What Are All-On-Four Dental Implants?
By Dr. Anasinski
For several decades, dental implants have been used to replace missing teeth or to secure bridges, partials or full dentures. The traditional process of dental implants takes several steps and many months to complete and because of bone loss that occurs over time in some patients, not everyone is a good candidate for the traditional method of dental implants. In the past, bone graphs have been used in some cases to repair the bone and get it ready to be able to accept the implant, but with the development of the All-on-4™ technique of dental implants, almost everyone is a good candidate for implants, and bone graphing is seldom ever needed.
Developed over a decade ago by Dr. Paulo Malo, founder of the Malo Clinic in Lisbon, Portugal, this technique allows implanted teeth to be used even in patients who do not have enough bone for traditional methods because of bone deterioration from missing teeth or even from periodontal disease. The All-on-4™ process is faster and more cost-effective than traditional implant procedures and the implanted teeth (even dentures) become a permanent structure in the patient’s mouth.
For people who lose all of their teeth (and statistics show that by the age of seventy-four, twenty-six percent of adults do), traditional dentures or implant-supported dentures have been the only options. With the All-on-4™ technique, instead of dentures, patients receive a set of teeth that are permanently secured in their mouths and look, feel and function like natural teeth which means:
- They do not come out the mouth to be cleaned
- They don’t need to be removed at night
- They are brushed and cleaned like natural teeth
- Since they do not cover the roof of the mouth, they don’t impede the taste buds that reside there, resulting in the ability to better taste food and experience the hot and cold temperatures of food
- Biting and chewing are not a problem
- Since the titanium screws act as ‘tooth roots’ the jaw bone is stimulated which prevents bone deterioration
The All-on-4™ technique begins with 3D diagnostic imaging for evaluating the patient’s dental health and bone; then titanium implants are placed in the anterior of the patient’s jaw where bone density is usually higher. Four implants are then placed in the anterior part of the jaw and the back two implants are angled which provides stable support for a full denture, yet the part of the implant that appears above the bone is pointed upward which allows for the above bone parts of the implant to be placed naturally.
The benefits of the All-on-4™ technique:
- Can be used on patients who are lacking the bone structure for traditional implants
- More cost-effective than traditional implant methods
- Shorter recovery time than traditional implant procedures
- Teeth that are permanent and look, feel and function like natural teeth
Losing teeth can be difficult to deal with because of the way that tooth loss impacts the way you look, feel, speak and eat. And in the past, not everyone could opt for implanted teeth or implant-supported bridges or dentures. Now, however, with the All-in-4™ technique, almost everyone can enjoy secure, permanent teeth for their entire life.