The American Dental Association estimates that over 35 million Americans have lost all of their teeth. Many of these people have tried dentures to replace their teeth. But dentures, especially with older fitting methods, can be prone to slipping and they preclude eating certain foods. Plus, dentures don’t stop the process of the person’s jawbone deteriorating since the jawbone no longer receives stimulation from the teeth above.
But Dr. Fong can now give patients missing all of their teeth a new set of teeth in a single day! The procedure is called All-on-4 Dental Implants. This is a hybrid approach, a combination of implants and dentures. The All-on-4 method uses four implants on the top arch and four implants on the bottom arch to anchor full sets of top and bottom false teeth. Unlike traditional dentures, these false teeth are anchored solidly by the implants, which can be placed in most cases without the need for any bone grafting.
Dr. Fong is excited about the potential of All-on-4 for his patients. All-on-4 allows the wearer to eat and speak confidently again. Plus, they can show the world a perfect smile…all in a single day! How cool is that!
What are All-on-4 dental implants?
Anchoring implants with dentures isn’t a new idea. Six to eight implants were placed to anchor the dentures, but the implants were traditionally placed vertically.
All-on-4 is different. It requires only four implants per arch. This is possible because the two back implants are placed at a 30- to 45-degree angle from the biting plane, instead of at a 90-degree vertical angle. This usually precludes the need for bone grafting in patients who have lost jawbone mass. After the back two implants are placed at an angle, the front two are placed vertically. This is possible because there is usually less jawbone loss toward the front of the jaw.
After the implants are placed, a prosthesis with 10-14 teeth is permanently attached to the four implants on each arch. These artificial teeth can be made from composite resin or dental porcelain.
Another fantastic thing about the All-on-4 procedure is that Dr. Fong can usually place all the implants and a temporary set of teeth in just one appointment. We may first need to remove any remaining badly damaged teeth, and we may have to address any diseased gum tissue. Then we take a CT scan of your jawbone to use to plot the location of the implants. At this point, we also take impressions to create your temporary false teeth.
Next, the implants are placed, a process that takes around two and a half hours per arch. After placement, Dr. Fong attaches your temporary teeth, and you head home.
You’ll eat a soft diet while your jawbone grows around your eight implants, making them a permanent part of your jaw. This takes from 3-6 months in most cases. We’ll periodically check to be sure everything is going smoothly. When Dr. Fong feels your implants are fully integrated, he’ll remove your temporary teeth and permanently attach your final permanent teeth from the dental lab. Now, you’re good to go with a beautiful, functional smile.
Interested in All-on-4? Call Dr. Fong at (714) 549-1903 and set up a consultation.