All-on-4® Implant Procedure: What to Expect

By Dr. Damon on June 05, 2017

Implant-supported denturesPeople in and around Richardson, TX; Plano, Tx, and Dallas, Tx; who have experienced tooth loss can count on the team at Texas Dental Center for state-of-the-art care. We offer full permanent dentures supported by dental implants, which offer a stability comparable to natural tooth roots. This involves a process known as All-on-4®. 

We'd like to take a moment to go over the basics of All-on-4®. We'll then delve into the various steps of the treatment process/procedure. This should offer a good overview of what to expect from treatment.

About All-on-4®

All-on-4® is an advanced option for addressing major tooth loss by using dental implants. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically placed into the jawbone and gum tissue. When in place, these dental implants offer a level of stability comparable to natural tooth roots.

With All-on-4® treatment, a full permanent fixed prosthesis can be supported using just four dental implants strategically placed along the dental arch. Patients can bite, chew, and smile as they normally would. Often (97% of the time) a fixed temporary is placed on the teeth the day of surgery. Teeth are removed, implants are placed, and a fixed temporary is attached all while you sleep under IV Sedation.

The Initial Consultation

The first step of the All-on-4® treatment process is the initial consultation. During this first dental visit, we can assess a patient's candidacy for the procedure. We'll note the extent of the patient's tooth loss and also take x-rays to note the structure and shape of the patient's dental arch. A 3-D CT scan will be taken so we can plan your case at consultation. Incase patients are severely deficient, we also have a No - Bone Solution with zygomatic implants. So practically every patient is a candiate provided a review of their medical history.

This initial consultation also allows patients to ask questions and express concerns. This may involve discussion of practical treatment matters or financing and cost issues. By going over various issues related to All-on-4® treatment, patients can decide if it's a good option for their needs. If you feel that a removable solution - ie. Snap on Dentures, is a better fit for you, we can also provide you that information at your consultation as well.

Moving Forward - Pre Surgical Phase

When a patient accepts that All on Four treatment, we start by takeing impressions of the upper and lower dental arches. These impressions will allow the dental lab to craft a custom denture to the patient and the patient's needs. The denture will be crafted for proper fit along the dental arch, and to ensure optimal and functional points of contact with the teeth of the opposite dental arch. We might need a second apointment for a wax rim, and then we provide every patient a "Viewing" appointment so you can either try in or view your tooth set up prior to surgery. This way patients will be involved in the process and get a chance to see what their temporary teeth will look like. Your final zirconia fixed teeth will be made after 6 months from surgery.

Oral Surgery: Placing the Dental Implants

The actual oral surgery to place the dental implants is a major part of the All-on-4® procedure. Using dental x-rays and noting the impressions taken, Dr. Damon will place four or more dental implants strategically along the dental arch. This will typically involve two dental implants at the front of the dental arch and two dental implants along the dental arch where the molars and premolars are located positioned at 45 degree angles for proper support. Anesthetic and IV Sedation are used to keep you comfortable and allow you to sleep through the procedure.

Recovering from Oral Surgery: Osseointegration

Following the surgery, patients will remain in their fixed tempoary for 6 months. Some offices may wait 4 months, however the literature still states that a late surgical implant failure can happen all the way to 6 months. Since patients are comfortable with their fixed temporary, there is no need to rush to get into your final. We want the gums to settle and get to their final resting place as well so we can have a stable foundation to make your final teeth upon. While in your temporary you need to aviod hard foods like nuts, croutons, jaw breakers, and other hard food items.

During this phase, a process known as osseointegration must take place. Osseointegration is the process by which the dental implants fuse with the jawbone, improving overall stability and allowing the implants to function like natural tooth roots.

Full Healing and Placing the Finished Custom Teeth

Once osseointegration is completed, a the permanent prosthesis can be made. We typically make our final teeth out of zirconia and stack it with porcelian. The benefits here is a stronger longer lasting restoration, better esthetics, inability to break, and overall a better result. The process of making your final teeth takes around 3-4 months over 5 apointments. Other offices might offer acrylic titanium prosthesis, but we did these in 2013 and about 15% had a front tooth break off during function (that is normal and expected with the acrylic titanium prosthesis) Since 2014 we have been fabricating zirconia prosthesis.

Learn More About All-on-4®

If you would like to learn more about All-on-4® and whether or not it's ideal for you, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. Here at Texas Dental Center, we will help you have a healthy and beautiful smile using the latest techniques and technology. Call our Richardson, TX Office at - 972 808 6008.

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