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Reconstructive Dental Dental Implants

All-On-Four Dental Implants vs. Dentures

All-On-Four dental implants

The prevalence of complete tooth loss in the United States ranges from 13%-32%. Losing several or all teeth significantly affects a person’s quality of life. For many decades, patients relied on removable dentures to restore their appearance and ability to eat and speak. However, in recent years, All-On-Four dental implants have provided an option that many people prefer.

What Are Traditional Dentures?

Traditional dentures are dental prostheses that replace all (complete) or several (partial) teeth. Traditional complete dentures have been used for decades to help patients esthetically and functionally. Complete dentures are typically made of acrylic, and partial dentures are made of acrylic and metal.

Immediate dentures are made before tooth extractions and delivered the day teeth are removed. Conventional dentures are made after teeth removal when the gums heal.

Partial dentures are removable prostheses with an acrylic base, metal framework, and clasps to attach to your natural teeth. Removable partial dentures may require getting one or more crowns to improve the stability and fit of the partial denture.

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Pros and Cons of Traditional Dentures

Complete and partial dentures remain a viable choice to replace missing teeth. In addition, some medical and dental conditions may make it the only choice for some patients. Below are several advantages and disadvantages of traditional dentures.

Advantages of Dentures

  • Appearance. Recent advances in dental materials and techniques have greatly improved the aesthetics of dentures to produce a more natural appearance.
  • No surgery. Unlike implant-supported prostheses, dentures require no surgery after tooth removal. Also, the denture process is straightforward and requires fewer office visits than other replacement options.
  • Maintenance. Dentures are easy to clean and maintain if you follow your dentist’s instructions.
  • Affordable. Dentures often are the most affordable option to replace several or all missing teeth.

Disadvantages of Dentures

  • Dentures tend to move when speaking or eating.
  • Dentures do not prevent the loss of any jawbone.
  • Dentures tend to loosen over time due to the loss of supporting bone.
  • Dentures can cause mouth sores.
  • You may need to avoid certain foods due to loss of biting force.
  • Some people gag when wearing dentures.
  • You need to remove dentures at night to allow the underlying tissues to rest.

What Are All-On-Four Dental Implants?

All-On-Four dental implants provide permanent solutions if you are missing an entire upper or lower set of teeth. First, four to six titanium posts or implants are placed. This procedure is usually performed under sedation and local dental anesthetic. You may receive a prosthetic arch of teeth that day. Then, after the gums and bone heal, an entire set of permanent upper or lower prosthetic teeth are attached.

Pros and Cons of All-On-Four Dental Implants

The popularity of All-On-Four dental implants is due to their distinctive advantages in replacing missing teeth. The benefits include:

  • Natural appearance. Your dentist will take precise measurements of your mouth and face. Each tooth is crafted with the shape, color, and position that creates the most natural appearance. Additionally, the support your prosthesis will provide for your facial muscles prevents an unnatural sinking of your cheek. The result is that your teeth look natural, and your face looks younger than if you wear removable dentures.
  • Bone preservation. When you lose your teeth, the bone in your jaw begins deteriorating. This is a significant problem for denture wearers because the bone provides all the support for their prosthesis. The result of this bone loss is loose dentures that need frequent replacement. Implants, however, provide the stimulation to bone necessary to prevent this bone loss. Maintaining bone stabilizes your implant-supported prosthesis and prevents premature aging of your face.
  • Natural-feeling function. Some patients find that they have to change their diets when wearing removable dentures. Certain foods, such as raw vegetables, nuts, and popcorn, are difficult to chew and cause the denture to move. The All-On-Four dental implants fuse to the bone and prevent the prosthesis from moving or becoming loose. This allows you to speak confidently and eat without changes to your diet.
  • Permanent solution. You can typically expect traditional dentures to last between five and ten years. This is primarily dependent on how quickly you lose supporting bone. All-On-Four dental implants are regarded as a permanent solution. One of the most desirable benefits for many denture wearers is that you do not need to remove All-On-Four dental implant prostheses at night.

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Disadvantages of All-On-Four Dental Implants

The disadvantages of All-On-Four dental implants are few, minor, and temporary. They include:

  • Surgery is required. Four to six implants must be surgically placed in the jaw. This is typically inpatient surgery using some form of sedation and local dental anesthetic. There can be soreness and difficulty eating while the bone and gums heal.
  • Implants can fail. It is uncommon, but the implant can fail to fuse to the bone and require removal.
  • They are more expensive. This is offset due to the prosthesis not requiring frequent replacement like removable dentures.

How Long Do All-On-Four Dental Implants Last?

The titanium implant can last your entire lifetime. With proper care, the prosthesis can last for decades. The longevity of your prosthesis can depend on your diet and habits, such as clenching your teeth or chewing on ice.

Who Is A Candidate for All-On-Four Dental Implants?

Ideal candidates for All-On-Four dental implants include people who:

  • Have lost all or many teeth in one or both jaws.
  • Are in good general health.
  • Have healthy gums.
  • Do not grind their teeth.
  • Have adequate jawbone density.

Who Is Not A Candidate for All-On-Four Dental Implants?

There are few absolute contraindications to getting All-On-Four dental implants. However, some people with certain conditions may prefer another option. These include people who:

  • Have uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Take oral bisphosphonates for osteoporosis.
  • Received high doses of radiation to the head and neck for cancer treatment.
  • Had a recent cardiac event.
  • Have bleeding disorders.
  • Have a significantly suppressed immune system.
  • Are receiving cancer treatment.

How To Care For All-On-Four Dental Implants

It is best to clean your All-On-Four dental implants as you would your natural teeth. Food debris can accumulate and decompose under and around the prosthesis. This can result in implant failure due to gum inflammation and infection. Proper maintenance and hygiene can include:

  • Brushing twice daily with a soft-bristled manual or electric toothbrush.
  • Flossing under the prosthesis. This might include using Superfloss or a water flosser, such as Waterpik.
  • Rinsing daily with a mouthwash recommended by your dentist.
  • Following all instructions given to you by your dentist.
  • Scheduling regular dental checkups and professional cleanings.

Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about how Palmetto Dental Arts can restore your missing teeth with a natural-appearing and functional prosthesis, contact us online or call us.

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