Losing your teeth has major implications for your oral health, your appearance, and your overall quality of life. The more teeth you lose, the harder simple tasks, such as eating and speaking, become. Your digestion and nutrition suffer. It becomes more difficult for others to understand you when you speak. Without teeth, your confidence suffers. What's more is that tooth loss causes changes in your jaw. Your teeth are critical for maintaining the health and strength of your jawbone by providing it with the stimulation it needs for health. Without teeth your jawbone weakens, loses volume, and changes shape. The All-on-4® Treatment Concept was designed to replace an entire mouth of missing teeth using a fixed (one that doesn’t come in and out) prosthesis on 4 or more implants.
What is the All-on-4® Treatment Concept?
Historically, when you were missing an entire arch of teeth, the only option was to place 6 to 8 implants are placed to support an arch of prosthetic porcelain bridges. However, bone loss can sometimes make you ineligible for this type of restoration. An entire mouth of custom bridgework was also quite a financial investment.
In the early 1990’s, The All-on-4® Treatment Concept was conceived by Dr. Paulo Maló in Portugal as a type of dental implant restoration that replaces an entire arch (or both arches) of missing teeth on four strategically placed angled implants. A provisional acrylic restoration is placed the same day as the implants, so you never have to go a day without your teeth.
After a period of around 3 months, the implants are fully healed and ready to support a long-term restoration made of either titanium and acrylic or a tooth-colored material called zirconia.
Both the provisional and the long-term restoration are anchored into the dental implants using screws. These screws are covered by a filling material to protect the screws and the implants. This is a restoration that is fixed in your mouth and does not come in and out like a denture would.
Maintaining Your All-on-4® Prosthesis
Your All-On-4 will need to be cared for to assure your long term dental health.
You will be instructed on proper daily care of your prosthesis, including use of a water flossing device, brushing, flossing, and other dental tools for cleaning under and around your replacement teeth and around the tops of your implants.
Since your dentist is the only one who can take It is critical to keep your routine dental appointments. Dr. Nicholas Berns will discuss the most appropriate time in between visits to help keep your prosthesis clean. Depending on your current level of dental health it may be recommended that your All-on-4 be removed, professionally cleaned and polished, and re-inserted in the office to remove any deposits that may accumulate under your prosthesis.
After several years you will likely need to replace the tooth portion of your All-on-4 restoration as they become worn or damaged with time.
Your time, effort, and investment in maintenance is critical to getting the most out of your All-on-4 restoration.
If you are interested in learning more about All-on-4® and all of your tooth replacement options, call to schedule your consultation with Crossroads Family Dental today at 219-865-4095.