Dental implants are one of the greatest treatment breakthroughs in oral health in the last few decades. While there are many methods of replacing one or more missing teeth, dental implants are the only one that allows the dentist to replace the tooth down to the root. This gives unparalleled restorative and functional benefits to the patient.

However, while a dental implant is great for replacing single teeth, they’re not the best option for replacing many teeth. For that, dentures are still the gold standard. They allow you to replace most or all of an arch of teeth with a single appliance.

But dentures have their fair share of drawbacks. Chief amongst these is the general lack of stability. Dentures have a tendency to slip in the mouth, and can often rub uncomfortably against gums.

So if you need to replace many teeth, without the cost of replacing each tooth individually but without the discomfort of traditional dentures, what can you do?

Get All-On-4 dental implants.

What Is All-On-4

All-On-4 is a system where a whole arch of teeth is replaced by a denture that’s supported by four (rarely sometimes more) dental implants. These four implants are strategically placed within the jaw to provide the best possible support for the denture on top.

On the lower jaw it can be possible to support a denture on as little as two implants, but 4 is the generally accepted minimum for optimum effect.

How Is All-On-4 Performed?

The All-On-4 process starts with very careful planning of the implant sites. The four implants need to be placed in such a way that avoids delicate structures within the jaw while also providing optimum support for the denture.

Detailed 3D X-ray scans of the jaw bone are taken first. These are fed into a special program which will guide the placement of the implants and suggest the best positions. The dentist can check the suggest placements, make adjustments as he sees fit, then finalize the positioning.

Once the implant sites are agreed, surgery is undertaken to place the implants. This involves opening the gum and drilling guide holes into the jaw, into which the implants are inserted. All of this is performed under a general anaesthetic.

Time is needed to allow the implants to heal in place and fuse to the jaw bone. The length of time will depend on the patient, but can be up to about six months in some cases. Once the implants are secure, the denture is placed on top.

What Are the Benefits?

All-On-4 gives patients all of the support and restorative benefits of both implants and dentures, without the downsides of either. Using just four implants to replace an entire row of teeth is much more affordable than replacing each individually with implants. Using implants to anchor the dentures gives patients unparalleled comfort and stability with their implant, allowing them to eat and speak like they still had their natural teeth.