All-on-four implants are dental implants made by Nobel Biocare, a company that has been making dental implants for over 60 years. All-on-four dental implants are used to replace all of the teeth in the top or bottom row.
Developed in the late 1990s, all-on-four dental implants use just four implants to hold a bridge in place. Two of the implants are placed in front, and two are towards the back. The posterior implants are tilted back at angles of up to 45 degrees to use more bone and thus reduce the need for bone grafts.
The implants are made of titanium, a metal that can fuse to living bone. The implants thus become part of the jawbone and provide a stable setting for the patient’s new teeth.
What does the procedure involve?
Our specialist will start by taking impressions of the patient’s jaws to send to the lab that will custom-make the bridge. We will also take X-rays and photographs to plan the procedure.
On the day of the procedure, the patient will be given a sedative and/or anesthetic to keep them calm and comfortable. If necessary, our cosmetic dentist will extract any remaining teeth in the jaw getting the implants. Any infected and diseased tissue will then be cleaned out and treated.
Our dentist will place two of the implants in the front, where there tends to be more bone tissue that is resistant to atrophy. They will then put two of the implants in the back. These two will be angled to avoid damaging structures like the upper jaw’s sinus cavity and to increase the support from the jawbone.
After cleaning and stitching everything closed, the patient will be given a temporary bridge. The operation takes around 2.5 hours for each jaw.
What is the recovery like?
It can take three to six months for the bone tissue to bond with the titanium implants during a process called “osseointegration.” The patient will have to eat soft foods and avoid strenuous exercise to make it easier for the bond to develop. They will also have to visit our office every few weeks so we can monitor their progress and clean the temporary bridge if needed. When our specialist is satisfied that the osseointegration is complete, a permanent bridge will then be installed.
Who is a good candidate?
The ideal candidate for all-on-four dental implants will be somebody in good overall health and commitment to treatment. The latter means the patient will have to carefully follow the instructions we provide. For example, the patient will only be able to eat soft foods for a while to avoid damaging the implants’ new bonds.
Before applying all-on-four dental implants, our dentist will perform a scan to see how much jawbone the patient has left. If they have already lost a lot, they will need bone grafts before they can get the implants.
If you are interested in all-on-four dental implants, we can help you find out if it is the right approach for you at the office of Samuel F. Jirik, DDS in Cabot. If you are in Little Rock, AR or the surrounding area, contact us today to schedule your first appointment!