What are all-on-four implants and how is the recovery process?
All-on-four implants are an ideal alternative to traditional implants for edentulous patients, i.e., patients missing all teeth. They allow a fixed and full-arch prosthesis to be attached over just four implants—two anterior implants and two posterior implants.
As such, all-on-four implants restore the perfect smile with a flawless set of teeth without multiple surgeries and extended recovery periods.
If you wanted to restore a complete smile with traditional implants, you would need at least ten implants per jaw as well as possible bone augmentations. But all-on-fours allow you to achieve full-arch restorations for the upper and lower jaws with only four implants.
What happens during the all-on-four implant procedure?
all-on-four implant procedures start with dental x-rays, diagnosis, and surgeries to assess the suitability of your implants. Dr. Hardin goes through your records and existing conditions to determine if you need bone augmentation, i.e., a procedure wherein bone grafts are placed along your jawbone to facilitate bone regeneration.
You’ll likely need bone augmentation if you’ve suffered a significant loss of bone tissues after losing your natural teeth. The possibility of needing a bone augmentation is a lot lower with all-on-four implants than traditional implants. If you have any remaining teeth, they’ll need to be removed to accommodate the implants.
During the implant procedure, Dr. Hardin will prepare your mouth and deliver local anesthesia to ensure you’re comfortable. He’ll then prepare the implant bed by drilling holes into the strategically chosen locations for the implants. Once the implant bed is prepared, screw-shaped titanium implants will be drilled into the jawbone. Two implants will be placed at the front of your upper and lower jaw, and two will be placed at the posterior end of the upper and lower jaw.
You’ll then wear temporary dentures while your jaw bone heals around the implants. After two to six months, you can get the permanent prosthesis attached to the implants.
How do you recover from all-on-four implants?
The healing period for all-on-four implants takes between 3 to 8 months, i.e., the time is taken for your bone tissue to heal around the implants, making them a part of your dental anatomy.
You might experience some swelling, discomfort, bruising, and bleeding for a few days after the surgery, but these side-effects will dissipate in a few days. You’ll be given detailed instructions on the types of food to eat after the procedure. You’ll be on soft foods and a liquid diet for about 2 to 3 months to avoid disturbing the implants and will need to cease smoking and exercising for a few days.
Most patients can resume their normal activities and work within a week of surgery, though some may need to wait longer. Your specific recovery journey will depend on your occupation, lifestyle, and your body’s healing rate. Our dental staff will assist you through every stage of the recovery process. Hygiene and cleaning of all-on-fours is done just as you would with normal teeth, brushing twice daily and flossing.
For more information on all-on-four implants, please contact Hardin Advanced Dentistry in Cincinnati today.