“Teeth-in-a-day,” more commonly called the all-on-four procedure, is a procedure in which a fixed set of teeth are screwed onto four dental implants that are fused with the jawbone to provide a healthy, natural-looking smile. The final product is a fixed set of teeth that can only be removed by the dentist during maintenance appointments where they are unscrewed and cleaned. Unlike traditional dentures that need to be taken out daily, the all-on-four provides patients with a nonremovable, sturdy option that’s the closest to resembling natural teeth. Let’s discuss this latest and fascinating development in the field of dentistry.
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What You Can Expect During the Process
The procedure consists of approximately eight appointments: four before the surgery and four after.
The appointments are set up as follows:
- During the initial appointments, impressions are taken and used towards creating the temporary teeth with proper bite/smile design. Photos are also taken to ensure proper smile design and facial symmetry. The teeth are tried on in wax before the finalizing the temporary teeth design. Once the design is finalized, a surgical appointment is scheduled for the implant placement. On the day of surgery, the dentist, laboratory technician, and surgeon are all present to ensure that the temporary teeth are properly fitted onto the newly placed implants. The temporary teeth are created from a mold that was made off the final design. It’s important to remember that planning this treatment takes a very talented and experienced team, with the dentist, surgeon, and laboratory technician each specializing in a specific aspect of the treatment. Proper communication between the three is crucial to have a cohesive outcome, with the patient also being an integral part of making important decisions about the case.
- After surgery, the patient walks out with a full set of temporary teeth. It is an exciting time for patients, especially those that have been without teeth for some time. However, before taking the teeth for a test ride, patients are require to eat soft foods for the first four months while the implants integrate, or fuse, with the bone. These temporary teeth are considered a trial run for the patient to see if the bite, esthetics, and feel are comfortable. If the patient and dentist don’t see any changes that need to be made to the temporary teeth, then these teeth can be replicated exactly to make the finals. Likewise, any changes made to the temporaries can also be replicated in the final.
- After the implants heal for 4-6 months, a similar set of appointments are made to make the final teeth. Once the final teeth are delivered, cleaning appointments are still necessary! Typically, patients are asked to come in every six months for a cleaning and checkup. However, patients who have a hard time keeping the teeth clean are asked to come every four months. The teeth need to be removed completely once every six to 12 months to clean underneath, and to replace the screws. Patients must remember that there are additional costs for the screws every time they are replaced, and for the cleanings depending on each dentists’ fees.
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Common Questions Regarding the All-on-4 Treatment
The All-on-four procedure has been around for many years. However, due in large part to commercials that have only recently popularized this treatment, we are starting to hear more and more patients ask about it. Some common questions we hear are:
Q: “Is it safe?”
A: The answer to that is while the procedure is safe, every surgery presents a certain amount of risk that needs to be accounted for. Each implant is planned carefully using 3-D technology, with a design technique that is unique to each mouth, and helps minimize any complications. It is important with any implant procedure to be aware of the implant brand being used and to understand the material that the teeth are made of. Each material has its own benefits and limitations. Patients need to have an honest conversation with the dentist and surgeon prior to starting any procedure so they are aware of possible complications that can happen not only during surgery, but years after the teeth are placed.
Q: “How long does All-on-four last?”
A: This is something that should always be addressed and understood by the patient prior to treatment. Research has shown that all-on-four restorations can successfully last for many years. However, there are reports of complications starting on average within the first five years. These complications may not necessarily be anything serious and can be as small as a tooth chipping. Nevertheless, depending on the material chosen for the teeth, the complications can range from teeth getting worn to the entire prosthesis breaking in half, and needing to be remade.
Q: “Can I really get a new, radiant smile in just one day?”
A: The answer is “YES!” It does take some prep work, as we explained above, with before and after appointments, but with advanced technology and a stellar dental team, a new smile can be achieved in one just one day. Testimonials show that patients with properly done all-on-four teeth are always ecstatic with the results.
We are always happy to speak with you in more detail regarding the tremendous benefits of the all-on-four. Keep in mind that regardless of whether you need to speak to us regarding general dental or cosmetic needs, we’re always here to help our patients attain a healthy smile. Get in touch with us today to book an appointment.
Testimonial from Ashley, Satisfied Patient
I recently went to see Dr. Zadeh and staff as a new patient. I honestly couldn’t fathom having a more positive experience, especially considering, I was after all, at the dentist. Everyone was quite friendly, the environment was simple but clean, and best of all, I felt they listened to everything I had to say.