Going All-In on All-On-Four?
Having a healthy smile that you’re proud of has a major positive impact on your self-confidence. On the flip side, poor dental health can have a major impact on your physical health, but also on your emotional health as well. When you don’t feel confident in your smile, it can be difficult to feel sure of yourself at all. Losing a singular tooth or multiple teeth makes you confront the physical and emotional issues that ensue. Thankfully, there is hope to have a full smile once more!
There are numerous kinds of dental implants that are available in the dental world today. Some implants cover a single tooth, while dental bridges cover multiple teeth. For some people, there are no viable teeth left in the mouth. Previous implant surgeries would require 6-8 different implant points in order to restore a dental arch (all of the teeth on either the upper or lower jaw). In the early 1990s, a new technique revolutionized the dental world: the All-On-Four implant was created.
What is the All-On-Four and Why is it Special?
As the name implies, the All-On-Four technique implants all of one of your dental arches (all of the teeth on either the upper or lower jaw) and it only uses four points of the implant. This significantly reduces the number of implant points needed to restore your smile. By only using 4 implant points as opposed to the previously used 6–8, it significantly reduces the amount of post-implant pain, recovery time, and risk of complications. For people who have osteoporosis or other issues where there isn’t a lot of bone material to work with, the All-On-4 technique requires no bone grafting in order to place the implants. For just 4 points of contact, you can have an entire arch of teeth put into place. While this still may be a bit uncomfortable, IV sedation is available to help with the discomfort that may be experienced.
What are the Limitations of All-On-Four?
As with any type of dental implant, there are limitations that apply to All-On-Four as well. One of the main disadvantages of the All-On-Four technique is the cost involved. In order to do the procedure, doing just one dental arch can cost upwards of 10-30 thousand dollars, varying widely by what kind of material is used. Luckily, most insurances cover a portion of the cost. Another disadvantage is that depending on the material used, dental restorations may be necessary later down the road. This could be a potential financial burden. However, most dental All-On-Four implants last well over 20 years with the potential to last a lifetime.