Losing teeth is a common phenomenon. After all, they face extensive wear and tear throughout the years. But while the situation is common, most people search for a solution to this issue. Besides causing most people embarrassment and discomfort, missing teeth can also negatively affect your health in many different ways. Fortunately, there are solutions, and now more than ever, patients have options! Missing teeth no longer have to be resolved with traditional dentures that can slip while talking, laughing, or speaking. The best option today is all-on-4 dental implants. This dental solution looks and feels like natural teeth. While this is one of today’s most preferred solutions for missing teeth, many people don’t fully understand what all-on-4 dental implants are and how they work. We’ve put together a guide of frequently asked questions about all-on-4 dental implants to help you decide whether they’re the right choice for you.
What Are All-on-4 Dental Implants?
All-in-4 dental implants are a full set of plant-supported prosthesis that replaces all of the missing teeth in a dental arch (upper or lower). Your dentist will place four dental implants at prescribed angulations and attach the replacement teeth. The prosthesis will be attached via screws, which can only be “unscrewed” by your dentist. The prosthesis will stay in your mouth permanently and look just as natural as your surrounding real teeth.
How Are All-on-4 Dental Implants Different From Dentures?
As opposed to dentures, All-on-4 dental implants are a permanent set of teeth that look and feel natural. Since they are secured directly into your own jaw, they function just like natural teeth. This means that your teeth:
- Are permanent teeth that are brushed and cleaned like natural teeth
- Do not have to be removed to be cleaned each night
- Do not require sticky, messy adhesives
- Do not press onto your gums, making them really comfortable
- Allow you to properly taste and experience both hot and cold food
- Do not cause you to gag
- Allow you to bite with more force, enabling you to enjoy more of your favorite foods
- Prevent bone deterioration
What is Involved in The All-on-4 Dental Procedure?
Titanium implants are surgically placed into the jawbone on the diagnosed locations. A temporary denture is placed over the implants to allow you to function in the time you heal. After the gums have healed and the implants have fully integrated with the bone, (typically about 6 to 8 months), the permanent restoration is attached to the implants.
Are All-on-4 Dental Implants Removable?
No, all-on-4 dental implants are not removable. The dentist attaches the prosthesis with tiny screws that only they can unscrew. As opposed to removable ones, all-on-4 are a fixed restoration. The dentist can remove it about once per year for evaluation, maintenance, and professional cleaning.
Who Are Good Candidates for All-on-4 Dental Implants?
Good candidates for all-on-4 dental implants may include:
- People who have lost numerous teeth due to tooth decay
- People who have lost numerous teeth due to injury
- People with advanced gum disease
- Individuals who cannot get their teeth restored or are unable to see significant benefits from restoring their teeth
Good candidates don’t necessarily have to be those with an entire arch missing; they can have a couple of missing teeth and still be good candidates for this treatment. The evaluation and examination process takes into consideration the dental and medical history of the individual. It involves taking x-rays of the jaw bones and the remaining teeth, if there are any. All of the information is used to determine if any underlying health issues may prevent adequate healing after the implants are placed and if there is enough density in the jaw bone and enough gum tissue to support the implants.
Who Isn’t a Good Candidate for All-on-4 Dental Implants?
People with poor oral health and have underlying conditions that would make the healing process difficult or really slow would not make good candidates for these implants. If you’ve had missing teeth for an extended period of time, you may not have enough bone density for the implants. If you have periodontal disease (which causes gum recession), you may not have enough gum tissue to support the implants or the attached denture.
How Long Do All-on-4 Dental Implants Last?
With proper care, all-on-4 dental implants can last a lifetime. However, the restorations themselves will have to be replaced as they become worn after heavy use. Similar to traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures require replacement around every 5 to 10 years.
Where Can I Get All-on-4 Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a procedure that requires skill and experience. That’s why it’s important that you select the right dentists for the job. California Dental Care has over 14 years of experience returning people’s smiles with dental implants. We have the team and skill set to provide you with the best all-on-4 dental implant procedure. To determine whether you’re a good candidate for these implants, give us a call at (707) 553-8008 or click here to schedule an appointment today!