In a modern big American city such as Houston, it may be hard to imagine a person without any teeth. Yet the American Dental Association estimates that at least 35 million Americans are missing all of their teeth. Many of these people have tried full sets of dentures, but aren’t happy with the slipping, lack of being able to sense temperature, and the continued jawbone deterioration. Replacing all of a person’s missing teeth with individual dental implants, however, is cost prohibitive.
Due to these issues, many people simply opt to live with their missing teeth, eating a soft diet and accepting a lower quality of life.
But Dr. Velasco can now change that with All-on-4 dental implants. The All-on-4 method uses just four implants on the top arch and four on the bottom arch to anchor full sets of top and bottom artificial teeth. These anchored prostheses allow the patient to confidently eat normal foods and to once again show a beautiful smile to the world.
What is the All-on-4 method?
Traditionally, six to eight implants have been used to anchor full dentures on the upper and lower jaw. These implants were placed vertically.
The All-on-4 method with Dr. Velasco requires only four implants on top and four on bottom. The key is the furthest back implants on each arch. They are placed at 30- to 45-degree angles from the biting plane. This usually eliminates the need for any bone grafting. Then the front two implants are placed vertically.
A prosthesis containing from 10-14 teeth is then permanently attached to those four implants on each arch. Patients have options when choosing what materials to use for their artificial teeth.
Why is the All-on-4 method better?
For a person who’s been missing all or most of his or her teeth, the prospect of getting a full set of fully functioning teeth can seem amazing. But Dr. Velasco can do it in just a single day! The All-on-4 implant procedure takes around 2.5 hours per arch. Dr. Velasco then places temporary, functioning teeth onto the implants the same day. You’ll need to eat a soft diet for a little while to give your implants time to allow the bone to grow around them. Once your implants are fully solidified and accepted into the jawbone, the temporary teeth will be replaced with your permanent, final artificial teeth.
With your new teeth, you’ll have a complete smile again. You’ll be able to eat what you want, and you won’t be afraid to bite and chew hard foods. Your eight implants will also transfer bite energy down into the jawbone (this is how your jawbone continues to regenerate new bone mass), so you won’t suffer from additional jawbone deterioration. Plus, your new implants and artificial new teeth will likely last the remainder of your life.