The confidence that comes with having a stunning, flawless smile can be life changing. Many patients who are missing an entire row of teeth long to replace their dentures with a more stable and long-lasting solution, but have no idea where to begin. At South River Dentistry, our experienced Richmond dentist can make the process of replacing all of the teeth in the upper and/or lower dental arches easy. All-on-4®, or “teeth-in-a-day,” refers to a state-of-the-art restorative dentistry technique that can replace a full row of missing teeth using only four dental implants, ultimately working to renew the function and appearance of a full, healthy smile.
What is All-on-4®?
All-on-4® is a method of anchoring custom-made dentures to the jawbone using only four dental implants, which are meticulously placed at specific angles and locations in the mouth. This can provide a greater degree of security as well as an improved denture fit, helping patients feel more confident when eating or speaking. Rather than individually replacing each tooth with a dental implant, All-on-4® makes it possible to safely restore a complete row of missing teeth with only a handful of implants. A prosthesis is secured at the same time as dental implantation, allowing patients to achieve their new smile faster—and with less expense—than the protocols normally required with implant dentures.
What are the Benefits of All-on-4® Dental Implants?
If you are a good candidate for All-on-4®, this treatment can offer several advantages in dental arch replacement. Using four strategically positioned implants to secure a denture, All-on-4® can:
- Achieve a new smile in just one day
- Minimize recovery time and encourage a smoother healing period
- Decrease the expense associated with implant dentures
- Anchor the prosthesis with less bone support than other implant dentistry techniques
All-on-4® implant dentures typically do not require a bone grafting procedure before the implantation process. This is possible because All-on-4® places implants directly where the most bone density exists, often simplifying the treatment process. This technique is not suitable for every patient, though, and Dr. Jeff Blackburn will help you determine whether All-on-4® is the most ideal procedure to replace your teeth.
What are My All-on-4® Dental Implant Options?
There are a number of All-on-4® options to help you rehabilitate your smile. After a thorough consultation and evaluation of your oral structures, your treatment plan will be created based on your individual needs and treatment goals.
Upper Arch Replacement
The top row of teeth is usually the most exposed part of your smile, highlighting the importance of filling absent spaces in the gumline with a natural-looking upper arch replacement. Since the upper jaw tends to have less bone volume than the lower jaw, All-on-4® can be a perfect solution to recover the upper dental arch while avoiding the need for bone grafting.
Lower Arch Replacement
The lower teeth play an essential role in the ability to chew food with ease. Consequently, many individuals who have missing teeth in the lower jaw experience compromised biting function and difficulty eating. Due to the security provided by dental implants, All-on-4® can allow patients to restore the full strength of their bite and enjoy an unlimited range of food.
Full Mouth Reconstruction
If restoration of the entire mouth is necessary, our dentists can certainly use All-on-4® to help you achieve the healthy smile you deserve. Other treatments, such as porcelain veneers or dental crowns, may also be utilized during a full mouth reconstruction to attain the best possible results. Dr. Blackburn will suggest the best treatments for your personalized smile makeover based on your needs.
What Should I Expect During the All-on-4® Procedure?
During your consultation for All-on-4®, our dentists will perform an evaluation of your teeth and gums as well as diagnostic testing of your bone structure to determine whether preliminary treatments, such as tooth extractions or periodontal (gum disease) therapy, are necessary before dental implant placement. Once your candidacy for All-on-4® has been confirmed, our dentists work with various implant specialists—such as periodontists and oral surgeons—to help ensure you are receiving the highest standards of safety and care as your dental implants are inserted into the gumline. A local anesthetic or IV sedation will be utilized to minimize patient discomfort and enhance the treatment experience.
A transitional set of teeth will then be placed while your implants integrate with the jawbone over a period of several months—most patients can use their current dentures during this time until the implants coalesce with your bone structure and a permanent denture is created. After your implants have successfully fused with the jawbone, a more durable upper or lower denture will be custom designed to replace the temporary prosthesis. Our team will then ensure the dentures can properly snap in and out of place, and work to achieve a comfortable fit within the mouth.
In some cases, patients who require more support for their denture may benefit from a similar technique called All-on-6®. The All-on-6® process is very much the same as treatment with All-on-4®, except six implants are utilized rather than four to provide a more stable foundation for the denture.
How Much Do All-on-4® Implants Cost?
While prices are often influenced by your geographic location, the All-on-4® technique can cost approximately $13,500 per arch based on nationwide averages. Our patient care coordinator will provide you with a personalized quote unique to your treatment plan, which is determined according to:
- The state of your existing oral health (and the cost of any preliminary procedures)
- The location of your implants
- The cost of the denture(s)
- The complexity of your treatment
Our dentists believe no one should have to sacrifice a healthy smile for financial reasons, and work with CareCredit® to provide qualified patients with a dental financing option from a highly reputable healthcare lending company.
For more information about All-on-4®, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Blackburn, please contact South River Dentistry today.