What is meant by “all-on-four” or “teeth in a day”?
“All-on Four” is a tremendous breakthrough in patient comfort as well as function. These are the happiest patients we deal with and often spoil us with treats (how great is that!). There is no shortage of heartfelt and enthusiastic patient testimonials regarding this procedure. The term “all-on-four” is used to describe the procedure to replace all of the teeth in an arch (upper or lower jaw) with four dental implants and a teeth prosthesis that connects into the implants. This prosthesis is rigidly connected and is only removed occasionally by your dentist for maintenance or repair. This procedure is used for those who have dentures but are unhappy with them and for those who are losing their teeth but do not want to ever have to wear a conventional denture.
In this procedure, any teeth in the arch are removed if present and four implants are placed in specific locations using 3D radiographs and computer guidance. A prosthesis is then connected to the implants as a temporary giving you a new beautiful smile all in one day. After an appropriate healing time, the temporary is replaced with a final prosthesis made by your dentist.
Why do I need a temporary?
The temporary phase is very important. This gives you a chance to get used to your new teeth and thoroughly evaluate every detail about them. It also make it easy for us to perform any bite corrections or other modifications prior to the fabrication of the final teeth. In this way, final decisions on fit, shade, shape and size of teeth can be made when you know much better the details you want.
Can I chew with these teeth?
Absolutely! Although real hard or vigorous chewing is best kept until after the final healing has completed, normal chewing is generally fine right from the start.
Is this a very painful process?
NO! That is the most amazing part! Patients are surprised at how little pain there is with this procedure. They are far more comfortable than patients having extractions with conventional dentures. Because the new teeth are held by implants, they do not move and rub on the gums, and they do not put pressure on the areas that are healing. Most patients report taking pain medication only for a day or two and then mostly because they just think that they should need them.
Can both jaws be done at the same time?
Yes. Both jaws are commonly done at the same time. Just as often though, only one jaw is being done because the other teeth are maintainable.
Are there any other implant options for denture wearers? (Haters)
Yes, but all-on-four is the best by far. Implants can be used for snap connections to hold loose dentures in place. These dentures are removed for cleaning, but are less stable in function. There is a longer healing time and the denture cannot be connected to the implant during healing which makes them significantly less comfortable. These patients are eventually happy with their prosthesis, but are much less likely to bring treats during the first few months of healing.
What if I was told that I do not have enough bone for implants?
Either that was many years ago, or you went to someone who is not familiar with up-to-date procedures. With these procedures, the large majority of patients do not even require bone grafting. For those whose bone resorption is severe, there are very successful grafting techniques available most of which can also be performed the same day and do not require bone harvesting from the patient.
What is meant by “Teeth in a day”?
Generally “teeth in a day” is used synonymously with “all-on-four”, however; it is also used for some of the single tooth immediate placement procedures in which a temporary tooth is placed onto the implant at the time of placement.