All on Four dentures (All on 4) is one of the innovative treatments that allow you to have Teeth Back in a Day. It is however, not the only way to do it. If you want to save some of your teeth (as I personally recommend) there are alternative treatments. Those options should be carefully discussed before making the decision of removing all teeth. But today’s blog I want to dedicate to this particular technique. All on four is a dental treatment that allows you to have fixed teeth in a single day by placing a fixed denture in one arch, anchored to four implants. In the hands of a properly trained dentist it is really a life-changing experience for our patients!
Am I a candidate for All on four?
Although in general most of our patients are good candidates, there are some circumstances to consider.
- Your medical status. Regarding of your age, I advise you to check your overall medical condition before moving forward. For example: Losing your teeth can be owed to undiagnosed diseases like Diabetes Mellitus and will affect the outcome of treatment. A controlled diabetic is a candidate, but an uncontrolled is a risk. So have your routine physical exam done and clear this point as soon as possible. If available, have your physician transfer any recent blood work to our office for evaluation before your first appointment.
- Smoking and other habits. Smokers have a slight lower rate of success. This is not a contraindication, but is certainly a reason to modify your All on Four to maybe All on Five or maybe All on Six. Think of it as insurance for your treatment. Similar scenario occurs to patients who clench their teeth. Remember, you are putting money, time and physical effort to get your teeth. It may be a great motivation to quit.
- Amount of jawbone remaining. This is best evaluated with a CBCT scan at your initial visit. If you do not have enough bone you still may be a candidate, but some bone grafts may be necessary.
- Commitment to treatment. You are about to make the most important step to your new smile and a complete commitment is needed from your side. This treatment will require some temporary modifications to your regular routine like changing your diet for a short period of time or some more permanent modifications, like an impeccable oral hygiene and regular check-ups.
- Geographical location. It is key to be close to the dentist (or team of dentists) who has provided you with your treatment. Keep in mind that although the procedure is done in one day, it is important the follow-ups while you are healing. Even if you have received your definitive dentures, it is better to be seen by the same doctor. Offers of dental tourism may look attractive by the cost, but managing a complication becomes costly. In some instances loss of implants is inevitable and requires starting the process all over again.
How is it done?
- Diagnostic information is collected during the first appointment. That includes radiographs, CT scan, molds of your mouth, photographs and a comprehensive exam.
- Customized, fixed immediate dentures are fabricated
- Dental Implants and dentures are placed same day
- Healing period. 4 to 6 months
- Definitive denture is fabricated.
Who is the right dentist to do an All on Four?
This is the most important decision to make. Who will you trust to permanently implant devices in your head? Choose carefully. All on Four/Five/Six requires deep knowledge in planning and execution of a surgical event and a restorative event. For this reason, the ideal provider is either a dentist who has received dual advanced training in surgical implant placement and full mouth reconstruction (like a Prosthodontist cross-trained in implant surgery) or a team of specialists working under the same roof (like a Prosthodontist working with a Periodontist or an Oral Surgeon). Verify the credentials of the provider and ensure that his/her training was on actual patients at a recognized dental school. Beware there are many weekend courses issuing certificates and qualifying dentist at a different level of implant dentistry than the one required for an All on Four procedure.
Trust your team at Georgia Prosthodontics – Smile Specialists. Call us today to schedule your Teeth Back in a Day consultation.