Cosmetic dentistry is both an exacting objective science and a form of artistry. There are right and wrong ways to execute an All-On-4 procedure as well as accurate medical measurements of success.
Unlike many other medical procedures, cosmetic dentistry and oral surgery must, in addition to the surgical procedure, also take into account the resulting aesthetics. It’s not enough to have a smile that works; it needs to look beautiful as well. That’s why choosing the right dental implant specialist for your All-On-4 procedure is so crucial to the overall functional and aesthetic success of the treatment plan.
It’s not enough to have technical expertise, a specialist must have an aesthetic vision of the beauty that must be achieved as well. Likewise, having an artistic eye and a craftsman's touch isn’t enough in cosmetic dentistry. Instead, the specialists who will be executing the treatment plan must have both a creative eye for proportion and placement as well as steady hands and abundant experience.
Since their inception, All-On-4® dental implants have taken the field of cosmetic dentistry by storm. Unlike conventional individual implants, All-on-4® dental implants can provide patients with a complete arch of brand new teeth with as few as four implants. Patients can get a full mouth of brand new teeth for both their upper and lower jaws with only eight implants. The benefits of an approach that provides complete tooth replacement while minimizing invasive implants are apparent. But is an All-On-4® dental implant procedure the best way to replace missing teeth? More importantly, is an All-On-4® dental implant procedure right for you?
"All-on-4® dental implants combine the benefits of individual dental implants with the advantages of traditional dentures, and with few of their drawbacks."
--- DR. REZA KHAZAIE, DDS. PROSTHODONTIST
All-On-4® vs. All-The-Rest Dental Implant Options
Answering the question of which procedure is best for your individual needs will depend on a multitude of personal factors. Some of the most important factors to consider include budget, aesthetic and functional concerns, longevity, a patient’s existing oral and dental health, and their tolerance for invasive surgical procedures. In each of these regards, All-On-4® dental implants offer some essential and attractive benefits and also a few drawbacks. It is helpful to understand what the alternatives are to see how All-On-4® dental implants fit in with and compare to the various tooth replacement services and procedures out there.
Conventional Dental Implants
Alternative teeth replacement therapies to All-On-4® dental implants primarily include the following: conventional individual implants and removable dentures. Conventional individual implants are the type of dental implants familiar to most people. Each replacement tooth prosthetic is supported by a single implant which must be embedded in a patient’s jaws. As you can imagine, utilizing this procedure can become burdensome rather quickly. Replacing every tooth with an implant can be taxing on both the patient and the surgeon, which can lead to complications during surgery and recovery. Furthermore, replacing each tooth with an implant and prosthetics can be very costly and may necessitate a lengthy recovery period.
On the other end of the spectrum, removable dentures are the complete opposite of conventional individual implants. Removable dentures are the old-school, low-tech solution to the problem of tooth loss, or edentulism. They require no invasive surgery and are incredibly affordable, but with no anchoring implants, can move around or even fall out accidentally. Traditional dentures sit on the soft tissues of the gums and rely entirely on suction to stay in place. Unfortunately, this can lead to some oral health issues.
Constant friction between the denture prosthesis and the gums can lead to sores and soft tissue damage. Additionally, because dentures only replace the visible crowns of missing teeth without replacing the roots as implants do, the underlying jaw bones are not adequately stimulated by biting and chewing. This is very bad for two reasons. First, without transmission of compressive forces into the jaw the biting and chewing can feel very artificial. Compared to dental implants, eating with dentures can feel somewhat strange and unsatisfying. Even worse, without adequate stimulation to the jaw, the underlying bone will actually waste away in a process known as resorption.
Resorption is of significant concern because as bone wastes away, it results in a hollowed-out look, making patients look years and even decades older than they are. Furthermore, when bone wastes away, future dental procedures can become much more difficult or even impossible. Patients who wish to get dental implants after using dentures for many years may find that there is just not enough bone left in their jaws to support implants.
All-On-4 Dental Implants Are The Best of Both Worlds
All-on-4® dental implants combine the benefits of individual dental implants with the advantages of traditional dentures, and with few of their drawbacks. Conceptually, the All-On-4® dental implant is, in essence, a denture that is attached to four dental implants, hence the name. All-On-4® is sometimes referred to as “implant-supported dentures.” Unlike a conventional dental implantation procedure, an All-On-4® treatment only requires four dental implants. That means the surgical process is much faster, with some patients able to receive a brand new set of teeth in a single day. Fewer implants mean fewer incisions into the gums and jaw.
Recovery times for an All-On-4® procedure are considerably more condensed compared to those of similar procedures utilizing conventional implants. Like conventional implants, All-On-4® dental implants afford patients a more natural feeling and more natural-looking solution for tooth loss.
Although significantly reduced in number, the implants used in an All-On-4® procedure are still able to transmit stimulating bite forces into the underlying bone preventing bone resorption and bone loss. This means that the structural health and integrity of a patient’s jaws are retained. Also, worth noting is the patient's appearance looks better as well. Adequate jaw bone provides proper support and helps fill out a person’s face lending them a more youthful, healthier-looking visage.
5 Benefits of All-On-4 Dental Implants
1. All-On-4 Dental Implants are natural-feeling and provide a natural-looking smile.
Dental implants not only mimic the visible portion of a tooth but the roots as well. As a result, implants tend to act and feel more like natural teeth than alternative teeth replacement solutions such as traditional dentures. They don’t move about as dentures might, nor do they need to be regularly removed for maintenance. All-On-Four® dental implants provide the exact benefits offered by conventional implants.
2. All-On-4® Dental Implants are permanent and anchored in place
Like conventional implants, All-On-4® dental implants rely on a natural process known as osseointegration to provide permanent, structural stability. Material such as the titanium used to craft dental implants bonds readily with existing bone tissues. Over a period of time, typically a few months after an implant is embedded, bone-making osteoblasts migrate into the microscopic pores of the implant material, efficiently bonding it integrally to the bone. Once osseointegration is complete, there is no functional difference between bone and implant. The implant has become an extension of the bone itself providing a level of stability, strength, and natural functionality that alternative tooth replacement treatments just cannot match.
3. All-On-4® Dental Implants are easy to maintain and replace
Unlike traditional dentures and other removable tooth replacement solutions, All-On-4® dental implants require no special cleaning routine aside from regular brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist. If damage occurs to the All-On-4® bridge prosthesis, a prosthodontist like Dr. Reza Khazaie of Willow Pass Dental Care, a leading dentist in Concord, CA can simply remove the defective bridge and replace it with a new one. This relative modularity makes replacements a reasonably straightforward process.
4. All-On-4® Dental Implants prevent bone resorption
All-On-4® Dental implants, which are embedded within a patient’s jaw bone, helps transmit bite forces from the mouth into the jaw. This necessary and natural stimulation, which is typically carried by a natural tooth’s roots, tells the body to retain jaw bone. Without this stimulus, the body absorbs jaw bone in a process known as resorption. In an All-On-Four® solution, stimulating bite forces are transmitted to the jaw via the four embedded implants.
5. All-On-4® Dental Implants require no grafting necessary for most patients
One of the most significant advantages of an All-On-Four dental implant solution is that it is more accessible compared to conventional implants. Conventional individual implants require adequate bone depth and density to allow for successful osseointegration and acceptable structural integrity. That means that many patients, particularly long-term denture users and other patients who may have varying degrees of bone resorption, aren’t candidates for conventional implants. However, one of the significant innovations of the All-On-4 procedure is the use of strategically angled implants. These angled implants allow for patients with minimal or less than ideal jaw bone depth to still receive a brand new set of teeth. With All-On-4 dental implants, costly and painful bone grafting necessary to shore up a patient’s jaw bone for conventional implants is usually unnecessary. For patients, that means less time in the surgical chair, less time recovering, and more money left in their pockets.
The Right Specialist = The Right Results
The key to success is to engage a dental specialist with the right credentials, experience, and a long history of exemplary results. It goes without saying that for something as personal and as precious as your smile, you want someone who is known for getting the right result.
You will want someone with extensive, high-level training in both clinical and research applications of the latest in dental therapy technologies. You will also want someone you can trust and who communicates complex medical processes clearly and concisely and is passionate about what they do and cares as much as you about the result.
What differentiates one dental specialist from another?
Look for these three key factors:
When it comes to your smile choose a prosthodontist who has the necessary training and experience to create the perfect smile.
Learn about them. Read their blog, review, articles, and read case studies that show before and after.
Check out before and after photos and case studies. Ask for the doctor to provide you case studies to read similar to what is required for your dental implant procedure.
Best Choice of Dentist In Concord
All-On-4® dental implants and conventional dental implant procedures can be complicated and incredibly involved treatments that must be well-designed and meticulously executed. The results should be carefully monitored over the length of the recovery period to ensure the perfect results our patients want and deserve. At Willow Pass Dental Care, we fuse the artistry of cosmetic dentistry and the technological precision of neuromuscular dentistry to deliver world-class results. Whether you come to us for comprehensive, full-mouth reconstruction and rehabilitation, or just a simple, routine dental checkup, you can rest assured that you are in good hands and will leave our office feeling better than before.
Less stress, more smile.
Looking for a friendly and professional locally-owned dental office to call home? Look no further than Willow Pass Dental Care. Schedule an Appointment below or call us at 925-326-6114. See why we are considered the best dentist in Concord, CA.