All on 4 for the Dentally (and Sportingly) Ignorant

  • Added:
    Dec 27, 2012
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All on 4? Would you believe me if I told you that this term had more to do with dentistry than some obscure sporting jargon? Although, in all fairness, the same upwelling of unpleasant anxiety appears at the mention of dentistry and dental implants in any form, much as it does when faced with the prospect of spending a Saturday afternoon watching some obscure sporting event at the insistence of your significant other.

But the truth is that the “All on 4” procedure is an effective system that was innovated way back in ‘Ye Olde 1990’s’ as an alternative to dental arch restorations requiring bone grafts. Due to certain medical conditions and the loss of bone tissue in the jaw caused by edentulism (toothlessness), dental implants were not always an option available to all patients. These patients would be forced to live with inferior teeth replacement technologies, such as partial and full removable dentures.

What is the All on 4 Procedure?

The all on 4 procedure is a highly specialized technique that makes use of four titanium screws or dental implants (two in tilted positions and two in vertical positions), which are surgically inserted into the bone of the jaw. These are subsequently used to secure a customized prosthetic bridge, which essentially looks, feels and functions like a full arch of teeth. During the course of the months following surgery, the bone tissue will fuse with the titanium surface of the dental implants in a process called ‘osseointegration’ (see image below).

Although dental implants take a few months to integrate with the jaw bone, a patient will be able to use their new teeth for eating immediately. It’s called ‘immediate loading’ – where the relatively brief surgery places the dental implants into the jaw and a pre-fabricated, non-removable prosthetic bridge is attached. The All on 4 eliminates the need for removable dentures – as well as that awkward moment when your teeth fall out onto your dinner plate as you laugh enthusiastically at one of your boss’s better known golfing jokes...

The anterior (front) dental implants used in the All on 4 procedure give solid support to the bridge - even in patients who have lost substantial bone volume - while the two posterior (back) titanium screws are inserted at a 30 to 45 degree angle, so as to make effective use of the existing bone in the jaw. The All on 4 is therefore particularly good news for the less jawbone-mass-endowed souls who face the process of costly and long-healing bone grafts before the possibility of a new set of pearly whites can be theirs.

Why All on 4 Dental Implants?

It’s fast! In this day of instant gratification, a whole new smile can be given to the teeth-deprived in less than a day. For those facing the alternative of bone grafting surgery before they can even get dental implants, the All on 4 technique is much less painful, more cost effective and has a higher success rate than the bone grafting route. The tilting of the posterior dental implants means that the vital structures in the mouth, such as the sinuses and important nerves, can be avoided. Overall, there are far less complications with the All on 4 procedure; therefore less anxiety and consequent teeth-grinding for our edentulous and near-edentulous friends.

Implant dentists all over the world agree that the All on 4 is an effective and viable solution for most patients and it boasts a fantastic success rate of 95%. For those considering the All on 4 procedure, it is advisable that you consult with a qualified and experienced implant dentist. If you are a candidate and choose to go for the All on 4 procedure, it will only be a brief amount of time before you’ll be fiercely gnashing your impressive new chompers at your sport-loving adversary during the age-old battle for the TV remote...

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Rozar Peter explains why all on 4 dental implant is the best procedure for restoring missing teeth and also the alternative effectiveness of bone grafting procedures.

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