What is All-On‑4?

The All-On‑4 treat­ment plan is the only way to address one of the most com­mon issues with den­tures. Even mod­ern den­tures are noto­ri­ous for being uncom­fort­able. They slip in the mouth and rub on the gums. And when it comes to eat­ing, your choic­es will be lim­it­ed to what your den­tures can handle.

Keeping your dentures secure will always be a struggle. Even with custom fitted dentures, the shape of your arch can change over time, leaving you with poorly fitted dentures that need to be updated. Denture glue can only do so much when faced with more difficult foods. This can impact your diet and make it difficult to ensure a healthy and varied intake of food.

This is where the revolutionary All-On-4 treatment can help. Instead of using denture adhesive to support your dentures, you could enjoy a full arch restoration with your dentures held in place by dental implants.

Dental implants are small screws placed in the jawbone where they integrate with the bone to provide a solid anchor for a restoration. With All-On-4 dental implants, longer and angled implants are used to provide a strong anchor that allows your denture to function like natural teeth.

How does All-On-4 work?

With traditional dental implants, small screws are placed vertically in the jaw bone to replicate the role of the tooth root. These need to be left to heal between treatments in order to provide a strong foundation. This means the entire treatment plan could take up to 6 months, depending on how long your jaw bone takes to heal.

With All-On-4, the implants are longer and placed at an angle. The strategic placement of the implants means that they can immediately support a load-bearing denture. For patients, this means less waiting and an immediate restoration.

The treatment also uses a small number of implants to support an entire arch of teeth. You’ll need between 4 and 6 implants per arch. The denture is fixed, which means only your dentist will be able to remove it. If you’d like to explore removable options, you’ll need to opt for implant-retained dentures, which use magnetic closures to “snap” the denture into place.

Who is a good candidate for All-On-4?

The ideal candidate for All-On-4 is someone who currently wears a denture or someone who is thinking about a denture in the near future. If you have been wearing dentures for a long time, you may need to consider the health of your jaw bone before moving forward. You’ll need an X-ray and perhaps a CT scan to see if you have sufficient bone density to support dental implants.

If your bone density is low, you could consider a bone graft. It could also be possible to move forward with the treatment, as the longer and angled implants can provide a sturdy foundation, even with low bone density.

Your dentist will also want to ensure you have good overall oral health prior to starting the treatment. Conditions like gum disease are risk factors for implant rejection, so it’s vital that you are able to care for your oral health at home. Smoking is another risk factor that could lead to implant rejection, so it’s important that you quit smoking ahead of treatment and commit to not resuming this habit.

What is the treatment plan for All-On-4?

With dental implants, the treatment plan will typically take place over multiple visits with healing periods between. Your denture would be modified to allow you to continue wearing it while your implants heal and you wait for your final restoration.

For the All-On-4 implant treatment plan, the restoration would be immediate. The implants are placed in one visit, and then a load-bearing denture is attached on the same day. This allows you to leave the practice with your new smile and then allow the implants to heal as you are wearing them.

As the implant site will still be healing, you will need to modify your diet for between three weeks and two months following your procedure. This simply means you’ll need to avoid food that is more difficult to chew.

What is the alternative to All-on-4?

A popular alternative to All-On-4 would be to use 4-6 traditional implants to support magnetic attachments that will allow you to wear a removable denture. You could also opt for traditional dental implants to support a fixed denture.

If you still have some of your natural teeth remaining, you might choose a combination of bridges and partial dentures to restore your smile. This will allow you to retain your natural teeth for as long as possible.

You could also continue to wear a removable denture and simply choose a flexible base plate that is more comfortable to wear. Denture adhesive can help to keep this in place throughout the day, ensuring you can still eat, smile and speak with confidence.