Dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth. They are permanent, strong and the closest thing to natural teeth available. For many people, however, full dental implants are not possible due to bone loss. Another type of implant, called All-on-Four, sometimes works for people who can’t get full implants.
All-on-Four implants resemble dentures in a way, but they are permanent implants. They require four titanium posts that are implanted into the bones through the gums. Four posts for each dental arch, top and bottom, for a total of eight posts. The arches are fixed to the posts, and when the process is complete, the patient has permanent dental implants that function in the same way as traditional implants. The good news is that All-on-Four doesn’t require as much bone in the jaw as regular implants, so they often work for people who have a degree of bone loss.
Bone loss happens gradually after natural teeth are lost. If you wear dentures, they don’t stop bone loss. Implants, including All-on-Four, do stop bone loss. The titanium posts eventually fuse to your jaw bone and become part of it, preventing the bone from deteriorating.
People with All-on-Four implants are able to function very much like people with natural teeth. Unlike dentures, the implants don’t slip or allow food to get caught between them and the gums. All-on-Four implants cannot be removed by the patient, so they are cared for just like real teeth, with brushing and flossing.
All-on-Four implants are better than dentures because they give you a stronger bite force, which allows you to eat more foods. In addition, the upper arch does not cover the roof of your mouth the way that an upper denture does. This exposes taste buds that a denture covers, and eliminates the problem many denture wearers have of food sticking to the top plate.
The cost of All-on-Four implants is generally less than traditional implants. For people who find the expense of full implants prohibitive, All-on-Four provide an affordable solution. Denture wearers spend a lifetime buying denture adhesives and cleansers, as well as fees for denture repair or replacement. These costs are eliminated with All-on-Four implants, making them a more cost-effective option in the long run.
If you are considering dental implants for your smile and are wondering if All-on-Four are a good treatment option for you, have a conversation with your dental implant specialist today.