Many people are familiar with the All-on-4 ® approach to replacing all teeth in a day with a single procedure. This is a great approach to replacing lost teeth with a fully functional set of new teeth, but it’s not a perfect approach. Although many people will find that All-on-4 implant bridges are the right choice, others might do better with more customized approaches.
It’s important to understand that with the diversity of approaches, you should be open to other options to ensure you get the best results from your dental implant treatment. Here are some of the issues that we have to reconcile in ensuring you get the best results.
An All-on-4 dental bridge is a highly engineered system. It’s balancing a lot of factors to achieve the goals of giving you fully functional teeth with no bone graft and only four dental implants at a lower cost point than some other denture systems. If you’re a person who has not only lost teeth, but also lost a considerable amount of bone from the jaw, the dental bridge has to make up for that. As a result, the bridge will have to be bulkier than your natural teeth.
The bulk may be problematic for speech, or it may just feel unnatural. The extent to which this bulk affects you can vary from person to person, but it’s something to be aware of.
If you want to try to avoid bulk, we can recommend other approaches that more closely replicate your natural teeth.
Loss of Tooth Sensation
Although dental implants are very close to natural teeth, they are not exactly the same as natural teeth. One of the differences is that teeth have many different sensors to tell you how hard you’re biting down: the tooth nerve, the periodontal ligament, and the bone. This ensures that you will be able to tell when you are biting down too hard. But with dental implants, you only have the bone, which is the least sensitive of the mechanisms.
This means that with dental implants, you may not perceive how hard you’re biting down until the force is enough to damage the dental bridge, the implants, or the bone that supports them.
People who are most likely to develop this type of damaging bite should consider maintaining some natural teeth to help maintain control over bite force.
If you already engage in parafunctional habits, such as bruxism or chewing nonfoods, All-on-4 may not be a good choice for you.
Current and Future Oral Health
We have to factor your current oral health into the decision. If some of your teeth are failing, but others can be saved, we may want to try to save them. We can often design a treatment plan that replaces some teeth today and sets up the replacement of more later, rather than simply getting rid of all teeth with an All-on-4 treatment plan.
On the other hand, if your oral health is poor, it might be better to replace your natural teeth as soon as possible. This will allow healing to start. It can also make it easier to keep your mouth healthy. The teeth in the bridge can’t decay, and there are fewer places where bacteria can easily penetrate into the gums. Focusing on these can allow you to become a better brusher and flosser.
All-on-4 dental bridges are attractive, but they’re not the most attractive, nor are they the most customizable. For people who are really concerned about the appearance of their teeth as well as the functions, it’s important to consider other treatment options. We can design a custom dental implant solution that will look beautiful and natural.
We Will Match You to the Right Treatment
Overall, our patients who get All-on-4 implant bridges are very happy, and we want to keep it that way by ensuring everyone is matched with the perfect tooth replacement option for them, whether that’s All-on-4 or another system.