There are millions of Americans who have one or more missing teeth. These gaps can become problematic when it comes to eating, speaking, and simply feeling confident in your smile. Plus, missing teeth can also contribute to other dental problems, such as bone loss and shifting of remaining teeth. If you have few to no natural teeth left, it can significantly impact your quality of life. But you do not have to live with tooth loss. All-On-4® dental implants can restore your smile and ability to chew food properly again.
Thanks to advances in technology, it is possible for the doctors at Lighthouse Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Houston, Texas to replace a full arch of teeth with as few as four small dental implants. These titanium screws secure a full arch of replacement teeth at once without the need to place each tooth separately. All-On-4 implants can allow you to get back to eating the foods you enjoy and speaking without fear of any embarrassing moments.
Am I a Good Candidate for All-On-4® Surgery?
There is a lot of forgiveness built into All-on-4 surgery, meaning that many patients are good candidates for the procedure. However, our doctors will sit down with you to understand your specific concerns and goals as well as review your health history. We strive to preserve your natural teeth whenever possible because no one can make a tooth better for you than God. Therefore, we want to ensure that All-On-4 implants are truly necessary before recommending them.
If your natural teeth are unable to be repaired and preserved, All-On-4 may be a good option for full arch replacement. The doctor will consider factors such as:
- How many teeth are missing or need to be extracted
- Whether or not you already wear dentures
- Any bone loss that may have occurred from missing teeth
- Your goals for your smile and what you want to achieve
What are the Benefits of All-On-4 Dental Implants?
When faced with missing teeth, two of the most common options are traditional dentures and All-On-4. While dentures can be less expensive, they also need to be replaced every few years and will not provide the same abilities to chew and speak as freely as the All-On-4 restoration.
There are several advantages to opting for All-On-4, such as:
- They are long-lasting. Once the implants are placed, they typically do not need to be replaced.
- Implants can help prevent bone loss by acting as a tooth root and providing stimulation to the bone.
- Replacement teeth are held securely in place and do not need to be removed for cleaning or when sleeping. Teeth will not slip or shift and are cared for just like your natural teeth.
- All-On-4 implants can still be placed even if you have a lower bone density; they do not necessarily require bone grafting.
- All-On-4 implants are incredibly durable and can withstand a great deal of force, meaning you can eat all of the foods you enjoy most after the implants have integrated into the bone.
How Long Does Surgery Take?
Before beginning the procedure, the doctor will take scans and images of your mouth to determine exactly where each of the four implants will be placed. Advanced technology allows implants to be inserted more precisely to optimize results. The actual procedure typically takes between two and three hours to complete. Typically, two implants will be inserted vertically at the front of your mouth, and two will be inserted at an angle toward the back of your mouth; however, each case will be carefully and individually planned. Then the replacement arch of teeth attaches to the implants.
Does Surgery Hurt?
Our doctors strive to keep you as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure. We explain each step so that you know what to expect before surgery begins, while we are placing the implants, and during recovery. Anesthesia is administered so that you can relax and “sleep” through surgery without feeling any discomfort. We also work with you to safely manage any discomfort during recovery.
Are There Any Limitations with All-On-4 Implants?
As with any dental implant, it takes time for the implant to fuse with the existing jaw bone and form a strong bond, a process called osseointegration. This process generally takes about three months. During this time, you will be limited to relatively soft foods so that you do not dislodge any of the implants. You will be given a temporary prosthetic until the osseointegration is complete, then your permanent arch can be attached. Once this occurs, you are free to eat whatever you like.
How Long Do All-On-4 Implants Last?
The dental implants themselves have the potential to last for the rest of your lifetime. The titanium posts are biocompatible and integrate with your jawbone. They will not deteriorate over time and have around a 98% success rate of long-term placement. However, you may eventually need to have your dental prosthetic replaced due to normal wear and tear.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Getting All-On-4 Implants?
It can take you some time to adjust to your new teeth because they may add some height or width to your mouth that you did not have with your natural teeth. In addition, you will lose some proprioception (the ability to feel when your teeth are touching or how hard you are biting) and whether foods feel hot or cold on your teeth. However, your body is amazing, and it will naturally adapt.
How Much Do All-On-4 Dental Implants Cost?
There are many factors that can affect the cost of All-On-4 implants in the Houston area, such as:
- Any pre-prosthetic surgery that needs to be done, including extractions
- The type and quantity of implants and prosthetics being used
- Where surgery is being performed
- Whether or not your dental insurance will cover the procedure
Restore Your Smile with Natural-Looking Results in Houston and Katy, TX
If you are tired of dealing with dentures or the challenges of missing teeth, schedule a consultation at Lighthouse Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery today to find out if All-On-4 dental implants are a good option for you. Create a natural-looking smile that is comfortable, functional, and durable so you can get back to living life to its fullest.
If you want to schedule a consultation, contact any of our offices in Houston or Katy, TX at (713) 790-1995 and find out if All-on-4 Implants are right for you.