All-On-Four Implants: How long will they last and are they as strong as your regular teeth?

By Dr. Kathleen E. Isdith, DDS

Dental implants have been around for a while now and personally I have placed thousands of implants and am gratified with successful results. What is truly rewarding though is treating patients with All-On-Four dental implants. So, why are we so excited about using All-On-Four implants? Because patients that come with pain and a failing teeth can leave with a brand new, fixed set of permanent teeth that are attached to dental implants, all in one day. So, while nothing has the same feel as your natural teeth, these are about as close as it comes.

All-on-Four surgery is the name given to an alternative dental implant technique, which is used to rehabilitate jaws that have no remaining teeth, or have a few teeth with poor prognosis. This technique was invented by Dr. Paulo Malo from Portugal and has been successfully used to restore broken down jaws since 1998. There are surgeons all over the world successfully using this procedure to restore smiles, immediately, in their patients.

While traditional implant surgery requires a multi-stage process to replace a tooth or teeth, All-on-Four implant surgery makes use of the patient’s remaining bone. By placing implants at an angle and binding them together, bone grafting can be avoided and the teeth can be placed on the implants the day of the surgery . The process of traditional implants often takes 6–12 months for tooth placement. With All-on-Four implants, the strength of the combined unit allows us to place the initial fixed bridge the day the implants are placed. The final bridge is placed after all the healing has completed with a new set of teeth in 5–9 months.

With All-on-Four implant surgery, insertion of the prosthetic bridge can be achieved on the first day. All surgery, which includes removal of decayed and broken teeth and placement of the implants is achieved on the same day. You will walk away with a custom made smile. All-on-Four surgery can also decrease treatment costs significantly when compared with restoring the teeth individually.

As the name suggests, there are only four implants that are placed within the jaw. The arrangement of the implants avoids damaging the sinus cavities and the nerves in the face and jaw. The placement of four implants are evenly spaced along the whole of the jaw arch. These are then splinted by a rigid metal internal structure of a prosthetic bridge. This prevents early function and flexion on the new implants.

Due to this delayed use of the implants, it allows the bone around the implants to heal quickly and without disruption. The initial aesthetic, fixed implant retained bridge is inserted into the jaw for an immediate custom made smile.

While these All-on-Four implants are highly successful, the splinted implants must have a chance to become strongly fused to the surrounding bone for 3 months. After this 3 month period, you will be able to enjoy normal chewing function.

We, at Harbour Pointe Oral Surgery, advocate All-on-Four dental implants for our patients that have the necessary indications for this treatment. These dental implants are a comfortable and can be a permanent solution. They form a strong foundation for teeth and keep the jaw healthy and strong. All-on-Four implants support your few remaining teeth, or then, secure specialized teeth in place. Unlike bridges, no healthy teeth are damaged and All-on-Four implants can last a lifetime.

All-on-Four implant-supported replacement teeth can be attractive, comfortable and stable for almost any patient. It is good to discuss this as a treatment option with your general dentist as well, since they are an important member of our treatment team. So, if you have been recommended for an All-on-Four dental implant restoration, contact us at Harbour Pointe Oral Surgery and we can discuss this with you in more detail.

For more information on the All-on-Four Dental Implant Treatment option, consult Dr. Brian Hart and Dr. Kathleen Isdith at 425–353–1009 or at hporalsurgery@gmail.com.