One of the most common questions we get asked is what one can expect from the All-on-4® dental implant procedure. What happens during the course of the day while you are receiving your new teeth? And so, here, we’ve provided a step-by-step description of the All-on-4® procedure, from your initial consultation with one of our experienced dental implant professionals right through to your very first glimpse of your brand new smile!
Step 1: Your Initial FREE Consultation/s
The first step on your journey to oral rehabilitation involves a visit with your highly specialized team here at MALO SMILES. If this is your first time here, your screening, which includes an oral evaluation and a 3D CT Scan, as well as a discussion of potential treatment alternatives, will be completely FREE of charge. During this appointment or appointments (in some cases you may need more than one), we will perform a clinical examination of your mouth and typically take a 3D Cone Beam CT scan to assess your jawbone health and extent of any bone loss, as well as to identify vital anatomic structures that need to be avoided during surgery.
If we determine that you are a candidate for the All-on-4® dental implant procedure – and most patients are – we will make molds or impressions of your upper and lower jaws. These will enable our lab technicians to custom design and fabricate the prosthetic dental bridge (set of new, non-removable teeth) you will be receiving on the day of your scheduled surgery.
We may need to take smaller X-ray images and photos of your teeth and jaws to facilitate in the detailed planning of your procedure and care. If you have any questions or concerns, these too will be addressed during your initial consultation. The last step will be setting the date for your All-on-4® treatment!
The Day of Treatment: Preparation
Our friendly staff will greet you upon your arrival at our Worldclass dental facility in the morning. You will thereafter be escorted to a private room where you can begin to settle in. Your friends and family are more than welcome to accompany you should you wish for the “moral” support. Our staff will come and see you and provide you with any pre-operative instructions and medications you may need. If you have any questions or feel nervous, don’t hesitate to speak with us. Your comfort is our priority!
Once you are prepared, we will transport you to the surgical suite where you will likely receive some sedative medications (if preferred or suggested), which will help to make you feel totally relaxed and at eased. You will then be anesthetized and your dental implant surgeon will begin!
All-on-4® Step-by-Step Procedure
Once you are adequately sedated and anesthetized so that you don’t experience any anxiety, pain or discomfort during the course of treatment, your experienced MALO SMILES surgeon will begin preparing your mouth to receive dental implants. This involves the removal of all of your remaining, failing teeth – if you have any left – followed by the rigorous “cleaning out” of any diseased, chronically infected tissue from your jaw and gums. We then commence the placement of dental implants (see image below for typical All-on-4® implant array):
Image courtesy of Nobel Biocare
- Two dental implants are placed near the front of your jaw, where there naturally exists a greater volume of bone tissue that tends to be more resistant to atrophy.
- Another two implants are placed at a 45° angle nearer to the back of the jaw. The angulation enables the implants to reap greater support from the jawbone while, at the same time, avoiding damage to vital oral structures, such as the sinus cavity in the upper jaw and the nerve canal in the lower jaw.
It is the strategic positioning of the four dental implants used in the All-on-4® dental implant procedure that enables our skilled surgeons to provide most patients with a new set of fixed (non-removable) teeth in just one day.
Once the implants have been placed, we will bring the surgery to a close by thoroughly cleaning the surgical sites and suturing up all incisions. You will then be wheeled to your private recovery room where you will be given some time to relax and awaken from the effects of sedation.
The All-on-4® Prosthetic Phase
After you rest up from your surgery, our prosthodontist will put the final touches to your customized provisional (temporary) prosthetic dental bridge. He or she will then attach your new set of teeth to your implants and adjust it for comfort, bite and fit. When you are happy with the feel of the bridge, you will be handed a mirror so that you can admire your new smile! Then, it’s home time for you!
Our staff will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for your new teeth in the ensuing days and weeks. This involves a sound oral hygiene routine, a diet of soft foods (to allow your implants the best possible chance of healing) and things/habits to avoid, including smoking, excessive drinking, contact sports and heavy exercise. These can severely compromise the ability of the dental implants to bond with the bone in the jaw.
You may also be given prescriptions for pain medication, anti-biotics, anti-inflammatories or other required medications. We are happy to note that in most cases, discomfort isn’t an issue that patients complain about.
What’s Actually Happening as my Implants Heal?
In the weeks and months following implant placement, the bone tissue in your jaw will be bonding with or attaching itself to the surface of your implants. This is something known as “osseointegration”. At first, these bonds are delicate, which is why we emphasize the importance of a soft diet and staying away from strenuous exercise. After a few weeks or months, the bonds between your jawbone and implants will be strong enough to enable you to return to a normal diet and lifestyle.
You will be required to return to MALO SMILES about 10 to 14 days after your surgery so that we can make sure your implants are healing nicely. We will also likely remove, clean and reattach your bridge during this first post-operative check-up, as well as make any needed adjustments. You will receive a schedule of periodic check-ups at the various recovery milestones so that we can monitor your healing and, should any problem arise, provide treatment in a timely manner. After the implants have fully integrated with the jawbone, usually 3-6 months, you will receive your final dental bridge, made of durable and highly esthetic materials.
Once you have healed successfully, all you will need to do is make sure you look after your new teeth well and go to your dentist for regular professional cleanings and check-ups!
Contact MALO SMILES
Creating Smiles. Changing Lives.
Contact MALO SMILES at 877-625-6872 (877MALOUSA) or via the Contact Form on our website to schedule a Free Consultation with one of our qualified and experienced dental implant dentists! Find out how our specialists can work along with your existing dentist to give you back the smile you deserve!
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