All-on-four dental implants have a different feel from using dentures or dental bridges. They also don’t quite feel like your natural teeth. Generally, all-on-4 implants feel quite stable compared to any other tooth replacement treatment because the four implants are drilled into the jaw, unlike dentures that sit on your gums or bridges that are supported by adjacent teeth. Their stability is somewhat similar to original teeth, though the roots of your natural teeth are connected to the periodontal ligament that sits next to the jawbone – they are not connected directly to the jawbone.
Pain and discomfort from the all-on-four procedure
Since the procedure for all-on-4 implants is rather straightforward and less intrusive compared to similar complete arch replacements that call for more implant posts, many patients find it a lot more tolerable. So you won’t feel as much pain or discomfort compared to other techniques that require bone grafting.
That said, you can expect some swelling and soreness following the implantation, but these problems will eventually go away with the right treatment. Despite this, all-on-4 implants have substantially greater success rates as compared to other traditional methods, and you can enjoy a new smile in less than a day.
How Long After the All-On-4 Dental Implant Does Pain Last?
A patient may feel a bit sore and in pain for around 10 days following the treatment. To reduce this discomfort, your dentist will prescribe some pain medication. You can also expect some swelling, but it often goes away in 3-5 days. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever and adhere to your doctor’s after-care instructions for the best pain management.
How you feel after the procedure depends on the individual patients, but there are a few common sensations among most patients:
- A local anesthetic is administered during the minimally invasive dental implant operation to ease discomfort. Your dentist will likely recommend ice packs and over-the-counter drugs to help with the swelling or discomfort after the surgery.
- It’s normal for new dental implants and prosthetics to feel awkward during the first few days or even weeks, but patients quickly get used to the sensation of their new replacement teeth.
- After the placement of dental implants, patients are given a temporary arch of teeth. This could feel a little strange or off, but it’s quite normal, and any fit problems should go away once the final arch of replacement teeth has been placed.
- The final arch of teeth feels natural, and most patients report being less self-conscious after the treatment.
- Keep in mind that prosthetic teeth have no sensation, which may be different for patients who have previously experienced heat or cold sensitivity in their teeth.
- The majority of patients now feel comfortable eating foods like apples, raw veggies, and popcorn that they previously were unable to consume with dentures because the dental arch is stable and does not shift.
How long does it take to get used to all-on-4 implants?
Depending on your age and overall health, your healing process could last anywhere between 6 weeks to 6 months. That said, it usually takes longer for the upper jawbone to heal compared to the lower jawbone because the former is softer. It till take about 4 to 6 months for the implants to fuse with the jawbone, but you can take this time to get accustomed to your new set of teeth.
Here are some tips to help you feel more comfortable:
- Practice speaking with your new teeth in front of a mirror. Reading out loud will also help to boost your confidence as they begin to feel more natural.
- Be patient with your recovery process. Although the procedure for placing all-in-four implants is completed within a day, your mouth needs time to heal. So be patient as the implants and your new teeth settle in. Soon the fit and function will feel quite normal.
Look, feel & function of all-on-4 implants
All-on-4 dental implants mimic your natural teeth in both appearance and function. In fact, it’s virtually impossible for anyone to spot that you have replacement teeth because of their implant-based design. This is contrary to dentures that have a more noticeable profile because they are designed to be taken off and put back on frequently. Patients with all-on-4 implants won’t have to stress about their new, fully functional set of teeth sliding out of position, which is a common issue for many people with removable dentures. All-on-4 implants are also more comfortable, and make it easier to bite and chew normally compared to conventional dentures.
Here are some other ways that all-on-four implants feel different:
Reduced strain on gums
So, all-on-four implants feel secure in your mouth and allow for even distribution of biting forces, which is unlike dentures. The fact that the arch of teeth is firmly held in place by implants helps to reduce strain on your gums and jawbone.
Secure and comfortable
In addition, all-on-four implants are quite comfortable. The fit of the arch of teeth is snug and occupies less space in the mouth compared to dentures, sitting only on the gums. Dentures tend to be bulky, extending to the roof of your mouth. This design ensures there’s enough suction to secure the denture in place, yet it’s a somewhat uncomfortable feeling that many denture wearers never get used to.
They feel different
Even though the implants supporting the arch of teeth are cemented in the jawbone, you’re still using prosthetic teeth which have no nerve endings or feelings. All-on-4 dental implants feel different from your natural teeth, but you will soon get used to them especially if they were placed as a treatment option for painful or highly sensitive teeth.
Seek help from a professional
If you’re considering getting all-on-four implants, please visit your dentist to discuss the pros and cons of this treatment, the expectations, and whether it’s the best treatment for your case.