Difference Between All-on-4 Implants & Traditional Dental Implants

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Dental implants are an important part of modern tooth care, offering a means by which functional, convenient, and effective artificial teeth can be provided to people who need them. Dental implants have evolved substantially in recent years and many modern dental implants are extremely effective and reliable. Of these the all-on-4 implant has proven extremely successful, offering many benefits over other types of implants. In this article we look at what sets the all-on-4 implant apart from its peers.

Dental implants

Dental implants are essentially artificial roots embedded into the jaw to allow for the fixation of dentures or crowns. Implants mimic a part of the tooth known as the root, which anchors each individual tooth to the gum and jaw beneath it. By acting as artificial roots, implants provide a firm base to which artificial teeth can be fixed.

Implants are typically constructed out of titanium, a material that is both strong and lightweight making it perfect for their role. Usually anywhere between 6 and 10 implants are affixed to the jaw by means of a socket drilled into the bone by your dentist. Your dentist will first prepare an incision through the gum to access the bone beneath before using specialised equipment to prepare the necessary hole, after which the gum is sutured (stitched) and left to recover.

The implant is positioned in such a way that the jaw bone can fuse to it through osseointegration, the result of this is a firm and reliable long term fixture. This fusion gives dental implants and the crowns or dentures fixed to them both stability and a long-life. It can take anywhere between 6 weeks and 6 months for the gum and bone to recover, and it is absolutely vital that the healing process run its natural course for a healthy implant.

After the implant has fused to your jawbone and your gums have healed over, your dentist will fix a post to the implant, which will house a crown on a temporary basis. After another 4-6 weeks the gum tissue will have shaped itself around the crown, and a permanent fixture will be introduced.

All-on-4 implants

In terms of the basic principles involved in the overall procedure, all-on-4 implants are not hugely dissimilar to classic dental implants. Both require fixings to the jaw, which allow for dentures or crowns to be attached in a stable manner. However all-on-4 implants differ in some distinctive ways that have made them so popular.

All-on-4 implants only require four implants as opposed to the traditional 6 or 10. This doesn’t affect the stability of the implant, but does make the whole process easier and smoother both for the dentist and their patient. 2 implants are placed to the front of the jaw, making use of the thickest and strongest portion of bone, while 2 implants are arranged at the back of the jaw at an angle to support the rest of what can be a complete arch of dentures.  This method makes use of the strength of the jaw bone and is therefore of a higher quality than many other types of dentures.

All-on-4 implants also have the distinct advantage of allowing for the fixation of dentures as soon as the implants have been placed into the jawbone. There is no need for a 6 month healing period without any artificial teeth, following the installation of temporary dentures and a further 4-6 week wait, which can be a major inconvenience for many people who are too busy for so many dental appointments.

These distinct differences have fuelled the popularity of all-on-4 implants, making them one of the most exciting and sought after implant products available on the dental market today.

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