All on 4 Dental Implants are a full mouth solution for patients tired of spending money on dentistry that does not last, who have soft, missing, or broken teeth, and those who regret wearing a denture.
How does All on 4 cost less than other treatment?
Historically dentists believed full mouth reconstruction required 8-12 implants to replace the teeth in a patients jaw. Research has discovered that full mouth reconstruction can successfully accomplished and supported "All on 4 Dental Implants." This is how the procedure received the its descriptive name All on 4 Dental Implants.
Even though the name is descriptive in nature, it is confusing for many people because its often misused and misrepresented by marketers.
It can be really confusing to understand so lets help you and give you clarity. What are the different components when people speak of All-on-4 dental implants? Lets dissect out the parts of the name.
“All on 4 Dental Implants”.
Lets start with the term "ALL" and what it is referring to and encompasses.
is referring to everything you see in your smile such as all your front and back teeth with accompanying gums being replaced by ONE continuous BRIDGE. Although it has the appearance of 12-14 individual teeth, it is one long unit that spans from one molar all the way to the front and around to the other side. When doing an All on 4 procedure, no natural teeth are left in the mouth. Every tooth is extracted. This is in contrast to what we are given at birth, which is 14-16 individual teeth that are supported by a jaw bone but are not rigidly connected as one unit.
is referring to the number of implants and accompanying locations to support/connect the one solid unit that makes up "All" of your smile in each jaw.
Note: All on 4 dental surgery is jaw specific and does not require/infer it is being done on both arches. Many patients have the All on 4 surgical procedure done on just one arch that opposes natural teeth.
An example that is NOT the same as All-On-4®
Multiple Bridges within one jaw on implants. 3 on 6® dental implant treatment requires 3 separate bridges (as opposed to ONE with All on 4 Treatment). Each of these three bridges (as opposed to ONE) require 2 implants (3 Bridges x 2 implant each = 6 total implants) but here is the difference we want to get at. These 3 separate bridges generally DO NOT replace All of your smile because they only replace the teeth which lie up close to your very own gums. This isn’t a problem early on but as time go’s on, many patients return dissatisfied with their smile because these bridges show dark triangles where the patients gums have receded and left a black void. The only way to fix this is to have them completely removed and the complete process redone. This is ALWAYS frustrating and financially stressful for the patient.
Limitations of the term All on 4
The name describes the surgical technique of replacing All your teeth, and gums with one bridge supported by 4 implants but it does not define what the bridge material is made out of but only that it is one unit or at least has a sub structure connecting the bridge together. This is why so many patients (and even doctors) get confused.
10 Phases to SUCCESSFUL ALL-ON-4 Dental Implant Treatment
we can divide the All-on-4® treatment into different phases.
1. Discovery via consultation with CT, facial scanning, photos, and Blood work
2. Financial, time, health, Soft diet Commitment with Documents
3. First set of calculations
4. Surgery including extractions and implant placement
5. First set of teeth 4months
6. Second set of calculations
7. Printed Tryin
8. Final fitting of Zirconia teeth
9. Delivery of final Teeth
10. Ongoing maintenance
The first phase is surgical and often requires extractions
Lets first talk about the implants. Simply put, dental implants are a special type of screw with the purpose replace the root portion of your teeth. Most dental implants are made of titanium with zirconia being a rare exception WITH SINGLE ANTERIOR IMPLANT/CROWNS. Dental implants function to replace ONLY the root of your teeth. This is the critical connection into your jaw bone which provides retention and compressive strength as you chew. Its comparable to the foundation of a house or a trunk of a tree. Within the All on 4® treatment process, we place at least 4 implants that will function solely to support all of your teeth. These implants are unique from other regular implants because they provide more prosthetic options and have sharper edges as it cuts the bone, squeezing itself below the surface. This creates a stronger and tighter connection to the bone allowing a interim set of teeth to be connected. These All-ON-4 type dental implants can be placed in patients that have little bone volume and bone loss.
All on 4 Bridge (one continuous bridge)
This is the one piece bridge built on top of the implants. This includes both the gums and teeth and can be made from a large variety of materials. All on 4® Bridge materials can be divided into two categories; monolithic and polylithic.
Monolithic means that its made of only one material making it very strong and less likely to fracture into separate pieces. To make one large bridge requires special milling machines that are very expensive. The primary material in this arena considered to be a permanent prosthesis is zirconia.
Polylithic means its made of two or more materials and glued together to make one bridge. Materials used in this arena include Titanium, PMMA, Resin Acrylic, Denture Teeth, Trilor, Trinia, graphine, and Pekkton, porcelain, zirconia, composite. These styles of devices don’t generally require an expensive milling machine and so many doctors gravitate to these solutions until problems become a regular pattern. The primary problem with polylithic bridges is that under certain conditions or simply long term wear over time, these parts de-bond. For example the most common call to get from a patient 3-5 years out is ,”My front tooth just broke off.” which creates stress for the patient as well as the doctor.