Dental technology has advanced in leaps and bounds over the past 20 years, not least in terms of ways to restore the appearance of natural teeth. Dental implants offer a wide range of choices for anyone with missing teeth, and the all-on-4 alternative is just one of the options available. But what are all-on-4 implants, and why are they so popular? As a leading cosmetic dentist in North Delta BC, we’ve put together comprehensive information for you in this post.
Full-arch, fixed implant bridges are often referred to as all-on-4 dental implants, but in fact they can be all-on-6 as well. This option is a bridge supported by 4 to 6 dental implants, which is made from materials like acrylic fused to titanium, zirconia, and porcelain attached to a cobalt-chromium baseplate. This dental implants procedure involves having four perfectly-positioned titanium posts implanted into the upper or lower jaw, where they fuse with the living jawbone and become an integral part of it. A full row of artificial teeth is then mounted onto the posts, which means you don’t need an individual post implanted for each tooth.
Benefits of All-on-4 Dental Implants
This type of dental implants is ideal for patients who need a full upper or lower restoration, and compared with a full-arch denture it has multiple benefits. Some of these include:
- The ability to eat and speak as you would with natural teeth.
- Fast improvement in your quality of life, because the teeth can be installed on the day of surgery without any long waiting period.
- Shorter treatment times, since bone-grafting can usually be avoided by tilting some of the implants to make use of the patient’s available bone.
- Lower costs than regular implants, because the fewer implants needed helps reduce both the cost and surgical time involved.
All-on-4 dental implants are a permanent solution for anyone who needs a full row of teeth restored, either on the upper or the lower jaw.
Cleaning All-on-4 Dental Implants
Maintaining proper oral hygiene is as vital with dental implants as it is with natural teeth, but the dental implants aftercare process differs slightly with all-on-4 appliances. Dentists typically recommend using a Waterpik for oral cleaning at least twice each day on a medium or low setting, which is gentler on the oral tissues. It’s important to find the best way to reach under the bridge to remove an food residue that can get trapped there. You can also floss under the bridge daily using a bridge floss threader.
Use a special toothbrush called a sulcus brush to clean the part of the bridge that is in contact with the gum tissue. These brushes are about one-third the width of a regular toothbrush, and work well to clean and massage the soft tissues. Finish off the process by rinsing daily with a good mouthwash to remove any smaller particles from beneath the bridge.
You should also get your full-arch bridge cleaned professionally by your dental hygienist every six to 12 months. In some instances the bridge might need to be removed, but we try to avoid this unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Are All-On-4 Dental Implants Right for You?
While all-on-4 (or 6) are great options for many dental patients, they aren’t necessarily right for everyone. These options will work for you if:
- You have enough bone volume in the front of your jaw to place the implants correctly, but not enough to support traditional implants
- You need to replace an entire arch or a complete set of teeth
- You’re a current denture wearer who is unhappy with the way your dentures fit, or the maintenance they require
As a well-established, cosmetic dentist in North Delta BC, we look forward to giving you a professional opinion about whether you’re a candidate for all-on-4 dental implants. Please contact us to schedule your appointment.