All-on-4 dental implants address the problem of reduced bone density that plagues many patients who lose teeth. Often tooth loss has just as much to do with the amount of workable bone in the jaw as it does with decay. When there is loss of bone, reconstruction becomes more complex. The All-on-4 method facilitates reconstruction for those who lack sufficient bone for mainstream repair work.
In the 1990s, Portuguese dentist Paulo Maló developed the technique for patients that do not have enough jaw left to support traditional dental reconstruction. Up until this time, these patients would have to endure bone graphs from other areas of the body in order to get implants. The graphing process takes from six months to a year to complete. For some patients, transplantation was not an option due to chronic medical issues such as diabetes.
Dr. Maló’s technique involves the creation of a customized bridge. A bridge is a partial denture that fills a gap left by tooth loss. The All-on-4 technique fixes this custom bridge to four titanium posts surgically implanted into the front of the jaw where bone is remains dense. The process eliminates the needs for graphs because it utilizes the workable area of bone. Posts sit at an angle to avoid interfering with the sinus cavities or nerve bundles. Patients opting for this process can avoid the delay and risks associated with bone grafting.
The titanium posts acts as pillars for the bridgework. Once in place, they secure the permanent dentures to the jaw. This method works for anyone that requires 12 to 14 prosthetic teeth.
Advantages over Traditional Tooth Replacement
The All-on-4 procedure offers significant benefits over traditional forms of tooth replacement. The custom designed bridge is a permanent fixture. This is an advantage over the more common removable bridges. Detachable dentures make talking and eating difficult. The attachment method can damage remaining natural teeth. Dentures often cause sores to form on the soft tissue, as well. All-on-4 patients avoid
- Dental Adhesives
- Messy cleaning
- Nighttime soaks
- Slipping teeth
Current techniques for implantation are time consuming if the patient requires bone replacement. With Dr. Maló’s process, the bridge goes in the same day the patient has implant surgery. Everything happens at one time. There is no waiting for bone grafts to set.
All-on-4 dental implants are the answer to tooth restoration even if you are not a candidate for permanent bridges because of bone issues. If you are facing significant tooth loss, ask your dentist if the All-on-4 implant technique might be the answer to restoring your smile.
Lauren Biddle is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @Biddle23 to see what else he has to say!