All-on-Four is a revolutionary procedure for people missing multiple teeth, as it replaces the entire row, or arch, where your natural teeth once were. Usually, when a single tooth has been extracted, your dentist can fit you with a dental implant that secures the replacement tooth to your jaw. However, in years past, the only way to restore the loss of multiple teeth was with traditional dentures — a full upper or lower plate, or a partial denture, used when a few teeth remain.
The drawbacks of dentures are well-known. In addition to the challenges of keeping them from slipping out, the odd sensation of the plate in your mouth, and the effect on your sense of taste, dentures often have a negative impact on self-confidence and self-image. Also, the jawbone eventually deteriorates without teeth keeping it stable. For this reason, the lower face of people who wear dentures over the years has a sunken appearance when they remove their plate(s).
Dental implants provide the same stabilizing effect as tooth roots, maintaining the integrity of the jawbone and preserving facial structure. All-on-Four replaces all of the teeth in one arch with four implant posts. This prosthesis stays in place and is not removable by the patient (only by the dentist, if necessary). For the right candidate, All-on-Four can provide the functionality and pleasing aesthetic effect of natural teeth.
What are the benefits of All-on-Four Dental Implants?
While the advantages of All-on-Four over traditional dentures are obvious, it also provides some benefits over individual dental implants. Instead of individual implants to replace each missing tooth, All-on-Four requires only four implants to anchor the arch of replacement teeth. This means your smile or your lower teeth can be replaced in less time, and typically with less expense.
In addition, All-on-Four may prevent the need for bone grafting, as the four titanium implant posts are strategically placed into the thickest part of the jaw. If you have been told you weren’t a good candidate for traditional dental implants because of bone loss, All-on-Four may be a solution.
How Long Does All-on-Four Last?
With proper care, the replacement teeth can last for 20 years or longer. Because of everyday wear and tear, the teeth may need adjustments over the years, but the implant posts should never have to be replaced. Of course, conscientious oral hygiene practices are essential — as are regular dental examinations. And use common-sense measures to prevent damaging the replacement teeth, such as not chewing ice or hard nuts, and not using your teeth as a tool.
How Long Does the Procedure for All-on-Four Last?
A typical arch replacement can take from two to three hours, depending upon your individual situation. A consultation with your dentist before scheduling the procedure will provide you with a practical timeframe.
Recovery and Expectations
Recovery from this procedure is usually rapid, as the implants immediately begin fusing with your jawbone. Most people are able to return to work or resume their regular activities within a day or two. Your dentist may recommend a pain reliever or prescribe one before you leave the office, as well as a medicated oral rinse. You will also receive a list of detailed post-surgery instructions to take home. Read and follow all instructions carefully.
As for expectations, the majority of patients are happy to discover that their All-on-Four implant feels, functions, and looks like their natural teeth! To achieve the best results, of course, choose a dentist who specializes in dental implants.
NK Family Dental is proud to have Dr. Amir Danesh as a valued member of our practice. Dr. Danesh earned his DDS in 2008 and received his postdoctoral training in Periodontology and Implant Dentistry from New York University. He is a board-certified periodontist and Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and has contributed to the publication of two books, as well as published over 20 papers in prestigious dental research journals. You can learn more about Dr. Danesh’s credentials and honors on our Meet the Doctors page.
We understand that the main concern you may have is cost, which is why we accept all major PPO plans for dental insurance and also offer our in-house dental plan. Please see our financing page for more information.
NK Family Dental serves the Chicago neighborhoods of Bucktown, Logan Square, Wicker Park, and Humboldt Park. Appointments can be made through ZocDoc or by contacting us directly. We look forward to treating you soon and improving your smile!