The American Dental Association estimates that over 35 million Americans have lost all of their teeth. Many of these people have struggled with dentures, dealing with slipping, the inability to eat sticky or overly hard foods, the decreasing ability to sense hot and cold in the foods you eat, and other problems. Plus, dentures don’t stop the process of the person’s jawbone deteriorating since the jawbone no longer receives stimulation from the teeth above.
But Dr. Steier offers All-on-4 Dental Implants, which is a hybrid approach of sorts, a combination of implants and dentures. The All-on-4 method uses four implants on the top arch and four implants on the bottom arch to anchor full sets of top and bottom false teeth. Unlike traditional dentures, these false teeth are anchored solidly by the implants. This allows the wearer to eat and speak confidently again. Plus, they can show the world a perfect smile.
What are All-on-4 dental implants?
Anchoring implants with dentures isn’t a new idea. But previously, the practice involved placing six to eight implants on each arch. Each implant was placed vertically into the jawbone.
All-on-4 is different. It requires only four implants per arch. This is possible because the two back implants are placed at a 30- to 45-degree angle from the biting plane, instead of at a 90-degree vertical angle. This usually precludes the need for bone grafting in patients who have lost jawbone mass. After the back two implants are placed at an angle, the front two are placed vertically. This is possible because there is usually less jawbone loss toward the front of the jaw.
After the implants are placed, a prosthesis with 10-14 teeth is permanently attached to the four implants on each arch. These artificial teeth can be made from composite resin or dental porcelain.
Another amazing thing about the All-on-4 procedure is that Dr. Steier can usually place all the implants and a temporary set of teeth in just one appointment. After removing any badly damaged remaining teeth, your gums are thoroughly cleaned. Dr. Steier may need to remove any diseased gum tissue.
Then she takes a CT scan of your jawbone. Using this, she can see the overall condition of your jawbone and can plan the implant locations. At this point, we also take impressions to create your temporary false teeth.
Next, the implants are placed, a process that takes around two and a half hours per arch. After placement, Dr. Steier attaches your temporary teeth, and you head home.
You need to give the implants time for the jawbone to grow around them and make them part of the jaw. This take from 3-6 months in most patients. Over that time, you’ll eat a soft diet to not place too much stress on the implants. You’ll come in during this period, and Dr. Steier will check the progress of your implants. When she feels they are fully integrated into your jawbone, she removes the temporary teeth and places your permanent teeth. Now you can eat what you want and show the world a perfect smile!
Interested in All-on-4 dental implants? Call Dr. Steier at (561) 395-3190 and set up a consultation.