All-on-4® implants are often referred to as "full-arch fixed implant bridges." These implants are an easier option for many who want their complete smile regained in one go. They are a full set of implants that entirely replace your upper or lower teeth. It's like dentures, however, are put into the patient's mouth with jawbone posts. These types of implants are different from regular dental implants but similar in process.
What are regular dental implants?
Regular dental implants are placed in the patient's mouth by inserting posts into the jawbone to create a sturdy base for the new implant. It replaces your normal teeth roots with metal. The surgery is done by a dental professional and may be done differently for each patient, as it heavily depends on your jawbone structure.
If your jawbone is not thick or is very soft, something called bone grafting may be needed. Bone grafting focuses on rebuilding the jaw to support implants. It does require some recovery time for regrowth.
What are All-on-4 implants?
All-on-4 implants are placed in different locations than your regular dental implants. They are put underneath the gumline for maximum support for the back teeth. There are also fewer implants needed. Much of this depends on the tooth health of the patients. For example, if a lot of bone material has been lost or there are issues with the sinus cavity, it increases the risk of getting implants. The implants typically avert these issues by putting the implants towards the front of the jaw where there may be more strength and support.
What about dentures?
This type of implant is different than dentures for a few reasons. One of the larger ones being that dentures are removable and resizable. There is also an option for partial dentures. They are placed in the mouth with a safe adhesive. Implants are placed directly into the jawbone and are not removable. Some patients need to be resized due to their gum lines, may experience pain on the guns, and may not stay in place.
The most significant benefit of getting implants is that all your tooth replacements can be done at one time. This also requires fewer overall implants. It is also beneficial for those who have bone loss. If you believe this is a good option for you, speak to your dentists about the pros and cons, specifically for your bone structure.
Implants may be an excellent choice for you if you are missing many teeth, don't like dentures, want to adjust your speech, and want something more permanent. Other things to consider are any health issues, age, the density of bones, and what you are generally looking for in terms of feel. When getting any surgery, there are risks to consider, such as infection or damage to the sinuses and nerves. Talk to your dentist about your medical history and the process of getting a dental implant to see if you would be a good candidate for All-on-4 implants.