The all-on-four process is designed to support an entire arch of replacement teeth on only four implants. Although the treatment seems rather straightforward, the fact that it involves oral surgery means that it will take longer to heal completely. But the four to six months of treatment are worth it to get a stable set of replacement teeth that will allow you to function normally. But your treatment might take an extra one to two months if additional dental work is deemed necessary to increase the chances of success.
Treatment planning and diagnosis for all-on-4 implants
The all-on-four procedure is a same-day smile restoration treatment that’s usually recommended for patients with severe tooth loss or need their remaining teeth to be extracted due to periodontal disease or decay.
What to expect
- Many patients feel anxious about the placement of implants, but there’s no need for concern since it’s a minimally invasive procedure that’s performed under sedation.
- Once sedated, the dentist will prepare your mouth for implanting the titanium screws. This involves removing any weak and decayed teeth, as well as cutting away any infected or diseased gum tissue.
- If bone grafting is necessary, you can expect an additional three-week healing time, or longer, before getting the implants.
- Implantation involves inserting the titanium screws into specific spots in the jawbone, which usually entails two at the front of the mouth and another two at the back to allow for even distribution of chewing forces across the entire arch.
- You will receive a temporary denture that will be positioned over the implants after the procedure, on the same day.
- After securing the denture to the implants, the dentist will clean the site, suture the incisions, and move you to a comfortable area for recovery as the anesthesia wear off.
- The implants will have merged with your bone after roughly six months.
- After this time, you will need to visit your dentist’s office to replace the temporary denture with your permanent fixed denture, which will typically include a titanium bar to make it more sturdy and long-lasting.
- During this healing period, you must use an antibacterial mouthwash and take antibiotics to reduce the risk of an infection.
What is an all on 4 hybrid denture?
If your permanent denture is screwed onto the four implants, it is referred to as an all-on-4 hybrid denture. This makes it a permanent denture, and is different from traditional dentures in that you don’t have to remove it for cleaning or when going to bed every night.
Recovery time and expectations
- You will need to find a reliable friend or family member to drive you home after the treatment because the anesthesia takes about 4 to 5 hours to wear off.
- You may need to use gauze packs over the surgical areas for the first hour after leaving the recovery room, or until the bleeding stops. You simply bite on the gauze to keep it in place.
- In the event that the bleeding has stopped after roughly an hour, a technician will remove the gauze packs. Otherwise, if the bleeding continues, the gauze will need to be changed around every 30 minutes until the bleeding stops. If it hasn’t stopped or is excessive, you will be re-packed and sent home with instructions.
Precautions for the next one week
- When you get home from the hospital, take care not to aggravate the sore spots in your mouth.
- Do not touch or use water to rinse the surgical sites; only use the medicinal rinse that is prescribed for you.
- You can gently brush them with a soft toothbrush, but avoid smoking because it slows and prevents healing.
- If you still have a small amount of bleeding the following day after surgery, it is advised that you gently rinse your mouth with salt water.
- Simply rinse with a tablespoon of salt and an 8 oz. glass of warm water, letting the water run out of your mouth into the sink rather than spitting it out. If necessary, you can repeat this a couple of times every day.
- Additionally, you’ll need to adhere to a liquid and soft food diet for the next 3–4 days, and get as much rest as you can to prevent irritating the surgery site.
- Painkillers can be useful if you experience any severe pain or swelling right away.
- Rest for two to three days, after which you can return to work.
- Even though many people return to work in two days, it’s best that you don’t do any strenuous work for the remainder of the week. A desk job involving no physical labor or strenuous activities shouldn’t be problematic. Just be careful not to bend over, lift anything heavy, stand up too rapidly from a sitting position, or talk too much.
Depending on the situation, the healing and adjustment period following the placement of traditional dentures might be anywhere between three months and a year. The majority of patients who undergo the All-on-Four process, however, return to work in a few days with only Tylenol.
Since the implant surgery is completed in one sitting, and because the implant connects directly to your jawbone, the new set of teeth feel stable immediately, reducing the recovery time.
Is all-on-four treatment right for me?
If you’re not sure whether you’re a suitable candidate for the all-on-four implant process, please schedule a consultation with your dentist to examine your case and help you make an informed decision.