What You Should Know When Considering All-on-4 Implants

The dental implant procedure protocol known as “All-On-4” is not a new way of utilizing dental implants to replace teeth. The process has however been significantly refined in recent years, and in the past 7 years in the United States, this process has become a widely marketed and popularized way of permanently replacing teeth in just one day.

All-On-4 Is A Marketing Term

This phrase describes a popular procedure used to replace all upper or lower teeth in one procedure, in one day. Usually, the number of implants required is four per arch, or eight for the entire mouth. This number is the origin of the term “All-On-4”. The phrase All-On-4 is a trademarked term owned by the dental implant company Nobel Biocare. There are, however, many excellent dental implants available, and several companies have developed components to support the same result. You will therefore hear the same full-arch replacement process described by different names such as “Four Plus” or “Full Arch Four” and others. These names, for the same procedure, have been created to avoid trademark infringement between companies. Several of these companies have taken the ideas developed by Nobel Biocare and improved upon them. Your doctor should be able to tell you why he uses the company he does as each have their own merits.

All-On-4 has many benefits

The All-On-4 procedure refers to a protocol utilized to replace an entire arch of teeth in one day using dental implants. The benefits of this protocol are many:
  • Allows immediate permanent tooth replacement – in one day.
  • Usually eliminates the need for bone grafting.
  • Typically only one surgery.
  • Produces a beautiful esthetic smile.
  • The patient never goes without teeth.
  • All-On-4 is much less expensive than other techniques for full mouth tooth replacement with dental implants.
  • All-On-4 demonstrates higher success rate than some other techniques.

All-On-4 is not for every patient

 The All-On-4 procedure is not the perfect procedure for all situations. For example:
  • Many patients do not need to have all teeth replaced and are better served by restoring some or all of their natural dentition.
  • The All-On-4 procedure uses a prosthesis, called a hybrid bridge, that replaces both the teeth and some of the gum material with synthetic materials such as acrylic or porcelain. Some patients may not like the aspect of the gum material being replaced. This can be avoided and teeth with natural emergence from the gums created. Doing so may however require more extensive surgery, bone grafting, longer treatment times, and more expense.
  • In some patients, the All-On-4 procedure will require removal of some bone from the ridges that formerly supported the natural teeth.
  • All-On-4 typically is designed with a plan to replace 12 teeth per arch. Patients who wish to replace teeth behind the first molars may need additional implants or a more complex treatment plan.

All-On-4 has become very popular with dentists

Although the principles of the All-On-4 process are relatively simple, the actual process is very technically challenging to the doctors involved. Many doctors have taken courses to learn about this procedure, but have little or no experience in the actual hands on treatment. However, patients should know that these same doctors can legally advertise themselves as experts and set out doing surgery, etc. It is vital that you seek care from a surgeon with extensive training and experience in performing the treatment you desire.

For More Information

The doctors of the Surgical Arts Centre have a combined experience of more that 50 years in the placement of dental implants. Dr. John Holtzen has completed more than 700 All-On-4 cases, making him among the most experienced doctors in the United States with this type of procedure. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, call the Surgical Arts Centre at (406) 549-6600.
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