All-On-4 Dental Implants
It’s estimated that over 35 million Americans have lost all of their teeth. Many of these people have tried wearing dentures, but dentures have their drawbacks. They often slip, give the wearer the inability to sense food temperatures, do not prevent the loss underlying jawbone mass, and patients have a fear of eating certain foods, among other issues. Replacing all of the missing teeth with traditional dental implants would be a great solution, but the cost is prohibitive for most people. So, many people simply suffer through the embarrassment, nutritional deficiencies, and decreased quality of life that is part of living without their teeth.
But now Dr. John A. Garza, who has extensive experience in placing traditional dental implants, can provide patients with All-on-4 dental implants. This is a hybrid between implants and dentures. The All-on-4 method, also known as teeth in a day, uses just four implants on the top arch and four on the bottom arch to anchor full sets of top and bottom false teeth. Because the false teeth are now anchored solidly by implants, the wearer can eat normal foods again and can show the world a perfect smile. This is incredibly satisfying for our patients.
What Are All-On-4 Dental Implants?
Using dental implants to anchor dentures isn’t new, but it has typically involved six to eight implants on each arch. These implants were placed vertically into the jawbone. Dr. Garza’s All-on-4 method requires only four implants per arch. This is possible thanks to the two back implants on each arch. Instead of being placed vertically, these back implants are placed at a 30 to 45-degree angle from the biting plane. Doing this usually precludes the need for bone grafting.
Patients who have been missing their teeth for some time usually have lost some degree of jawbone mass, and vertical implant placement often requires grafting to build the bone back up. After the back implants are at an angle, the front two implants are placed vertically. This is possible because there is usually less bone loss toward the front of the jaw. Next, Dr. Garza will permanently attach a prosthesis with 10-14 teeth to the four implants on each arch. For these prostheses, the patient can choose between porcelain or composite resin.
Candidates for All-On-4 Implants
Because this procedure with Dr. Garza doesn’t require the bone mass that traditional implant placement does, there are few limitations on having this procedure. There isn’t an age limit, however, patients should be missing all or most of their teeth.
“Dr. Garza is by far the best dentist in AZ. He stays up on the latest technology, and treatments, has a knowledgeable and caring staff and is honest and trustworthy in his practices. Highly recommend this office and have personally been a patient for over a decade. My kids also are patients and he is wonderful with the little kiddos too!” – Mifi M.
Benefits of Teeth in a day
For a patient that has been missing all of his or her teeth, the life changes made by All-on-4 implants are hard to sufficiently detail. Instantly the patient can smile confidently, eat a normal diet again, speak more clearly, and feel a real boost in self-confidence. These are just some of the benefits associated with the All-on-4 implant system.
- Eat a normal, diverse diet without worrying: Because your new teeth are fully anchored into your jawbone, you can now return to a normal diet.
- Return to a confident smile: Your new teeth will function, feel, and look just like natural teeth. You will have your smile back!
- Acquire a complete set of fully functioning teeth in a short amount of time: The All-on-4 implant procedure takes around 2.5 hours per arch, and you will have temporary functioning teeth the same day. These will be replaced with your permanent teeth when your implants have fully healed and solidified.
- Chew and bite with confidence: Your anchored new teeth will give you a bite force with 70 percent more power than dentures.
- Teeth for life: Your four or eight implants are permanent, and your new teeth can last the rest of your life.
- Implants without painful bone grafts: If you’ve lost jawbone mass you won’t need to suffer through the bone grafting often required with traditional implants.
- Put an end to further bone loss: Your implants will now transfer bite force energy down into your jawbone. This energy triggers the jawbone to continually create new bone cells, the key to healthy bone mass.
the All-On-4 Implant Procedure
Another amazing thing about this method of implant placement is that it can be done, in most cases, in just a single day. The first step, if necessary, is to remove any remaining damaged teeth. Dr. Garza will also thoroughly clean out and remove any diseased gum tissue. From there the actual placement of your implants takes just two and a half hours per arch.
We begin the process with a CT scan of your jawbone. This shows Dr. Garza the overall condition of your jawbone, and lets him plot the best locations for the eight implants. Next, we will use a computer simulation to map out the implant locations within your mouth. We’ll also take impressions to create your temporary false teeth.
For the actual placement, we can use local or general anesthesia. We place the two back implants at an angle and the front implants vertically. The implants get their name from the titanium “implant” that is screwed down into the jawbone. For the angled implants, Dr. Garza will drill a tiny hole to start the implant. The vertical implants are usually placed in sockets formerly occupied by the natural tooth roots. After the implants are placed, a post, called an abutment, is attached to each implant. The final step is to attach a temporary set of teeth to the four posts top and bottom. You’re done for now. Since the implants are not fully integrated, at this point you’ll eat a soft diet.
During a period of 3-6 months, depending on how fast your jawbone grows, the implants will become fully accepted by the jawbone, which grows around them. When Dr. Garza is confident the implants are fully integrated into the jaw, he replaces your temporary prostheses with your permanent teeth. Now, you’re good to go. Patients can eat what they want and show their beautiful new teeth to the world.
Why Should I Replace Missing Teeth?
The problem with missing teeth isn’t simply cosmetic or tooth function, missing teeth also affect a person’s jawbone mass. When you have a full mouth of natural teeth, these teeth transfer the intense energy created by biting and chewing down through the teeth into the jawbone beneath. This energy signals the jawbone to continually shed old cells and replace them with new bone tissue. This keeps the jaw healthy.
When a person is missing most or all of their teeth, their jawbone no longer receives this energy, so it begins to deteriorate, a process called resorption. The jaw can appear as if it is retreating backwards. This is typical of many people who have been missing all of their teeth for a long period of time. It is also why dentures need to be refit continuously.
While All-on-4 doesn’t deliver the full amount of energy into the jaw through an entire set of teeth, it does return energy through the four implants on the upper and lower arches. Plus, your nutrition is affected adversely by missing teeth and slipping dentures. This leads to nutritional deficiencies in areas such as nuts, fruits, and vegetables, which can present problems when a person is missing teeth or has dentures. All-of-4 implants will give you confidence when eating, smiling, and just talking with others.
“My family has been going to Dr Garza for over five years. He’s the best dentist we have ever had and he uses only the best materials available! His office staff is always kind, courteous and caring. We’ve recommended him to our friends & family. Try them, you won’t be disappointed!!!” -R. C.
How Do I Care for My Dental Implants?
Once you have your full arch prosthetics on top and bottom, it is important to clean under them. Here are some steps that Dr. Garza recommends. He will cover these in more detail in the office.
- Use a Waterpik at least twice daily on the low to medium setting. This should adequately vacate food debris under the artificial arches.
- Floss under the bridge at least once a day. You can experiment with options from floss threaders to bridge threaders.
- Clean around your implants with specialty toothbrushes.
- Clean the bridges with a sulcus brush where it transitions to the soft tissue at the bottom.
- Rinse daily with Peroxyl or another product to ensure all food particles are gone from under the bridges.
All-On-4 Implants vs Traditional Implants
The main difference is in the back implants on top and bottom, which are at an angle instead of vertically as you see with traditional implants. This is the beauty of All-on-4, as it allows Dr. Garza to place these implants with substantially less bone mass than would be necessary with vertical placement. Otherwise, the implants placement and the process of the jawbone growing around the implant making it a part of the jaw is the same. That’s also why All-on-4 creates such a great foundation for the artificial bridges on the upper and lower arch.
How is All-On-4 Different from Dentures?
The difference is the anchoring. Dentures usually adhere to the gums through a combination of suction and pressure from the surrounding tissues. This is why they can slip when talking or chewing and why certain foods need to be avoided.
All-on-4 dental implants anchor a top and bottom set of false teeth. Because they don’t sit on the gums, as traditional dentures do, we call these prostheses not dentures. The implants attach to the prosthesis in four spots that span your arch. These give your false teeth incredible strength, allowing you to eat whatever you want without any fear of your teeth slipping.
Plus, traditional dentures don’t stimulate the jawbone under your gums. This allows the jawbone to continue to deteriorate, a process that begins as soon as a tooth is missing. This problem makes it necessary to refit dentures periodically. Implants send the energy created by biting and chewing down through the implant into the jawbone. This energy is delivered into the jawbone just as a natural tooth does, and it triggers the body to continually create new bone mass to ward off deterioration.