If you struggle with tooth loss, you aren’t alone. More than 35 million adults living in the United States live with the experience of missing teeth. One solution is All on Four Implants, offered by Dr. Samuel F. Jirik, DDS, at Samuel F. Jirik Implant, Cosmetic, and General Dentistry in Cabot, Arkansas.
Unlike dentures, All on Fours are a long-term, comfortable, and permanent solution to missing multiple teeth and are gaining popularity in the world of implant dentistry.
All On Four Implants Explained
This type of dental implant is a small, titanium post that is inserted into the bone underneath the gums. This serves as a synthetic root for a synthetic tooth which is ultimately attached to the post. Because the tooth is attached to the root, the tooth is secured permanently and becomes a part of the body, whereas dentures are removable, can sometimes be ill-fitting, and must be removed for cleaning purposes.
Previously, this was a common form of dental implant used for an offhand missing tooth as a singular issue, but recent advances in dental technology have allowed for multiple side-by-side teeth to be secured the same way using four posts at even spacing in the gumline.
Why Get Dental Implants
There are a number of unique benefits afforded by this type of dental implant. Because only four implants are needed for each row of teeth, the procedure is minimally invasive and is often completed in just one visit. Furthermore, because they are made of titanium, these implants can fuse with the jaw bone naturally over time, securing them in place for years after the surgical procedure.
Types of All On Four Implants
There are two primary types of All on Four dental implants. They are Acrylic or Composite and Porcelain. Depending on the type of implant you elect and how many teeth you need, the cost may vary. Each type of implant has its own unique benefits. These benefits range from cost to cleanability. When deciding which type of implant to choose, think about what is most important to you in a long-term dental solution.
Acrylic or Composite Implants
This is the most standard option for this type of dental implant. This option uses an acrylic denture on a titanium framework. It is also typically the lower cost option and the most common implant type chosen for All on Fours. This is likely the option your doctor will recommend because of the low cost and simple process involved in installing the implants. You can also expect these implants to be cheaper to replace should a denture become broken or worn out.
Porcelain implants are usually more realistic looking and will last longer than acrylic, holding up better to long term use and the acidity of the mouth. They are more expensive up front, however, and are also more expensive to replace.
Many enjoy the benefits of porcelain implants due to their realistic look and feel and how easy they are to clean and whiten. You should discuss with your dentist if a porcelain denture implant seems like a more desirable elective for you.
The Implant Procedure
Although All on Fours are a typically simple procedure, there are multiple considerations before you go under. The process is one of several steps, each involving careful instructions and guidelines to ensure comfort, aesthetics, and the ultimate success of new implants. The process of the implant and healing is outlined below. It should go without saying, though, that every case is different and these are general guidelines, not guarantees.
Preparing the Mouth
Before your implants are created, your dentist will need to prepare your mouth for the procedure. This involves administering anesthesia.
Depending on your individual circumstances, your doctor might elect to use general or local anesthesia for pain control and to ensure comfort. This will be discussed prior to the procedure. In either case, you will want to make sure you bring someone along to drive you home.
Next, the doctor will remove any remaining teeth that are failing along with any diseased or infected tissue that exists along your jawline or gums.
Implanting the All On Fours
The next step is the process of implanting the new teeth. Titanium screws will be inserted into the jawbone. Usually, two screws are placed at the front of the mouth and two at the back on opposite sides, providing even anchoring to bear the force of chewing, biting, and grinding of the teeth.
When the implants are securely in place, incisions will be sutured and the incision sites will be cleaned thoroughly. From there, the patient is taken to a quiet, comfortable place to recover and wake up from the anesthetic.
The recovery time for All on Four implants is quicker than that of traditional dentures. While those who have teeth pulled and get denture fittings can expect to experience up to 8 months of swelling and recovery difficulty, many implant patients report feeling completely normal in as little as 30 days.
Because these implants actually fuse to the bone, this promotes stability of the denture implant from the very first day after the procedure is done. This means that swelling time will be minimal, movement of the denture is not likely, and your body will adjust much more quickly.
First Few Days
The most important consideration in the first few days is to make sure you don’t overdo any activity that might disturb the tender areas of the surgical site. This includes over-rinsing or touching the incision areas and brushing too vigorously with your toothbrush.
If you are a smoker, you’ll also want to avoid this activity in the first few days so the spots can heal without excessive drying or contaminants. You should take your time and rest in bed or on the couch. Use this as an excuse to take a load off and catch up on your favorite television shows.
Although you need to be gentle with brushing and rinsing, it is still important to keep your mouth as clean as possible while it heals. Your doctor will likely prescribe a medicated rinse that will fight bacteria and promote faster healing.
Obviously, you should avoid carbonated or sugary beverages, spicy foods, and anything that might get caught in the incision area like popcorn or nuts.
The Following Days
Until your mouth is fully healed, there are a few things you should avoid doing in terms of physical activity. Avoid bending over, lifting heavy objects, or vigorous exercise. Any exercise should be avoided for at least the first week following surgery to avoid disrupting the surgical site and to allow your body to overcome the after-affects of the anesthesia.
If you follow all of the guidelines set forth by your dentist, you will find yourself feeling fully recovered and ready to get back to your normal routine in no time.
Mistakes to Avoid
Just as important as researching the procedure itself, you should acquaint yourself with the things that frequently cause difficulty following or during the procedure. Knowing what to avoid will not only make the process of healing smoother but will also ensure that you get the best possible results without any of the complications that you might read about in some of the worst-case-scenario situations you might find while reading about the procedure online.
This procedure is one of the most complex dental procedures available, so you will not want to trust the process in the hands of an inexperienced professional. While most dentists can perform the procedure, it takes a trained and experienced hand to be able to do it well.
Research your doctor’s credentials to ensure that this is a procedure they have been familiarized with for a number of years. You are also wise to look for a dentist that offers a guarantee on their implant work.
Not Researching the Implant Brand
You should also ask your doctor what brand of implant they intend to use and research the brand name well before undergoing the procedure yourself. When considering the long term benefits of this implant dentistry, you should not be frugal. Often, as with most things, you can expect to get what you pay for. Invest in a good quality implant that will stand up to the test of time.
Assuming Fast Recovery
While the procedure is completed in a day, you should not expect to recover before leaving the clinic. Plan ahead for missed work, easy meals, and a few skipped days at the gym. Remember that taking some time to heal is normal for any procedure, and the investment of your time will be well worth the results when you are healed and back to living your normal life.
Using Your Teeth Too Soon
Don’t plan on eating anything that will require a lot of forceful chewing in the first few days. Stick to soups and soft foods for at least the first week.
Over-chewing in the first few days can lead to difficulty fusing the titanium to the bone, which can make implants feel wobbly or loose and might even lead to unnecessary pain.
Implant Reputation and Reviews
As a general rule, patients who get this type of implant dentistry are extremely satisfied with the results. The recovery time and long term benefits of these implants make them an ideal alternative to traditional dentures. Not only do recipients of these implants feel better faster, but they believe the results of the implants are more realistic and easier to care for.
This implant type has developed a reputation for being the safest, most reliable means of a permanent implant in the dental field. They are known as the best alternative to braces because of the short healing time, straight-forward surgical procedure, and realistic aesthetic they offer. If you are looking for the perfect fix for your adult tooth loss, this is more than a viable consideration.
Schedule a Consultation With Dr. Jirik Today
If you are ready to proceed with the All on Four Dental Implant procedure, call Samuel F. Jirik Implant, Cosmetic, and General Dentistry in Cabot, Arkansas today. Dr. Jirik and his staff are eager to assist you throughout this process and help you gain not only a healthy dose of restored self-esteem but also a pain-free and permanent solution to your adult tooth loss. With years of practice behind him, Dr. Jirik is a trusted source for implant dentistry not only in the local Cabot, Arkansas area, but throughout the state.