For generations, traditional dentures were the preferred option for replacing a full arch of teeth. However, dental implants offer a more permanent tooth replacement solution. While having a full arch of single tooth implants can be very expensive, the all-on-4 implant offers another solution. What are all-on-4 dental implants, and how long do full-mouth dental implants last? At Soundview Family Dental, we explain what all-on-4 implants are and how they can benefit you.
What are all-on-4 dental implants?
All-on-4 dental implants are similar to traditional implants in that they have titanium screws that are secured into the jawbone and a crown or tooth replacement that connects to the screw. While single implants for a missing tooth have one screw and one crown, all-on-4 implants utilize only four screws and a singular full arch of teeth for the crown. This allows the oral surgeon to replace all of your teeth in a single arch while only using four screws. The surgeon can take advantage of areas in the jaw where you have more bone density for support, often meaning bone grafts are not necessary. This minimizes the number of screws needed, which is less invasive and reduces healing time.
Will all-on-4 implants last forever?
While every case of dental implant longevity is different for each patient, studies show that the typical all-on-4 implant will last at least 20 to 25 years, if not longer. However, this depends on a number of things, specifically on how you can for your implants. In addition, while the implants themselves will last, you may need to replace the denture crown more often if damage occurs.
Reasons why dental implants fail
Dental implant failure typically occurs shortly after the initial procedure due to several different reasons. When this failure occurs, a patient will experience discomfort, gum swelling, or notice that the implant moves within the mouth. Some key reasons behind implant failure include:
Because all-on-4 implants use only four screws to support a full arch of teeth, the placement of these screws is important. Each screw must be fully supported and surrounded by bone in the jaw to stabilize the full arch. If each placement is not precise, the risk is high that the implant will fail.
Sometimes the problem lies with the crown and not the implants themselves. Dental impressions make the crown of your mouth. If the impressions are slightly off, they can cause gaps between the gum and crown or affect the alignment of your bite, leading to discomfort and a decline in function. Bacteria can also get in between gaps, leading to infection.
Peri-implantitis is an inflammatory condition that can occur as a response to the initial implant placement. This condition is more common in patients with diabetes, smokers, and those with poor oral hygiene. Bacteria can get into the hard and soft tissue around the implant, and the inflammation can lead to bone loss and implant failure.
Your jaw area is filled with many different nerves. While the oral surgeons take care to avoid these nerves during implant placement, if the implant is too close to or damages a nerve, you can experience numbness, pain, or tingling in the mouth.
Problems with osseointegration
Osseointegration describes the fusion process between the dental implant screws and the bone and tissue in the mouth. This process is necessary to provide the stabilization the screws need to support the implants. This process typically takes between four to six weeks to complete. However, if osseointegration is not successful, the implants will not be able to support the crowns.
Potential allergic reaction
Sometimes the body rejects a foreign body. Hence there is always a chance of an allergic reaction.
All-on-4 implants provide a tooth replacement option
All-on-4 dental implants provide a less invasive and effective way to replace a full arch of missing teeth. While they are not for everyone, they do provide a tooth replacement option that can last for decades, if not a lifetime. At Soundview Family Dental, we will work with you to determine your best tooth replacement options.
To learn more, contact us online or call the office today at (425) 563-6360 to schedule an appointment and let us help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.