The American Dental Association estimates that over 35 million Americans have lost all of their teeth. Many of these people have struggled with dentures, dealing with slipping, the inability to eat sticky or overly hard foods, the decreasing ability to sense hot and cold in the foods they eat, and other problems. Plus, dentures don’t stop the process of the person’s jawbone deteriorating since the jawbone no longer receives stimulation from the teeth above.
But Dr. Velasco offers All-on-Four™ Dental Implants, which is a hybrid approach of sorts, a combination of implants and dentures. The All-on-Four™ method uses four implants on the top arch and four implants on the bottom arch to anchor full sets of top and bottom false teeth. Unlike traditional dentures, these false teeth are anchored solidly by the implants. This allows the patient to eat and speak confidently again. Plus, they can show the world a perfect smile.
Amazingly, Dr. Velasco can complete most All-on-Four™ procedure is just a single day, giving patients a new smile for the New Year!
What are All-on-Four dental implants?
Anchoring implants with dentures isn’t a new idea. But previously, the practice involved placing six to eight implants on each arch. Each implant was placed vertically into the jawbone. This was overly expensive and required sufficient bone mass in the jaw.
All-on-Four™ is different. It requires only four implants per arch. This is possible because the two back implants are placed at a 30- to 45-degree angle from the biting plane, instead of at a 90-degree vertical angle. This usually precludes the need for bone grafting in patients who have lost jawbone mass. After the back two implants are placed at an angle, the front two are placed vertically. This is possible because there is usually less jawbone loss toward the front of the jaw.
After the implants are placed, a prosthesis with 10-14 teeth is permanently attached to the four implants on each arch. Dr. Velasco places temporary sets initially, and then your jawbone is allowed to grow around the eight implants, making them a part of the jaw.
Another amazing thing about the All-on-Four™ procedure at Uptown Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry is that we can usually place all the implants and a temporary set of teeth in just one appointment. After removing any badly damaged remaining teeth, your gums are thoroughly cleaned. Dr. Velasco may need to remove any diseased gum tissue.
We then take a CT scan of your jawbone. Using this, he can see the overall condition of your jawbone and can plan the implant locations. At this point, we also take impressions to create your temporary false teeth in our in-house dental lab.
Next the implants are placed, a process that takes around two and a half hours per arch. After placement, Dr. Velasco attaches your temporary teeth and you head home.
You need to give the implants time for the jawbone to grow around them and make them part of the jaw. This take from 3-6 months in most patients. Over that time, you’ll begin with a soft diet to not place too much stress on the implants. You’ll come in during this period, and Dr. Velasco will check the progress of your implants. When he feels they are fully integrated into your jawbone, he removes the temporary teeth and places your permanent teeth. Now you can eat what you want and show the world a perfect smile!
Interested in a new smile for the New Year? Call us at Uptown Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry, (713) 903-2652, to schedule a consultation for All-on-Four™ dental implants.