The All on Four implant technique is a procedure method that replaces missing teeth with only 4 dental implants. Other names for it include same day smiles and same day teeth. The All on Four technique involves a different angle of implant placement than utilized with traditional implant techniques.
In traditional dental implants they are placed into the jaw at a 90 degree angle. With All on Four implants two of them are still placed at this angle, however, two of them are placed at a 45 degree angle (the rear ones). This allows the bridge that is then attached to be significantly more stable than with the traditional method. The failure rate decreases substantially along with the chance of dislodging. Patients who have insufficient bone for other techniques may be candidates for the All on Four method due to the novel angulation.
Standard implant techniques may necessitate 6 implants to support a full arch with a subsequent 6 months of healing and then a fitted fixed bridge being placed. Additional bone grafting may also be needed, which in the scheme of it can mean more expense from 6 implants versus 4, more dental visits, and potentially more bone grafting.
The All on Four technique is not completely now. At this point it maintains over 10 years of clinical use in practice. It was first developed in the 1990’s by a dental implant manufacturer in conjunction with a Portuguese implant dentist. The result is a breakthrough procedure that is relatively safe, cost effective, and allows for high quality full teeth restoration without needing bone grafting.
Prior to the procedure, a series of diagnostic procedures will be necessary including x-rays, a CT scan, some impressions, and bone density measuring. Quite a few dentists now have specialized software to assist with the pre-procedure calculations. Also, there are systems which allow for detailed diagnostic information such as how much bone is available which can assist virtually with placement accuracy and templating for prosthesis sizing.
Once appropriate teeth are extracted, the 4 implants are placed into the jaw so that the bone surrounds, anchors, and secures them. The back implants are placed at about a 45 degree angle for maximum anchorage.
After the implant placement, the components that attach the implant to the teeth (abutments) are attached. The replacement teeth are then attached to the abutments with some adjustments to ensure perfect bite and comfort. With only 4 implants total, compared to the traditional 6-8, there is typically a significant time savings.
After 6 months or so, your dentist may remove the initial teeth for a stronger, permanent set. Cost for the implants will vary based on multiple factors including implants utilized, testing necessary, dentist fees, and clinic location.