All-On-4 Dental Implants: A Better Choice for Smile Restoration
If you’ve suffered significant tooth loss, we want you to know that you’re not alone. More than 35 million Americans are missing all their upper or lower teeth. No one should have to live with the mental and physical health toll from a failing smile.
The loss of tooth structure is not only linked to low self-esteem but also brings with it changes to your face’s appearance, speech impediments, chewing difficulties, and bone loss.
Aging, mouth trauma, poor oral hygiene, and genetic predisposition can all lead to tooth loss. No matter the cause, there are modern solutions to fully restore your smile without the discomfort and impaired bite ability that traditionally comes with dentures.
The skilled team at keith + associates are here to help you navigate your smile restoration journey. All of our doctors, including Dr. Bill Keith and Dr. Ekta Patel use modern techniques and digital accuracy to help countless members of the community smile again. Dr. Bill is even a Fellow at the International Dental Implant Association.
When it comes to full-arch dental implants using All-On-4 implants, Dr. Bill’s recommendation for the procedure was glowing, “Once your permanent fixed full-arch bridge is in place, you’re able to eat your favorite foods and retain 98% of your biting function. They are the most comparable to your natural teeth.”
What are All-On-4 Dental Implants?
All-On-4 dental implants are an efficient and permanent way to provide a patient with a full fixed-arch bridge—so, basically, to fully replace your smile. The prosthesis is attached to four implants placed strategically throughout the mouth. The result is a new smile fixed in place, that looks natural, and functions much like your original teeth.
All-On-4 Dental Implants Benefits
- Convenient and Cost-Efficient
The main procedure only takes a single surgery. You will leave with brand new teeth in a day!
- No Additional Surgeries
Some implant procedure types require additional bone graft surgeries that add weeks of healing to your recovery time. All-On-4 implants generally do not require bone grafts, but if they are needed, they’re performed along with your implants in a single procedure. No additional surgeries required.
- Comfortable Fit and Stability
Your new smile will be custom-tailored and fit to your mouth. According to Dr. Bill, the process is seamless, and “All the planning is done digitally, so it’s extremely accurate and efficient for the patient.”
- Natural Look and Function
Anyone who sees your smile will never know you have a fixed-arch bridge. Your teeth will look completely natural, all the way down to the color. Since the prosthesis is permanent, you can also chew and speak easily.
All-On-4 Dental Implants vs. Dentures
Think back to your grandparents. For generations, dentures were the most common way to handle extensive tooth loss. While denture creation has advanced in recent years, removable teeth replacements come with significant lifestyle challenges.
Dentures cause bone loss
Dentures do restore your smile, but they don’t protect your jawbones from deterioration. Dentures rest on a bony ridge once structured by your teeth. With only empty sockets, as you bite or place pressure on your dentures, your ridge will start to wear away.
When you undergo the All-On-4 procedure, your new implants will act as a new tooth root structure and help prevent bone loss.
Dentures cause sore spots
Improper cleaning or inaccurate bite can cause frustrating sore spots in your gums. Dentures need nightly removal and proper cleaning to avoid irritation and pain.
Your new teeth will permanently affix to the implants in the All-On-4 method. You brush, water floss, and maintain them just as you would your natural teeth—no removal required. Also, since the bridge is attached to the implants and not your gums, pressure sores are a non-issue.
Dentures severely limit the foods you can enjoy
While adhesives help keep your dentures from shifting while you eat, you still must be careful about the meals you enjoy. Sticky or firm foods can cause your dentures to slip and slide, causing extra irritation.
Even worse, spicy, acidic, or hot beverages can also trigger irritation or get under the acrylic piece which rests against your palate and burn your skin.
Dr. Bill estimates that you’ll only retain about 30% of your biting function with traditional dentures. This means many foods that most people enjoy, like salads, steaks, hamburgers, chewy bacon, crunchy croutons, or crispy tortilla chips are out of the question.
Your full recovery after the All-On-4 procedure will take about 6 months, during which you’ll only be able to eat soft foods. However, once you fully recover and your permanent smile is in place, your new teeth can handle almost all foods without issue. There’s no need to say goodbye to biting into a crisp apple or crunching into fresh corn on the cob.
How long do All-On-4 Dental Implants last?
The implants themselves are permanent. During your recovery, they will slowly fuse with your jawbone to give your prosthesis a sturdy foundation that lasts for a lifetime.
Your full-arch bridge, however, will see wear and tear from daily smiles, bites, and chewing. With proper care and maintenance, they will last a long time. To keep your new teeth looking and functioning great, you’ll need to properly practice good oral hygiene and maintain a regular cleaning schedule with your dentist, just as you would with natural teeth.
When it comes time to replace your permanent full-arch prosthesis, there is no need for further oral surgery. Instead, we will fit you with a new prosthesis arch that is installed painlessly in the dentist’s chair—no numbing necessary.
Who is a good candidate for All-On-4 Dental Implants?
Most candidates have significant tooth loss along their dental ridge, have already transitioned to dentures, or are currently losing teeth and extensive dental work is no longer serving them. In these cases, someone could be a good candidate for All-On-4 implants regardless of age. The most important requirement is that you must have a strong jawbone and gum structure to support the implants. If you have suffered bone or tissue loss, communicate openly with your dentist to see what your best options may be.
Dr. Ekta has helped numerous patients through this process. She explained that generally, the ideal candidate is “Someone who has had extensive dental work or is quickly losing teeth.” She also noted that “Periodontal disease patients who have some bone loss that caused them to lose teeth” are also strong candidates.
All-On-4 Dental Implant Process
The All-On-4 Dental Implant process is relatively quick at keith + associates, with only a few major appointment requirements due to their efficient process. According to Dr. Bill, “The traditional way takes about 12 appointments, but with our digital accuracy, we can knock it to less than half that.”
The first step is the consultation. In this appointment, you can expect for the dentist to verify you fit the criteria required for the procedure and you understand the process, commitment, and cost. This meeting serves to open the line of communication between you and your dentist and allows you to ask any questions you have.
When you make a big decision like dental implants, it’s so important to know you’re in good hands. Dr. Ekta summed up the sentiment that everyone at their office shares best, “We’re in it together. We’re there for you every step of the way.”
The process takes around half a day. You’ll be comfortably sedated and sleep through the procedure, so there’s no need to worry about any anxiety or discomfort. The doctor will remove any remaining teeth and strategically place the dental implants in your mouth.
There is no waiting time for receiving your temporary arch. It’s affixed right after surgery, so you can leave with a new teeth in a day.
Most patients will be pretty sore for a few days after the procedure. Some find they need to use prescription pain medication during the first couple of days, while others get along fine with over-the-counter medicine like Tylenol or Advil.
By day 4 or 5, most of the pain will dissipate to only a mild ache. Within ten days, you should experience little to no discomfort.
Your temporary smile will be in place for about six months, which gives your bones and dental implants time to heal and fuse. This creates a sturdy foundation for your final dental prosthesis.
During the first two weeks of healing, you’ll want to keep your diet strictly liquid, like smoothies, soups, yogurts, and protein shakes.
After two weeks, you’ll graduate to 6 months of soft foods to give your implants time to fully fuse before your final arch is installed.
Once your implants are ready for your permanent appliance, your last appointment in the process is a breeze. Your temporary teeth will be quickly and painlessly swapped out for your permanent new smile.
Just like natural teeth, your permanent fixed-arch bridge and All-On-4 implants will require cleaning and care. You will still need to brush your teeth and use a water flosser to keep your new teeth clean and your gums healthy.
You will also need to visit the dentist, just as you did with your natural teeth, twice a year for a cleaning and check-up.
How much do All-On-4 Dental Implants cost?
Complete smile restoration prevents bone structure loss in your jaw, restores your bite to its normal function, and gives the appearance of natural, healthy teeth. However, it is also an in-depth surgical procedure, and the cost reflects this.
You should be prepared to invest anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 per arch for this type of implant and prosthesis.
Unfortunately, most dental insurance plans do not cover this procedure, but in some rare instances, medical coverage may.
While cost is certainly a barrier, it is achievable. Many patients use a home equity line of credit to finance their oral restoration. If that isn’t an option, keith + associates can work with you to space out payments over the course of 6 months.
Dr. Bill notes this one-time investment not only restores your smile’s appearance but frees you of the bite disability caused by tooth loss or dentures. Unlike a car or other purchases at this price point, this will improve your daily life for the rest of your life.
How to start your All-On-4 Dental Implant journey
The kind and experienced staff at keith + associates are ready to help you on your journey toward full restoration. All our skilled doctors, including Dr. Bill and Dr. Ekta, provide this life-changing dental solution.
For many, All-On-4 Implants are the clear choice, but each person’s oral health journey and situation is different. Call us at 913-384-0044 or book an appointment online to take the first step towards full tooth replacement.
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