All-on-4 Treatment Process
When a patient loses any tooth, there is immediate and progressive bone loss in that area of the jawbone. In areas where multiple teeth are lost, the bone is lost more rapidly. Loss of bone provides much less stability for the wearing of complete dentures or partial dentures. As time goes on, enough bone can be lost in both the upper and lower arches that retaining a complete denture by conventional means can become impossible. The placement of dental implants in the jawbone to retain a denture makes replacing the lost dentition both more comfortable and functional for the patient. We can help assess your tooth loss issues. Come in and talk to us today at Roth Family Dentistry to find out more.
All-on-4 Treatment Process
The All-on-4 process begins with an x-ray analysis of the jaw to be restored through the use of a panoramic radiograph. This image shows the dentist which areas of the bone are most deficient, and which oral structures might inhibit the placement of the implants.
After this initial examination, a further scan called a CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography) is performed to determine the thickness of the jawbone to be restored and to suggest to the dentist the best place to locate the implants for maximum retention. The CBCT helps the dentist to design a surgical stent which guides the actual placement of the dental implants. Surgery is then scheduled, and the implants are placed in the jawbone.
In some cases, providing that there is sufficient bone, the implant-supported denture can be immediately placed on the implants, giving the patient their chewing function back instantly. Occasionally the dentist will need to add bone grafts, guided tissue regeneration, or will desire the implants to heal prior to loading the implants with a denture.
Benefits of All-on-4 Treatment Concept
The All-on-4 denture has many advantages over a conventional complete denture. First, the implants act as stabilizers for the bone, which helps the patient to retain the density of the jawbone over a longer period of time. Secondly, the dental implants anchor the denture to the jaw with screws that are placed through the denture and into the implant abutments. These screws are then covered over with a semi-permanent material to protect them from food impaction and chewing forces. This more permanent fixture of the denture allows the patient to eat as they did before tooth loss without movement of the prosthesis while chewing. Finally, the All-on-4 denture is smaller than a conventional denture, allowing less pinching and friction on the gums.
Maintaining Care of the All-on-4
Care of the All-on-4 denture by the patient at home is similar to that of a patient with their natural dentition. The patient may brush their denture after eating with a soft toothbrush and denture paste. Regular toothpaste is to be avoided, as it is too abrasive for the denture. The use of a water flosser is also recommended to clean under any areas of the denture which might allow food to become impacted. As with all dental patients, the All-in-4 patient should see their dentist at least twice a year.
Periodontal disease (gum infection and bone loss) can occur around implants as with the natural teeth. Preventing periodontal disease through regular dental visits is essential to the long-term retention of the implants. As the denture ages, teeth may need to be replaced to aid with chewing and eating. We can install single tooth implants or multiple tooth implants depending on what you need.
If you are struggling with tooth loss, the All-on-4 Treatment Concept could be right for you. Contact us at Roth Family Dentistry to get an appointment scheduled. We can also do phone consultations at 406-728-2745. Please call us today to get started.