Patients who choose conventional dentures opt to replace only the visible portion of their missing teeth, the crowns, using an appliance that stays in place courtesy of dental adhesives.
All-on-4 dental implants, on the other hand, go further. They actually anchor the prosthetic arch into the jaw using four implants that fuse with the bone. The denture has four holes that coincide with the locations of those implants, allowing the denture to slide over the implants, which hold the denture in place.
An oral surgeon places the four implants in the mouth during an outpatient procedure that takes just a few hours. Depending on the patient’s case, you may be able to go home with a new smile at the end of that appointment.
All-on-4 implants rely on the same principles behind a dental implant used for a single-tooth replacement. In the months following the surgery, the titanium implant integrates with the bone and becomes a permanent component of the mouth’s structure.
This characteristic offers the All-on-4 patient more stability than a denture wearer. With the implants holding it in place, the prosthetic arch will not slide around, as conventional dentures may do.
All-on-4 dental implants also maximize functionality because the appliance is able to withstand greater chewing forces since it is connected to the jaw. In comparison, denture wearers often have to eliminate certain foods from their diets because it’s too difficult to chew them.
Because they replace the tooth root structures, implant-supported dentures are also able to prevent the jawbone resorption that accompanies tooth loss. The jaw relies on the teeth’s roots to serve as anchors. When they are missing, the bone wears away, leading to a shrunken, pinched look around the lips. This phenomenon is also responsible for denture wearers’ need for a periodic relining.
In fact, the shape of the jaw can change so much that the old denture must be discarded and a new one created.
All-on-4 dental implants have a number of advantages over conventional dentures. Talk to our oral surgeons at Dallas Oral Surgery Associates to get more details on this innovative treatment option for edentulous patients.