Dental implants offer a lasting, natural-looking solution to missing teeth. While the solution works for many patients, the specific approach that your oral surgeon uses will depend on your needs.
- With regular dental implants, your oral surgeon creates a replacement tooth root and attaches a single tooth crown to it. The surgeon will place as many pairs of tooth roots and crowns as you require.
- All-on-4 works differently. The surgeon places four dental implants in strategic locations along your gums. Then, he anchors a prosthetic dental arch to the implants. This replaces the entire set of upper or lower teeth.
Part of the process during your initial consultation is deciding which of these approaches is right for you.
When Does an All-on-4 Treatment Make Sense?
SF Oral Surgery typically recommends All-on-4 to San Francisco patients who have:
- Significant tooth decay.
- Lost most of their teeth.
- Experienced damage to many of their teeth.
All-on-4 restores the entire arch of teeth, while regular dental implants target specific missing teeth. Patients who have the All-on-4 treatment concept can use about half the number of implants to get a complete and attractive smile.
Ideal for Patients with Low Bone Density
Dental implants help to promote bone growth, unlike dentures, which may actually increase bone loss in the jaw. However, some patients have low bone density, either because of heredity or because they have already experienced bone resorption. Your jaw must be strong enough to support regular dental implants before SF Oral Surgery can perform the procedure.
The typical solution to this issue is bone grafting. In a preliminary surgery, your doctor takes bone from a donor site or uses donor material and strengthens the area where he will place the dental implants. Usually, you will require several months of healing before you can move forward with the dental implants.
All-on-4 doesn’t usually require bone grafting. The implants are angled and strategically placed so that they use the full strength of the jaw. The reduced number of procedures means that San Francisco All-on-4 patients can have a shorter treatment time and save money on the costs of their replacement teeth.
While All-on-4 does offer these advantages, every patient’s needs are different. Talk with SF Oral Surgery to find out which approach is right for you. Call our San Francisco office at (415) 776-6710 for an initial consultation.