You’ve likely heard of dentures and possibly dental implants, but do you know what All-On-4 dental implants are? This guide will help you discern the pros and cons of each tooth replacement and which option might be more suitable for you. Read on to find out more about how dentures stack up compared to All-On-4.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are a replacement for missing teeth which are available as partial or full dentures. Full dentures require the extraction of all the patient’s remaining teeth and the prosthetic is held in place through suction over the gums.
Partial dentures are connected through a metal wire framework and clip onto the abutment teeth through clasps. These dentures are an alternative to fixed bridges, as they replace a few missing teeth but are removable.
Pros & Cons of Dentures
Dentures are much more affordable than dental implants and are an immediate solution to missing teeth. The pink acrylic base and porcelain artificial teeth create a realistic replacement for missing teeth without sacrificing aesthetics.
However, they are prone to shifting around in the mouth, especially when chewing or speaking which can cause embarrassment. Dentures can be uncomfortable or become ill-fitting due to changes in the facial and jaw structure.
This can result in sore and tender gums. Dentures also do not prevent the bone loss that results from missing teeth and can even accelerate bone loss due to wearing away at the ridges of bone.
What Are All-On-4 Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a tooth replacement method that involves inserting a titanium post into the jaw bone, where they become fused (through osseointegration) over 3-6 months. Traditional dental implants replace a single tooth and involve attaching an abutment to the implant once osseointegration has been complete.
Then, a dental crown is attached to fully restore the tooth. All-On-4 dental implants operate similarly except that with the use of just four dental implants, an entire arch of false teeth can be supported.
Two implants are placed at the front of the lower jaw and two implants are placed at the back of the jaw at a 45-degree angle. A full arch of teeth is then attached to the implants via a fixed bridge in the same appointment.
Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures
All-On-4 dental implants combine the best of both tooth replacements. Dental implants are the only restoration that preserves the jaw bone to prevent further bone loss. This is done by restoring the tooth’s root with the implant that fuses with the jaw bone, which gets stimulated when you chew. This prevents changes to your jaw and facial structure such as facial sagging.
However, it’s not feasible to have dental implants replace every single tooth in the mouth, as this would be a costly and long procedure and would take a long time to heal. All-On-4 dental implants allow you to replace an entire arch of teeth with just four implants that hold them securely in place.
All-On-4 also means no more shifting teeth. They are fixed into place and not removable, which allows the patient to feel like they have real teeth and they don’t have to worry about taking them out each night. The teeth look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth.
This is also a long-term tooth replacement compared to dentures. Dental implants last for 25 years to life and the fixed bridge will need to be replaced every few years.
Which Is Right for You?
All-On-4 dental implants are best for people looking for a long-term replacement method for an entire arch or both arches of teeth. Candidates should be in good oral and overall health and have sufficient jaw bone for the procedure. If the patient does not have adequate jaw bone density, bone grafting may need to be performed.
Dentures are a great option for patients looking for an immediate fix that won’t cost them an arm and a leg. This is a great budget tooth replacement option, especially if you prefer a removable denture to a fixed bridge.
The denture procedure is also much shorter. Dental implants require months for the implants to fuse with the jaw bone through osseointegration. While you will need to have your teeth extracted and gums fully healed for complete dentures, you will still receive immediate dentures while you wait for your official ones.
All-On-4 Dental Implants at Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery
Have you been dreaming of a teeth replacement option that would enable you to replace an entire arch of teeth without having to deal with sore gums, shifting teeth, uncomfortable dentures, or high maintenance cleaning?
All-On-4 dental implants could be the right restorative treatment for you. Contact us at Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery today to find out more or schedule a consultation with Dr. Abtin Shahriari.