All-On-Four Dental Implants
Tooth loss is extremely common among adults, with more than 35 million people in the United States alone living with missing teeth. Dentures can offer an easy, inexpensive fix, but are often uncomfortable. Samuel F. Jirik, DDS can provide patients with a more long-term, comfortable solution to multiple missing teeth: all-on-four dental implants.
Located in Cabot AR, our practice is proud to offer dental solutions to patients in the Ward, Beebe, Jacksonville, Sherwood, Vilonia, and Little Rock areas. Contact us today for more information.
See What Our Patients Have To Say...
Dr. Jirik and his staff are absolutely the best! After several years of visiting Dr. Jirik for cleanings, crowns, implants, and root canals, I chose to have a smile restoration. IV Sedation is offered for those who suffer from dental anxiety, which made my dental process so easy and comfortable. Dr. Jirik is very professional, is a perfectionist, and most of all your friend throughout your visits. He will go above and beyond to make your smile beautiful again while keeping you comfortable. I will always trust him with all my dental needs.
I was going to Dr. Jirik for several years and I always had a great experience there. The dental hygienist is very good. I also had an implant on a front tooth that Dr. Jirik did an awesome job. I still love it after all these years. I had to leave that office for a few years because of the new insurance I had. I've tried many dentists in the area for several years, but now I'm back to Dr. Jirik and glad I am.
Why all-on-four dental implants?
A dental implant is a small, titanium, screw-shaped post that is inserted into the bone beneath the gum and is meant to replace the root of a missing tooth. The problem with dental implants in the past is that they could only replace one tooth, leaving people missing multiple teeth with few solutions.
All-on-four dental implants are the pinnacle of advanced, modern implant technology. They can replace an entire row of teeth with just four endosseous dental implants. This treatment is ideal for people who need to have several of their teeth removed or people that are already missing teeth but have found dentures to be impractical and uncomfortable. One of the best parts of this procedure is that it can be performed in a single day: you can come in missing teeth, and leave our office with a brand new, full, radiant smile.
What are the benefits of all-on-four dental implants?
All-on-four dental implants offer a number of unique benefits that many other procedures simply can’t match. Because they only require four dental implants for each row of teeth, this procedure is minimally invasive and can be completed in a single day, so you can leave our office with the beautiful teeth you’ve always wanted.
But don’t be fooled by the convenience of these implants — they aren’t just a quick, temporary fix for missing teeth. Since all-on-four dental implants are made of titanium, they fuse with the jaw bone naturally over time in a process called osseointegration. This means that they’ll stay securely in place in your mouth for years after your treatment, offering significantly more stability than dentures. This makes eating, drinking, and speaking easier and more comfortable.
These implants also offer our clients several aesthetic and psychological benefits. Tooth loss can make your face look sunken; a new smile from all-on-four dental implants adds a volume to your cheeks and lips that makes you look more youthful and lively. A beautiful smile can also increase an individual’s self-confidence, making them better equipped to be successful in their personal and professional lives.
Interested in all-on-four implants and would like to get started? Contact Samuel F. Jirik, DDS today to schedule your initial consultation appointment.
What is the all-on-four procedure?
All-on-four with Dr. Jirik is an amazing use of dental technology. Plus, it may seem somewhat incredible, but the entire process can, in most cases, be done in just a single day. The first step, if necessary, is to remove any remaining damaged teeth. We’ll also thoroughly clean out and remove any diseased gum tissue. From there the actual placement of your implants takes just two and a half hours per arch.
We begin the process with a CT scan of your jawbone. This shows Dr. Jirik the overall condition of your jawbone and lets him plot the best locations for the eight implants. Next, a computer simulation of your mouth is created, and the implant locations mapped out. We’ll also take impressions to create your temporary false teeth.
For the actual placement, we can use IV anesthesia. We place the two back implants at an angle and the front implants vertically. The implants get their name from the titanium “implant” that is screwed down into the jawbone. For the angled implants, Dr. Jirik will drill a tiny hole to start the implant. The vertical implants are usually placed in sockets formerly occupied by the natural tooth roots. After the implants are placed, a post, called an abutment, is attached to each implant. The final step is to attach a temporary set of teeth to the four posts top and bottom. You’re done for now. Since the implants are not fully integrated, you’ll eat a fork diet for 3 months. A fork diet means if you can cut it with a fork you can eat it. If you are a smoker you will have to stop smoking for at least three months for the best result.
A period of 3-6 months, depending on how fast your jawbone grows, is then allowed for the implants to fully become accepted by the jawbone, which grows around them. Over that time, you check in with us periodically so Dr. Jirik can gauge your progress. When he feels the implants are fully integrated into the jaw, he replaces your temporary prostheses with your permanent teeth. Now, you’re good to go. You can eat what you want and show your beautiful new teeth to the world.
All-On-Four vs. Traditional Implants
You don’t need to assume these are bargain basement, temporary, or lesser strength treatments. Yes, initially the four implants placed on the top and bottom arches need to be treated with respect by eating a fork diet for the first three months. Considering the damage that your teeth had prior to this procedure, that probably won’t be much of an imposition.
From there, your jawbone should be on the way toward fully making the eight implants a part of the bone. That makes them no different than single implants that are placed over the six-month process they require.
The eight implants will likely last the remainder of your life, supporting your full arches of artificial teeth. You’ll be able to eat a full diet once again, and you’ll have a beautiful smile that will give you new confidence when you’re talking, eating, and smiling.
What to expect during recovery
There will be some recovery with these procedures, but it is not difficult. Take it easy for the first 72 hours after your surgery. Rest on the sofa and don’t do anything to raise your heart rate or blood pressure. You will have some swelling. You can mitigate this by using an ice pack on both sides of your face at 15-minute intervals for the first day or two. After the first 48 hours, you can use moist heat, such as a wet washcloth, to reduce swelling. Bruising may occur, but it isn’t dramatic, and it should resolve in the first week.
Your diet is a more involved part of recovery, but it doesn’t involve any pain. You simply need to eat foods that can be cut by a fork and are easy to chew and swallow. Hard chewing on your new implants needs to be avoided as much as possible. You’ll need to follow this fork diet for approximately 3 months after your implants are initially placed. We’ll provide you with a list of foods and how they need to be prepared.
As for exercise and physical activity, you’ll need to avoid any strenuous exercise, particularly any heavy lifting, for the first week after surgery. You do not want to elevate blood pressure or heart rate for the first week. From there, you can gradually return to exercise and physical activity.
Is the all-on-four procedure painful?
The procedure itself involves no pain. Anesthesia ensures you won’t feel a thing. You will be sedated with IV drugs which means you will rest comfortably but be able to respond to questions or commands.
Recovery is detailed above. You will have some swelling and some soreness where the implants were placed. But the pain is not acute and can be handled with over-the-counter pain medication.
Will results look natural?
You won’t see the implants; they are screwed down into your jawbone. Only the post of each implant is visible above the gum line, but once your full arches of artificial teeth are attached those posts cannot be seen. Your artificial teeth look completely natural. Considering how your teeth looked before, you’ll be thrilled by how great your smile looks after your all-on-four procedure.
How to care for all-on-four implants?
Remember, your full bridges of artificial teeth sit firmly atop your gums, snapped onto the posts of the eight implants. To keep things clean, this is a good hygiene regimen:
- Use a Waterpik at least twice a day. This dislodges food under the artificial teeth.
- Floss under the prosthesis at least once a day. Oral-B Super Floss works well. You can also use floss threaders.
- Sonicare is an ultrasonic toothbrush that provides great results. TePe has various specialty toothbrushes and interdental brushes designed for implants. You can find them on Amazon.
- Use a proxy or endtuff brush to clean the part of the prosthesis that transitions to the soft tissue. These brushes are about one-third the width of a traditional toothbrush. These make it easier to clean and massage the areas where the tissue contacts the prosthesis.
- Rinse daily with PerioGuard or Peroxyl (Colgate) to remove smaller particles from under the prosthesis.
What are the risks with all-on-four dental implants?
The main risk with all-on-four is that one or more of the implants don’t fuse with the jawbone. This happens in about 5 percent of patients. Usually this can be fixed by replacing the implant with a new implant. These failures can often be due to the patient chewing foods that were too hard too soon or smoking. They can also fail due to poor oral hygiene.
There is a risk of infection, as with any surgery or dental procedure. We minimize the chances of developing any infection, but it is possible.
There is also the risk of a reaction to the anesthesia used during the procedure, but these are rare occurrences.