone mass.
The All-on-4 Dental Implant procedure
When we discuss the process with patients during their consultation, they find it hard to believe that we can remove any remaining teeth, place your four or eight implants, and attach your temporary new teeth (your permanent arches of teeth will replace the temporary set when your implants have fully integrated into the jawbone) all in just one day in our Springfield, Massachusetts offices.
The first phase of the day is spent getting your mouth ready for your implants. If you have any remaining damaged teeth, we extract those. We clean up any areas of diseased gum tissue, and then your gums are thoroughly cleaned. Now it’s time for your CT scan of both your upper and lower jaws. The software in our Chrome Guided SMILE system creates a computer simulation of your mouth. We share this with every patient so they can see how great their new smile will look when finished. Then we use this to plot the placement of the four dental implants on each arch. The key to this system is that the back two implants on both the upper and lower arches are placed at an angle, rather than vertically. This lowers the amount of bone mass in the area that is needed for successful placement. Once we have our Chrome GuidedSMILE digital plan for the procedure, we make impressions of your mouth to use for creating your temporary false teeth.
For the implant portion of the procedure, you’ll be put under general anesthesia. That way you simply sleep through the procedure. For the back implants, we drill a tiny hole at an angle to start the implant. The titanium implant is then screwed into this hole. For the front two implants, the implant is screwed down into the hole formerly occupied by the tooth root. We immediately attach a post, also called an abutment, to each of the eight implant bases. By this point, your temporary artificial teeth are ready, so we go ahead and snap those onto the four implants on each arch and you’re done. This process takes about two and a half hours for each arch.
You return home and it’s time for your jawbone to get to work. The jawbone immediately accepts the titanium implants and begins to grow around the implants. This process is called osseointegration and it takes from 3 months to 6 months for the implants to fully integrate into the jawbone. During much of this time, you’ll have to be on a soft diet so as not to disturb the implants as they anchor in. You’ll come in and your Taylor Street Dental dentist will check the progress of the jawbone growing around the implants. When we feel your jawbone has fully grown around the implants, it’s time for the final step of your All-on-4 procedure. We remove your temporary teeth and replace them with your beautiful, permanent teeth. Now you can eat what you want, smile as much as
possible, and show the world your new teeth.
How does All-on-4 differ from traditional implants?
Traditional dental implants are used to replace one or two missing teeth as stand-alone prosthetics. It wouldn’t be financially practical to replace all of your missing natural teeth with implants. That’s the All-on-4 difference. It uses four implants on each arch to anchor full sets of upper and lower artificial teeth. The process of osseointegration of the implant bases into the jawbone is identical to a traditional dental implant placement. Instead of attaching a single artificial tooth to the implant, however, we attach a full arch of artificial teeth.
The other main difference is the placement in the back two implants with All-on-4. These two implants on each arch are placed at a 30 to 45-degree angle instead of usual vertical placement. This allows people with bone loss in the jawbone area of their back molars to still have this procedure, usually without the need for any bone grafting. The front two implants on each arch are placed vertically because there usually isn’t the same amount of bone loss toward the front of the jaw.
What is the Chrome GuidedSMILE?
At Taylor Street Dental, we use the newest technology to guide our All-on-4procedures. This is called Chrome Full Arch Guided Stability. The system uses the most sophisticated software tools, combined with your CT scan, to allow us to find the best locations for your implants. From start to finish, we use Chrome GuidedSMILE to plot your entire procedure with exacting precision. This guarantees the best outcomes for our patients.
How does the Chrome GuidedSMILE system differ from other implant placements?
The Chrome GuidedSMILE system simply takes any possible guesswork out of our All-on-4 dental implant procedures. This system plots every step of the process. With former All-on-4 procedures, dentists would have to resort to blind drilling at times, not quite sure where the best placement for the implant would be. We no longer have that problem with the Chrome GuidedSmile system.
What are the benefits of using Chrome GuidedSMILE?
This sophisticated system gives us these advantages for our patients:
- The ability to share a smile simulation with the patient
- Preplanned bone reduction/osteotomy guidance/abutment placement
- Simulations are used to develop the temporary teeth
- No binding and bending of plastic
- No more blind drilling
- Takes just minutes to perform
- Complete confidence in every step of the process
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Recovery Like After All-on-4 Dental Implants?
Recovery after getting All-on-4 dental implants is not overly complicated, as long as you are mindful of what you eat and drink and how you care for your oral health. After your dental treatment, you may experience mild pain and soreness in your mouth. Pain medication can be given to minimize your discomfort. One to two days off work is recommended, and most patients can return to their normal routines after three days of recovery.
During this time, it’s important that you prioritize rest while in recovery, as your implants do the most healing while your body rests. Ice packs can be used on the cheeks to reduce inflammation. Continuing to brush your teeth gently is important during recovery, as well as sticking to a soft-food diet.
What Foods Can I Eat After Getting All-on-4 Dental Implants?
When your All-on-4 dental implants are new, they can be easily susceptible to damage from chewing and drinking certain foods and beverages. We recommend you follow a soft food diet for at least 10 to 14 days to allow your implants to heal properly and minimize any damage. These are the foods and drinks that are safe for eating while you recover from your dental implant procedure:
- Protein shakes, meal replacement shakes
- Milk, tea, coffee
- Frozen yogurt or ice cream
- Coconut water
- Vegetable or cream soup
What Happens If My All-on-4 Dental Implants Become Damaged?
If any damage, chipping, or breaking of any of your All-on-4 dental implants occurs, a full reconstruction of all four implants may be needed. Dr. Peck can help you determine which kind of reconstructive treatment will benefit you if any damage happens.
How Do I Properly Care for My All-on-4 Dental Implants?
Cleaning your All-on-4 dental implants is essential to keeping them healthy and decay-free. Brushing and flossing daily, using a non-alcohol antibacterial mouthwash, and electric toothbrushes can provide deeper cleaning and ensure optimal oral health for both your natural teeth and your implants.