For people who are missing most (or all) of their teeth, all-on-4 full arch dental implants supported appliances are one of the best replacement options available. Also known as hybrid implant-supported dentures, all-on-4s are a natural-looking set of false teeth that attach to titanium implant posts.
If you’ve been considering dental implants you’re probably wondering what to expect. Many people have questions about the all-on-4 procedure, so we explain the process in detail below.
The All-on-4 Full Arch Dental Implant Supported Appliance Procedure: A Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Consultation
As with any oral surgery, a consultation is necessary to determine whether you are a good candidate for the procedure. During this initial visit, your dentist will evaluate your gums and jawbone to see if they are healthy enough to support implants. They will take dental x-rays and perform a CBCT scan (cone beam computed tomography) of your mouth.
The CBCT scan and x-rays will also aid in:
- Planning for the most accurate placement of the implants
- Fabricating a comfortable, natural-looking set of false teeth
Your surgeon will also determine whether any tooth extractions are necessary, and discuss your medical history and current medications. If getting all-on-4s is the right procedure for you, then your doctor will go over the treatment plan with you. This is a good opportunity to ask any questions you have about the procedure and dental implant aftercare.
Next, you will schedule any necessary tooth extractions and the dental implant placement—both of which can often be scheduled for the same day. Plan to wear comfortable clothing, since the appointment can take a couple of hours. You’ll also need to ask someone to bring you home afterward because you will be sedated during the implant procedure, which can impair driving.
Step 2: Tooth Extractions
The next step is to remove the remaining natural teeth to make room for the all-on-4 dental prosthesis. The tooth extraction is typically performed on the same day as implant placement. If you don’t have any remaining teeth, then you will only need to have the implants placed.
Step 3: Placing the Dental Implants
After you have been sedated using general anesthesia, the dental implants will be placed. At Copper Creek Dental, we fabricate a surgical guide that helps us place the dental implants with optimum accuracy. The surgical guide is custom-created using a scan of your mouth, and it will fit over your gums to mark the exact placements for the implant posts.
Next, we make incisions in the gums, and place the number of implants necessary for your treatment (four for all-on-4, six for all-on-6, and so on). Then we stitch the gums closed around the implants. After surgically placing the implants, we attach a temporary set of false teeth to protect the implant posts and restore your smile while your mouth heals.
Step 4: Recovery
The healing process typically takes around three to six months, but you will never be without teeth during that time thanks to the temporary prosthesis. Copper Creek Dental also offers platelet-rich fibrin therapy to naturally speed up the healing process.
Make sure to closely follow all of your post-operative instructions, and to take any prescribed medication as directed.
As your mouth heals, the implant posts fuse to your jaw bone in a process called osseointegration. This is what makes all-on-4s so stable, and what makes them superior to other restorations like dentures and bridges.
Step 5: Attaching the Permanent Restorations
After your mouth has fully healed, you’ll return for another appointment to have the permanent set of false teeth attached to your implants. Your dentist will check your bite and make any necessary final adjustments to your prosthesis.
All-on-4 Full Arch Dental Implants Supported Appliance in South Jordan, Utah
If you’d like to get back to living confidently with a full set of teeth, contact Copper Creek Dental. We help adults in Daybreak and the neighboring communities transform their smiles in as few appointments as possible. Give us a call at 801-280-1911 to schedule a consultation so you can find out whether getting all-on-4s is the right treatment for you.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/23/2023). Photo by Marius Christensen on Unsplash