What to Expect with All-On-4 Dental Implants

by | Mar 19, 2022 | Dental Services

All-on-4 dental implants provide a new approach for those looking to replace a full arch of missing teeth, helping to restore full function and a beautiful smile. At Soundview Family Dental, we understand how missing teeth can be detrimental to your self-esteem and affect your ability to eat the foods you love. Here, we explain what all-on-4 dental implants are, what you can expect with an all-on-4 dental implant procedure, and your recovery.

 

Benefits of all-on-4 dental implants

All-on-4 dental implants are a permanent way to replace a full arch of teeth without the need for multiple single dental implants. Similar to single implants, all-on-4 implants use titanium screws to secure a tooth replacement to your jaw. With all-on-4 implants, the oral surgeon places four screws into areas of the jaw that typically have higher bone density. Once in place, a full denture-like crown attaches to all four screws, providing you with a secure full arch of teeth. Benefits of all-on-4 implants include:

  • Improves quality of life and boosts self-esteem
  • Restores full chewing function and speech
  • Less expensive than individual dental implants
  • The better option for those with lower bone density

 

All-on-4 dental implant prep and procedure

The road to all-on-4 dental implants can be a long one, but it is one that, in the long run, is well worth it. Your road begins with your initial consultation and examination, before moving to preparation, and finally to the implant surgery. Every patient is slightly different, but the stages are the same.

Consultation and examination

Once you decide that all-on-4 dental implants might be right for you, you will meet with the oral surgeon for a consultation and full examination. During this time, you can expect to go over your dental and medical history to help ensure there are no underlying conditions that could contribute to implant failure. You can also expect to have x-rays, digital 3D scans, and a thorough oral examination. These will all be used to determine if you are an eligible candidate.

Pre-procedure and patient preparation

Once the surgeon determines your eligibility, you proceed to pre-procedure preparation. You can expect measurements to be taken, such as the height of your gums, the presence of overbites or under-bites, and more. These are necessary to help plan the implants’ optimal placement and design the shape and orientation of your prosthetic teeth. In addition, bite impressions are also taken to help ensure the fit and sizing of the replacement teeth. You will likely have wax testing dentures created in order to test for size, placement, and comfort. Once these preparation stages are complete, we will schedule your surgery.

Dental implant surgery

On the day of your procedure, you will receive anesthesia before the surgeon begins. Once sedated, the oral surgeon makes an incision along the length of the ridge to expose the jawbone. If the ridge requires reduction, the necessary amount of bone is removed, and then the remaining bone is smoothed and prepared for the implants. Drills create implant holes at precise pre-determined angles, and the screws are inserted and tightened. Once in place, the gum tissue is replaced around the implants and sutured. The abutments and the temporary prosthesis are put into place and secured. At this point, your bite pattern is checked, and the healing process begins.

 

All-on-4 dental implant recovery

Once your procedure is complete, your recovery begins. While you will have a temporary prosthesis in place, it will be a few months before the permanent arch of teeth are attached. It is essential to follow your post-procedure instructions and allow your bone and gum tissue to heal and stabilize the new implants. During your recovery, the three most important factors are rest, diet, and regular checkups with your surgeon.

Rest is essential

Dental implant surgery is an invasive surgery that your body needs to recover from. Rest is an essential part of this recovery as it gives your body time to heal. For the first few days, you will want to rest as much as possible and avoid any strenuous activities until you receive clearance from your oral surgeon. You can expect some swelling and discomfort during this period, but pain medications and ice applied to the outer jaw area can help relieve symptoms and help you rest.

A soft food diet

A liquid and soft food diet are essential during your recovery process and until your implants completely heal. Foods like soup, smoothies, mashed potatoes, and yogurt are a great place to start. However, do not use a straw until your surgeon clears you as the suction can affect the incision areas. As your recovery progresses, you can move to other soft food options for the next 3-4 months, such as well-cooked, soft vegetables, baked fish and shredded chicken, eggs, soft bread, macaroni and cheese, and oatmeal. You can also choose to chop, grind or mash other foods to reduce the need for chewing.

Regular checkups

During your recovery and before your final prosthetic is put in place, you will have multiple follow-up appointments to follow your recovery and progress. You must attend these appointments so that the surgeon can closely monitor your healing process and identify any possible concerns.

 

Are all-on-4 implants comfortable to wear?

If you have been wearing traditional dentures as a replacement, you will find all-on-4 implants provide a much more natural feel and function, allowing you to say goodbye to adhesives. Your teeth will feel stable and secure, and, unlike dentures, you will not feel pressure on your gums as these implants are securely in place. In addition, you will once again be able to experience the sensation of hot and cold and taste food flavors again.

 

Let all-on-4 implants give you back your smile.

Choosing all-on-4 dental implants allows you to get your smile and function back without the need for gooey dental adhesives and the worry that your dentures may slip. You no longer have to hide your smile because of missing teeth. At Soundview Family Dental, we understand the freedom that all-on-4 implants can give our patients. To learn more about how all-on-4 implants can make a difference to you, contact us online or call (425) 563-6360 today to schedule an appointment.

Eric Kitts

Eric Kitts

Eric Kitts has been practicing dentistry for over 20 years. Dr. Kitts is the owner and lead dentist at Soundview Family Dental in Edmonds, WA. He received his undergraduate degree from Washington State University and his DDS from the University of Washington School of Dentistry. Dr. Kitts treats each and every one of his patients with exceptional gentleness, care, integrity, and compassion, and this has made him one of Seattle Met’s top dentists for many years running. Dr. Kitts and his wife enjoy spending time with their two sons, skiing, camping, and cheering on the Seahawks.