What Are All-on-4 Dental Implants?
Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth due to tooth decay, gum disease, and dental injuries amongst others. All-on-4 dental implants are a complete set of implants meant to replace your entire row of teeth. This may apply to the upper or lower jaw, or both.
All-on-4 dental implants serve as a permanent solution to missing teeth and have a more natural appearance as compared to dentures. This will be carried out by the surgical insertion of four titanium posts into your jawbone to anchor the implants.
All-on-4 vs Dentures
The main difference between all-on-4 dental implants and dentures is that the all-on-4 implants feel much more comfortable than wearing dentures. This is because dentures are designed to rest on the surface of the gums, which can cause discomfort and lead to painful mouth sores. All-on-4 implants, on the other hand, are held securely in the jawbone and should not cause discomfort.
All-on-4 vs Traditional implants
All-on-4 dental implant treatment is different from traditional dental implant treatment in a number of ways. For one, the all-on-4 procedure only utilises 4 implants while traditional dental implants may require up to 8 implants.
Secondly, the all-on-4 implants are inserted at an angle towards the back of the jaw, thus minimising contact between the bone and the implant. This allows you to avoid any need for bone grafting unlike traditional dental implants. Moreover, it provides increased support by using your natural bone.
Lastly, all-on-4 implants are only used to replace multiple missing teeth. Traditional dental implants offer more versatility in replacing individual teeth with a combination of dental crowns and dental bridges.
Who Is the Ideal Candidate for All-on-4?
The all-on-4 dental implantation procedure is recommended for patients who have a full arch of missing teeth, or patients who will be extracting their remaining teeth to be replaced with implants. The all-on-4 treatment can provide you with a stable, long-term, and natural-looking solution to your missing teeth.
If you have lost all or most of your teeth, a dental examination will be required to determine if all-on-4 will be right for you. Your dentist will take into consideration your dental and medical history, and have you undergo an x-ray scan to obtain an image of your jawbones.
Given that every individual’s medical history is different, it is imperative that you seek a medical evaluation in order to know if all-on-4 dental implant treatment is the right choice for you. In some cases, other teeth replacement options might be suitable. For example, if you are diabetic, you may not be an ideal candidate for the all-on-4 procedure.
Pros and Cons of Getting All-on-4
Many patients enjoy the renewed confidence and a boost in self-esteem after receiving all-on-4 dental implants. Apart from the improved appearance, the benefits of all-on-4 implant surgery include:
- Replacing all your missing teeth in a single surgical procedure
- Having implants that are fastened securely to your jaw that won’t shift around in your mouth unlike dentures
- Only requiring the use of 4 implants unlike traditional dental implant surgery
- Less expensive than replacing each tooth individually
- No need for bone grafting
At the same time, there are some potential drawbacks to the all-on-4 treatment that you should also be aware of. These include:
- Inability to test out how the implants look or feel before the procedure
- The implants cannot be inserted into the mouth’s molar region, which has the strongest bite force
- The need for a high level of bone density in your jaw so that the implants can be held in place
How Is the Procedure Performed?
The all-on-4 treatment process can be broken down into three stages.
Preparing for the Procedure
During the initial consultation, you will undergo a medical examination as your dentist assesses the condition of your teeth and jawbone. Your dentist will also brief you on the surgical procedure, the duration of treatment, the materials used, and the relevant costs.
After your full dental assessment, dental impressions of your upper and lower jaws will then be taken to be made into models. These models will be sent to a digital laboratory for the development of your new dental bridge.
During the Treatment
During the surgery, you will be placed under local anaesthesia. Some patients opt for general anaesthesia, as they prefer to be asleep during the procedure. If you need to have teeth extracted before your implants are inserted, this can usually be done beforehand on the same day.
Your dentist will then drill into your jawbone to insert the all-on-4 implants before stitching up the incisions made. Your dentist may use dissolvable stitches, which disappear on their own after a week or two.
You may experience some bruising, inflammation, discomfort, and even pain in the days after surgery. This can be managed with pain medication and antibiotics provided to you by your dentist.
It is important to follow your dentist’s advice on the types of food you can and cannot eat, as you don’t want to interfere with the healing process. Good dental hygiene still applies as you should clean your implants just as you would for your normal teeth.
What Complications May Occur?
Before you decide to undergo all-on-4 dental implant treatment, it is important to understand the possible complications that may arise. Some of these issues include:
Contamination during the implant surgery.
- Implant failure
Implant fails to fuse with the bone; occurs in 5% of patients.
Teeth grinding, clenching, and irregularity in chewing movement may develop.
- Speech issues
Some patients have trouble adapting to the new dental prosthesis in their mouth, resulting in speech issues.
How to Take Care of All-on-4?
After your all-on-4 procedure has successfully taken place, you should maintain good dental hygiene habits and treat your dental implants like regular teeth. This means you should brush and floss your teeth daily.
Your dentist will also recommend you to have regular check-ups at least twice a year, to ensure that your dental implants are healthy and have maintained their correct placement in your mouth. During these check-up sessions, your dentist will also clean your implants to remove plaque build-up and tartar deposits.
All-on-4 Implants In Singapore FAQs
What Is the Success Rate?
According to medical research studies, all-on-4 dental implants have a 98% success rate.
Is the Procedure Painful?
During the surgery, you will not feel any pain due to local anaesthesia. However, you may experience some pain in the aftermath of the surgery. Your dentist will prescribe you with painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication to bring down the swelling.
Will All-on-4 look natural?
The all-on-4 dental implants are designed to look exactly like natural teeth so you don’t have to worry about them looking artificial.
How long do All-on-4 implants last?
With proper maintenance and oral care, dental implants can last for 15 years or so before needing to be replaced.
The all-on-4 dental implant treatment procedure can effectively replace all of your missing teeth, and rebuild your self-confidence in your appearance. Not only does it require fewer implants compared to traditional dental implant surgery, it also costs less to restore a dazzling smile.
If you are considering getting all-on-4 dental implants, get in touch with us to find out more about the procedure and whether you are suitable for it.