All on four is a dental procedure that utilizes only four implants to support an entire upper or lower denture. During the mid to late 1990’s, the all on four dental implant procedure was created. In the early 2000’s, implant manufacturer Nobel Biocare collaborated with noted European implant dentist Paulo Malo, and by performing extensive research on bio-metrics and with the aid of computer simulations, determined the best possible positioning of these four implants to gain optimal support while minimizing surgery and recovery time, as well as materials necessary to complete this procedure.
All these factors combined have helped to reduce the cost of the implant method for securing full dentures. Using only four implants to secure the denture minimizes the invasiveness of the implant method of securing dentures. This method minimizes not only the surgery time, but the healing time as well. In some cases the denture may be secured at the same time as the implant surgery. Using the all on four procedures also minimized the need for performing bone graft procedures as well.
Bone graft procedures where necessary in the past to reinforce the implant locations. Not only were these graft procedures painful and time consuming, but where expensive as well, causing this method of denture placement to be unobtainable for some people. This relatively new procedure is very desirable as the patient can walk into their dentists office for a preliminary visit for the dentist to take x-rays and determine the best placement of the implants, followed by a second visit when the patient can have the procedure completed and when they leave they will have a full set of teeth in place!
Something like this was unheard of until recently. Prior to the development of the all on four implant procedure, patients would need six or more implants and often require bone graft surgery to support implant sites. Completion of the procedure could take up to eighteen months! This meant that patients would be without teeth or would have to wear ill-fitting temporary dentures until the procedure was completed, not to mention the discomfort to be endured.
The patient will need to go back for follow up visits over the next several months up until about six months. At this time the implants should be completely healed and the bone fused to them and the dentist will make a new impression for a stronger, better fitting, permanent set of teeth. So if you are in the market for a set of dentures, talk to your dentist about the all on four procedure and see if this is right for you.