The ‘All-on-4’ Procedure
One of the most frequently asked questions we here at the MALO Dental Implants Facility receive from patients suffering from tooth loss associated with advanced periodontal (gum) disease, is what they can expect from the ‘All-on-4™’ dental implant technique. While you may be aware of the incredible things it is capable of – complete oral rehabilitation in a day – perhaps you too would like to know a little more about the step-by-step procedure involved in this breakthrough technique. So, without further ado, here is the ‘All-on-4™’, from the initial consultation phase right through to your first post-operative look in the mirror!
The Initial Consultation
First and foremost, we, the team at MALO Dental Implants, will need to assess your specific oral problems in order to recommend the best possible way forward with regards to treatment. In our initial consultation with you, we will conduct a thorough clinical examination of your mouth and take a 3D CT scan to assess your dental needs and the presence and extent of bone loss. Should we recommend the ‘All-on-4™’ technique for your oral rehabilitation; we will proceed with taking molds of your mouth to aid in the fabrication of the prosthetic dental bridge you will be receiving on the day of your scheduled surgery. We may also take smaller images of your teeth and jaw as well as photos to facilitate in the detailed planning of your surgery. If you have any questions or concerns, these too will be addressed during your initial consultation.
‘All-on-4™’ Step-by-Step Procedure
The day has arrived and we hope that you bid your false teeth a not-so-fond farewell! We begin the ‘All-on-4™’ procedure in the morning starting with you getting prepared for surgery. Subsequently, you will gently be anesthetized and possibly given intravenous sedation (if preferred or suggested) so that you feel absolutely no pain or discomfort during the course of the surgery. Once you are adequately anesthetized /sedated, we remove all your remaining failing teeth (that is, if any are left!) and rigorously clean out any unhealthy tissue in your gums or jaw. Then, two dental implants are inserted towards the front portion of your jaw, where there naturally exists a greater volume of atrophy-resistant bone tissue, and another two are inserted at an angle nearer the back of your jaw (in the region of the molars or premolars). This angulation ensures that the ‘All-on-4™’ prosthetic dental bridge receives maximum support from the underlying jaw bone while the implants themselves avoid damaging vital structures such as the nerve canal in the lower jaw and sinus cavity in the upper jaw. The strategic positioning of these dental implants is what enables the procedure to almost always be completed in a single day and without the need for bone grafting beforehand.
‘All-on-4™’ – Prosthetic Phase
If you are receiving a fixed (non-removable) bridge that day, once the implants are inserted and our oral surgeons have drawn the surgery to a close, you will have a short rest while the prosthodontist makes the final touches to your customized provisional prosthetic dental bridge. It only takes a short while to affix it to the abutments of the ‘All-on-4™’ implants, so once it’s done you are free to admire your new and beautiful teeth in the mirror and then go home and enjoy a meal that night with your brand new teeth!
In the weeks and months following your surgery, your jaw will be forming a strong biological bond with the tiny titanium implant screws; a process termed ‘osseointegration’. In order to maximize the effectiveness of this essential process, it is advised that you refrain from eating any hard, chewy or crunchy foods; anything that might break the delicate bonds that are beginning to form. Furthermore, it is essential that you help your body through this healing process by:
- Getting plenty of rest
- Eating a balanced diet
- Staying well nourished
- Avoiding things such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption: These can severely compromise the ability of the dental implants to remain healthy within in the jaw.
You will be required to periodically visit us at MALO Dental Implants in the weeks and months after your surgery so that we can make sure you are healing up uneventfully and that your mouth is free from any signs of infection. While patients seldom complain of severe post-operative pain, we will make sure that you go home with a prescription of analgesics (pain-killers) and anti-inflammatories to effectively manage any pain and discomfort you may experience. Regular brushing and flossing and rinsing, along with periodic hygiene visits, is all that is required to keep your new and beautiful ‘All-on-4™’ teeth healthy and clean!