Ocean Pacific Dental
One of the hottest topics in dentistry — and especially in the world of dental implants — nowadays is the All-on-Four treatment. What is this? The All-on-Four implant treatment is a permanent solution to give back a vibrant smile to those dealing with specific dental problems. It involves receiving a fixed detachable denture anchored on four implants to either the top or bottom jaw.
Who is this treatment most beneficial for?
1) Those who already have a complete set of removable dentures
One of the most common problems reported by those with removable dentures is difficulty eating or smiling due to constant shifting of the denture requiring readjustment. If you want your smile back, we can turn your removable denture to a fixed set of teeth using the All-on-Four treatment. (While many cases require four implants to anchor the denture, some cases may require up to six—depending on the jaw bone quality.)
2) Those who have few remaining natural teeth that are not suitable for anchoring large bridges to replace the missing teeth
This situation is usually caused by a) having many cavities, b) having previous bridges or crowns that have failed, or c) bone and gum disease that causes mobility of the remaining teeth. In these cases, instead of trying to place individual implants for every tooth (which would require bone grafting, sinus lifts, and/or a very long treatment plan), we can use the All-on-Four treatment to give you a full denture that can address all of these issues with a much simpler treatment.
What does the treatment involve?
1) Extracting any remaining teeth
2) Placing four implants for each arch. In many cases, this can be done in the same day as the extractions using either local or general anesthesia.
3) Converting a pre-made set of teeth to a fixed detachable denture in the same day by fixing your previous denture to your new implants. This will serve as a temporary—yet fully functional—solution.
4) Taking a full-mouth impression for a permanent denture, which you will receive after a few months when your implants have fully healed.
As a dentist, the first time I witnessed the full potential of the All-on-Four treatment was at a Nobel-BioCare facility in Yorba Linda. The patient was a middle-aged female who had had all her upper teeth extracted and was currently using a removable complete denture. After the surgeon placed four implants for her and another dentist converted the complete denture to a fixed detachable denture, she was taken to the lecture room to say a few words regarding her experience of the treatment. She started crying for 2-3 minutes and could not talk. Finally, she said, “Today is my first time since I was 9 years old that I can smile without putting my hand over my mouth and covering my teeth.”
The All-on-Four treatment truly has great potential! With minimal discomfort, swelling, and pain, it is possible to give back a vibrant smile to those who have struggled in the past with incomplete or temporary solutions.