As we age, tooth loss becomes an increasingly common problem. It is estimated that over 35 million Americans are some of their upper or lower teeth. Fortunately, there are a number of tooth replacement options available to patients, with dental implants being the gold standard. Dentists can use dental implants in conjunction with crowns to replace a single missing tooth, or with bridges or dentures to replace several missing teeth.
For patients that are missing most of their teeth, implant-supported dentures provide incredible stability. In the past, implant-supported dentures required the placement of several implants and good jawbone density. Today, All-on-4® implant dentures are available; this technique requires fewer implant posts, and a wider range of patients are good candidates for the procedure. To learn more about All-on-4® dental implants, contact our Jackson, MS practice today.
What Are All-on-4® Dentures?
In the not too distant past, implant dentures required the dentist or oral surgeon to surgically place up to six implants in the upper or lower jaw, up to 12 for both. Over three to six months, the jaw healed, after which the patient could receive his or her permanent dentures. Now, however, the dentist can place just four implants in each jaw, implanting them at precise angles. Dentures can then be attached to the implants, often in the same visit. All-on-4® dentures are permanently secured, providing increased stability and comfort.
Benefits of All-on-4® Dentures
The greatest advantage of All-on-4® implant dentures is walking out of the dental office with new teeth in just one visit, but there are other benefits as well. For example, many patients are not good candidates for dental implants due to poor jawbone density. These patients require a bone graft before the dentist can perform an implant procedure.
With All-on-4®, smaller implants are placed at an angle in the front of the jaw, where the bone tends to be the densest, so a wider range of patients qualify for the procedure. Since they are anchored to implants in the jaw, All-on-4® dentures feel more like natural teeth than removable dentures. To care for All-on-4® implant dentures, brush them like natural teeth, rather than removing them to soak in cleaner. Best of all, after an initial period of six to eight weeks of soft diet while the implants fuse with the bone, patients can eat whatever they want, whenever they want.
The All-on-4® Process
Your first step is to come in for a consultation with Dr. Abide. After a thorough examination and review of your medical and dental records, the dentist will create a custom treatment plan. He will perform any extractions necessary, and may even place implants the same day as your extractions. The dentist will surgically place the tiny posts, which are made of titanium, into your jawbone at precise locations. He will then attach a temporary denture to the implants, and you will wear this temporary for about three months. Avoid crunchy and chewy foods for six to eight weeks to allow for proper healing. After about three months, you will receive your permanent denture, which will be attached to the implants and can only be removed by a dentist. From that day forward, you can eat all types of foods with confidence, knowing your teeth are stable and solid.
Contact Us for a Consultation
Dr. Abide is available for All-on-4® implant denture consultations. To schedule your appointment and find out if this revolutionary procedure is right for you, contact our dental office today.