Traditional, removable partial dentures actually accelerate the bone resorption process, which results in more rapid bone atrophy (deterioration). Additionally, the hooks which secure the partial denture cause significant stress to the underlying gums and natural teeth, which results in a weakened jawbone and often the loss of additional teeth.
The advantages of replacing multiple missing teeth with implant-supported bridges include:
- Dental implants look, feel, and function like natural teeth
- Dental implants are much more comfortable and stable than partial dentures-patients forget they have dental implants because they function like natural teeth
- Natural biting and chewing capacity is restored
- Adjacent natural teeth are not damaged to support a bridge
- Dental implants virtually stop the bone resorption process (deterioration), which can lead to the appearance of premature aging
- The integrity of the facial structures are maintained (no sagging jaw line)
Patients missing an entire arch of teeth (either upper or lower) relied for years on removable dentures, but even a well-crafted denture often fails to provide adequate retention and stability. This is particularly true for patients where age or ill-fitting dentures caused jawbone deterioration or shrinkage, otherwise known as ridge atrophy. This condition has challenged dentists and frustrated denture-wearers for decades.
The development of implant-supported overdentures significantly improves the quality of life for denture patients. Dental implants placed in the jawbone are fitted to attach removable dentures with snaps, clips, or other locking mechanisms. These attachments are a huge improvement from dentures that would otherwise be held in position by only suction or gravity.
The use of dental implants as anchors dramatically improves the comfort, stability, and retention of dentures. For suffering denture-wearers, reassurance comes in the form of a satisfying and secure “snap” when overdentures are locked into place.
Virtually all patients, even those with advanced bone atrophy, have adequate bone remaining to undergo this treatment. In general, the greater the number of implants used, the more stable the denture. However, even patients who elect to have just two implants experience a substantial improvement and can chew with confidence again.
In the upper jaw, four to six implants are spread out to retain the upper denture. With adequate bone and implant support, it is possible to make a U-shaped upper denture and circumvent covering the palate with a plastic base. This improvement helps patients avoid gagging, experience better taste sensation, and regain the joy of eating.
The All-on-4™ procedure is specifically designed for people with failing teeth, no teeth, or those who are currently wearing dentures and need full upper and/or lower restorations.
The All-on-4™ system is often utilized to provide patients with an entire arch of teeth (upper, lower, or both) that securely fix in place with dental implants. These implanted teeth do not require denture adhesives, and do not slip, click, or fall out and cause embarrassment. Once placed, permanent dentures can only be removed by a dentist-there are no limitations on the types of foods that can be enjoyed.
Over the years, patients with replacement teeth become frustrated by conventional dentures. Even when traditional dentures are carefully made, old-fashioned removable dentures have inherent limitations. With permanent dentures, these limitations are non-existent.
The All-on-4™ procedure quickly replaces dentures with dental implants and fixed replacement teeth. All-on-4™ offers significant cost savings over conventional implant placement, which requires six or more implants per arch.