It is not uncommon to find many adults who have experienced tooth loss from infection, tooth decay, gum disease, or trauma. According to the FDI World Dental Federation, 3.9 billion people or 44% of the world’s population battle tooth decay. Of the 3.9 billion, 30% of individuals within the age group of 65 and 74 years have lost their natural teeth.
Several problems come with having tooth decay, the most obvious of which is the inability to chew food properly. Other conditions can include pain, inflamation, psychological issues, as well as an overall decline in dental health. One of the most cutting edge solutions for individuals who are suffering from tooth decay or loss is the implementation of all-on-four implants.
What Are All-On-Four Implants?
All-On-Four Implants are an ideal tooth replacement alternative for people with decayed or missing teeth. This technology features a specially-designed tooth with a titanium frame that fits perfectly into an individual’s gums. There is an integration of the implant into the bone, which establishes a solid foundation that shares similarities with a natural tooth. In other words, this dental implant gives a realistic look and feel.
Depending on the area of concern, your dentist can replace an entire row of decayed teeth with prosthetic teeth. They place the non-removal dental implants in the upper and lower region of an individual’s mouth, inserting them directly into the jaw bone.
During the surgical process, the dentist will implant a pair of screw like titanium posts around the frontal jaw and another on each side. This process gives the patient a complete set of upper or lower teeth. Depending on the severity of tooth damage, patients can receive up to eight implants. One of the remarkable features of all-in-four implants is that they are fully functional and fit like natural teeth. These implants come in various materials, such as acrylic, porcelain, and composite.
What Makes All-On-Four Implants Different From Dentures?
Unlike dentures, all-on-four implants are securely screwed into the jaw. This gives an individual full control over several mouth movements. Dentures are fixed using adhesives, so one of the problems patients with dentures experience is the risk of slippage.
Another problem is that dentures require constant and proper maintenance to prevent health risks. Some patients find it difficult to chew food, and in some cases, food particles lodge into open spaces in the mouth.
Understanding All-On-Four Surgical Procedure
In most cases, patients do not need more than two dental visits to have their teeth restored. Before the surgical procedure begins, dentists run an X-ray scan on your mouth and take digital impressions, which they use to create the implants. In the meantime, they will fit a temporary restoration on the lower and upper arch of the mouth and leave it to fuse to the patient’s gum and jaw bone. During the second appointment, the individual can receive new custom-designed prosthetic teeth.
The Recovery Phase
After the procedure minor pain or discomfort is very normal. There are over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers that help alleviate such post-surgical effects. Doctors inform their patients on necessary diets to follow and avoid, as well as maintenance guidelines to adhere to. There may also be additional follow-up appointments that will help monitor the patient’s recovery status.
Once the patient has fully recovered, the dentist will recommend flossing and regular brushing to protect the new implants. Future maintenance may include professional cleaning and examination to determine the implants’ stability.
The Durability of All-On-Four Implants
Ideally, all-on-four implants can last from 10 to 25 years, or even longer depending on its maintenance and the patient’s commitment. These implants come with a warranty that stands, as long as the individual stays committed to the routine care and maintenance program provided.
Anyone with missing teeth or tooth decay will find the all-in-four implants a reliable way to restore dental health. There are no constraints on who can receive such implants, and the side-effects are minimal. Discuss with your dentist if all-on-four implants are right for you.