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What is an All-on-Four implant?

older woman eating fruit

older woman eating fruitTo understand All-on-4® dental implants, you must first understand what a single dental implant is. Dental implants are tiny, screw-like titanium rods that are inserted through the gums and into the jawbone. This implant serves the same purpose as the patient’s natural tooth root—anchoring the tooth into position. A crown is secured to the top of this implant so the entire tooth structure is restored.

While a single implant replaces one tooth, All-on-Four dental implants are designed to replace an entire row of missing teeth with a denture.

In this blog, our dentist discusses who is eligible for All-on-4 implant as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure.

Who is eligible for All-On-Four implants?

Patients who meet these criteria are the best candidates for an All-on-4 dental implant:

  • Good overall health. Patients with diabetes and other health issues may not respond well to this procedure.
  • Healthy gums. Any symptoms of gum disease will need to be addressed before implantation. If not, patients risk developing an infection after surgery.
  • Sufficient jawbone density. The jawbone is essential to support the dental implants. However, unlike with a single implant, All-on-4 implants can be inserted diagonally for patients with less jawbone density.
  • Tobacco-free. Smoking dramatically increases the risk of dental implant failure.

Certain medications can also interfere with the healing process. Inform your dentist about any medications you are taking to avoid complications.

If you don’t meet all of these criteria, don’t count yourself out yet! Schedule an initial consultation with an implant dentist to learn what additional treatments are available.

What are the benefits of All-on-4 dental implants?

If given the choice of any tooth replacement option at no cost, almost everyone would choose dental implants. The numerous benefits make this a clear choice!

The main benefit of dental implants is that it creates the most secure attachment for the abutment tooth. The implant also helps maintain jawbone density so patients avoid facial sagging.

The dental implant procedure is also 95 to 98 percent successful. Here’s what the outcome of a successful All-on-Four implant procedure consists of:

  • Lifelike appearance
  • Lifelong success
  • Comfort
  • Ability to chew and talk restored
  • Ability to taste restored
  • No dietary restrictions

Once a patient’s treatment is complete, their smile should look and feel just like their natural teeth. For patients who have worn removable dentures for years, the fear of their false teeth moving around or clicking while talking and eating is completely erased. Without the palate covering the roof of their mouth, they can taste their food much better as well.

Are there any disadvantages to dental implants?

With any surgery, complications are possible. Risks involved in dental implant surgery include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Sinus or nasal cavity injury

Here are a few other disadvantages to consider:

  • A long treatment. Any dental implant procedure can take up to 18 months for a full recovery.
  • Additional dental work could be necessary. To ensure the implant is successful, your dentist may require you to undergo bone graft surgery or a sinus lift.
  • Higher cost. Although some dental insurances may cover some of the cost of All-On-Four dental implants, the procedure likely won’t be completely covered. Ask your dentist about in-office dental financing or other financing options to make your dental procedure more affordable.

Most dentists will agree that the benefits of All-on-Four implants far outweigh the cons—especially when the success rate and lifetime effects are considered.

Schedule an Initial Consultation

To learn if All-on-Four implants are the best option for your smile, meet with a dentist near you today.

Our dental team is prepared to help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile. To schedule an appointment with our Auburn, CA dentist, call (530) 823-8771.

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