Individual dental implants compared to ‘all on 4’ implants

A choice of dental implants in Chelsea and Westminster

Dental implants are without a doubt, the most effective method of replacing a lost or missing tooth and have been widely available for over thirty years. Despite this, many people are still unaware of their existence and have continued to tolerate dentures which are uncomfortable and possibly a little embarrassing at times.

For those who have heard of dental implants but are unsure if it is the right procedure for them, the two main factors which seem to act as a deterrence are possible pain and the length of the process.

Invasive but not uncomfortable

With regards to the issue of pain; whilst the procedure is certainly invasive, it is nothing like as uncomfortable as people often fear. Perhaps it is the psychological thought of having the jawbone drilled into which frightens people but the fact is that the jaw is not very sensitive to pain and, with a local anaesthetic being given beforehand, you should feel little or no discomfort from the procedure.

The second factor is the lengthy process. It is true that whether you have dental implants placed at Zenith Dentistry or elsewhere, once an implant has been placed, it is necessary for a period of around three months to pass before a crown can be attached to the dental implant to complete the new replacement tooth. Although this may seem a long period of time, it is necessary to allow the process of osseointegration (where the bone forms around the implant) to occur. If this period were not allowed to pass, the implant could become unstable and cause problems for the patient. By allowing the osseointegration to fully occur, the dental implant will be held very securely in place and should last for a minimum of twenty years provided that reasonable care is taken.

Teeth in a Day

There is however, a case where dental implants can be placed at our Westminster practice and be functional in just a single day.

The ‘all on 4’ process is used in a different situation to individual implants. As you might expect, an individual dental implant is used when a single tooth is missing, or a few individual teeth. An ‘all on 4’ however is used when a full arch of teeth need to be replaced. This may be to replace the wearer’s current dentures or when there are so few natural teeth left in the arch that it is beneficial to extract them and replace the whole arch with a full set of replacement teeth.

All on 4 Procedure

Once all of the teeth have been removed from the arch, dental implants are then placed into the jawbone. However, with this procedure,  just 4 implants are placed, the front two of which are standard implants whilst the two at the rear are specialised implants which are placed into the jaw at around a 45 degree angle. This gives them extra strength and stability and also means that they are suitable for patients whose bone density has deteriorated in this area. Once these have been placed, a fixed bridge is attached to them and is held firmly in place by the four implants. Once this procedure has been completed, the patient is free to leave our Westminster dental practice with a completely new full arch of teeth.

Eating and an All on 4

Once you have had your teeth replaced with this procedure, you will soon be able to eat pretty much whatever you choose. However, it is advisable to avoid hard foods for a short period of time after the procedure as there may be some soreness in the area where the implants have been placed. By eating softer foods for a while, you will make the experience of having your new teeth much more enjoyable.