The All-on-4 Procedure was developed in the mid to late 1990's as a way to use implants in both jaws more efficiently. By 2000, Nobel Biocare, an implant manufacturer, joined forces with Paulo Malo, a well-known implant dentist, to determine the most effective way for restoring a full upper or lower arch of teeth. This procedure is ideal for patients who have lost all of their teeth or who are going to lose all of their teeth because it uses the fewest implants necessary, avoids bone grafting surgery, provides high-quality aesthetic results, and immediate functionality. This is different from the traditional approach of restoring a full arch of teeth because fewer implants are used and instead of an ill-fitting denture, the patient leaves with non-removable teeth the day of their implant placement procedure!
Conventional dentures and partial dentures are both removable appliances that the patient routinely takes out of their mouth for reasons like cleaning. Since they are not mechanically attached to the mouth, they can slip and sometimes fall out. Dentures, and sometimes even partial dentures, require denture adhesives and patients may still find that eating, laughing, and talking can be difficult in the best of circumstances. Dentures transfer the stress of biting directly into the gum tissue while partial dentures apply stress to the surrounding teeth and underlying gum tissue. Neither of these options are ideal because they can actually cause further loss of the surrounding jaw bone.
The All-on-4 is different from a traditional denture because it provides the patient with a new set of teeth that are strongly fixed in place. Their appearance and function is as similar to natural teeth as possible. The set of teeth are connected to the implants so therefore they are solidly fixed in place. This implant-supported fixed denture can only be removed by the dentist. It is brushed and cleaned like normal teeth are, but it requires the patient to floss like they have a bridge. The All-on-4 denture also allows patients to bite with much more force than a traditional denture because the stress is transferred directly to the bone via the dental implants. This allows patients to eat almost all of their favorite foods without worrying about their teeth! The implant-supported fixed denture does not press on the gum tissue and prevents other common discomforts patients may experience with traditional dentures.
A patient who is interested in the All-on-4 Dental Implant Procedure can expect a couple of visits to our office. This allows us to gather the necessary information to develop a treatment plan and could include any or all of the following: a comprehensive examination, impressions for study models, necessary x-rays or a cone beam CT scan, a bite registration, and appropriate photos.
At the time of the patient’s implant placement procedure, their new teeth are fitted and adjusted, all during the same appointment!! This is true even if any teeth were extracted during the surgery! The final result is a beautiful set of fixed, functional teeth. We refer to this set of teeth as a “long-term provisional” because they are made entirely of acrylic resin and distribute less stress on the newly placed dental implants.
"All on Four" Implant-Supported Denture - Patient Testimonial:
Before and After the Upper "All-on-4" Implant-Supported Denture Replacement:
After the Upper All-on-4 Denture Replacement view of the Face: