In Houston, we may not see it as much as some areas of the country, but check out this fact of our national oral health — over one tenth of Americans have lost all of their teeth. Wrap your gums around that one for a minute. Many have tried dentures but have found the experience not to their liking. So, they just opt for toothlessness. Here, that means, no street tacos, summer corn on the cob, and nachos at an Astros or Texans game.
That’s why Dr. Velasco performs All-on-4 dental implant procedures for our patients from all around the Houston area. All-on-4 procedure consists of placing four implants on each arch, along with the attachment of temporary full arches of new artificial teeth, all in one day. It’s crazy, but patients can go from having nary a tooth to a whole new smile in one office visit.
What are All-on-4 dental implants?
Using dental implants to anchor dentures isn’t new, but it has typically involved six to eight implants on each arch. These implants were placed vertically into the jawbone.
Dr. Velasco’s All-on-4 method requires only four implants per arch. The key to All-on-4 is the two back implants on each arch. Instead of being placed vertically, these back implants are placed at a 30- to 45-degree angle from the biting plane. Doing this usually precludes the need for bone grafting. Patients who have been missing their teeth for some time usually have lost some degree of jawbone mass, and vertical implant placement often requires grafting to build the bone back up. After the back implants are placed at an angle, the front two implants are placed vertically. This is possible because there is usually less bone loss toward the front of the jaw.
Next, a prosthesis with 10-14 teeth is permanently attached to the four implants on each arch. This set of teeth will be worn during the 4-6 months healing time. Once the patient is completely healed they will move on to phase II of the procedure and work on finalizing the final set of teeth.
What are the benefits of All-on-4 dental implants?
Our Uptown patients find these to be very rewarding procedures. For a person who has been missing all of his or her teeth, the life changes made by All-on-4 implants are hard to sufficiently detail. These are the benefits associated with the All-on-4 implant system:
- Eat a normal, diverse diet without worrying — Because your new teeth are fully anchored into your jawbone, you can now return to a normal diet.
- Return to a confident smile — Your new teeth will function, feel, and look just like natural teeth. Your smile will be back.
- Acquire a complete set of fully functioning teeth in a short amount of time — The All-on-4 implant procedure takes around 4-5 hours per arch, and you will have temporary functioning teeth the same day (they will be replaced with your permanent teeth when your implants have fully healed and solidified).
- Chew and bite with confidence — Your anchored new teeth will give you a bite force with 70 percent more power than dentures.
- Teeth for life — Your four or eight implants are permanent, and your new teeth can last the rest of your life.
- Implants without painful bone grafts — If you’ve lost jawbone mass you won’t need to suffer through the bone grafting often required with traditional implants.
- Put an end to further bone loss — Your implants will now transfer bite force energy down into your jawbone. This energy triggers the jawbone to continually create new bone cells, the key to healthy bone mass.
If you’ve lost all or most of your teeth, how do you feel about having a full set of beautiful, anchored, functional teeth in a day? Call Dr. Velasco and our team at Uptown Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry, 713-960-9623, and set up a consultation for All-on-4 dental implants.