All on 4 – avoiding a bone graft
How the ‘all on 4’ implant procedure avoids bone grafting.
Many older patients at our Chelmsford dental practice, those who have been long term smokers, or perhaps have been without teeth for some time, may well need to have a bone graft prior to any dental implant placement.
All of these factors are likely to result in a thinning of the bone in the jaw; something which means that placing a dental implant into it could result in an insecure foundation.
This problem can be rectified using a bone graft which entails adding a small piece of bone, whether from the patient or artificial, into the area where the bone is lacking. After a period of time, the bone will integrate and provide a solid foundation for the dental implant.
Whilst this procedure is not especially uncomfortable and does offer an excellent way to have a secure individual dental implant placed even where bone has been lost, it does mean adding a few months onto the entire treatment period. For an individual implant, there is no alternative but to have this procedure done, unless a partial denture or bridge is used as an alternative. Where a full arch of missing teeth need replacing though, there is an alternative in the form of an ‘all on 4’ procedure.
The all on 4 procedure is an excellent method of restoring a full arch of teeth, and, as an added bonus, the whole procedure can be carried out quickly, sometimes in just a single day. By using four dental implants, sufficient stability can be generated to hold a fixed bridge of teeth in place. The ‘magic’ of this procedure is in the design of the implants which are placed into the rear of the jawbone. These are designed to be placed at a precise angle, and they can also be used where the bone has become less dense. The angle at which they are placed contributes significantly to the security of the implants. The other two implants are placed at the front of the jaw and are traditional implants.
Because the fixed bridge can be attached nearly immediately, and because of the additional security provided by the special implants, the patient can start to eat more normally and quite quickly after the procedure has been completed. We would advise caution though, not because of the replacement teeth, but there will, inevitably, be some residual soreness from the procedure. Eating soft foods for a short period of time will make the experience more comfortable for you.
If you would like to understand more about how the all on 4 procedure might be of benefit to you, please call Blue Sky Dental in Chelmsford, Essex on 01245 211070.