Tucson All-on-4 Dental Implants
When you lose all your teeth, your body senses the loss and begins to resorb the jawbone to use those minerals elsewhere in your body. If you then attempt to restore your teeth with dental implants, the loss of bone is an issue because you need the bone to support the implants. In that situation, a solution is to do a bone graft. Dr. Steinberg, with his surgical expertise, can do this for you. Bone grafts, however, add complexity to the procedure as well as several additional months, since the bone grafts have to completely heal before any implants can be placed.
There is another option, and that is All-on-4 dental implants. This is a technique developed by a Portuguese dentist, Dr. Palo Malo, for situations in which there is a loss of bone. This technique uses four implants. Two of them are placed toward the front of the mouth. Two more are placed a little further back, and those two are angled as shown in the drawing above. The angulation increases their resistance to movement.
Usually, All-on-4 implants are combined with a technique that securely attaches a provisional denture to the implants on the day of surgery, so that the patient can go home from the surgical appointment with functional teeth. Since you get the new denture the same day the implants are placed, this is called the Teeth-in-a-Day® procedure.
What to Expect with the All-on-4 Dental Implants Procedure
The All-on-4 implants procedure requires careful diagnosis and planning. A three-dimensional x-ray is required to pinpoint the locations of nerves and blood vessels to make sure that the placement of the implants doesn’t impinge on these. Dr. Steinberg also needs a three-dimensional picture of the contour of your jawbone so that the implants don’t perforate through the bone. The precise placement of the implants is planned before your appointment.
If you wish to have sedation for your surgery, that can be provided. To read more about Dr. Steinberg’s sedation options, please see our sedation dentistry page.
A provisional denture that replaces all of your teeth in the arch is then attached to the four implants with screws and you will go home with those teeth. There will then be a healing period of three months or so, during which time your jawbone will fuse to the titanium implants—a process called osseointegration. When osseointegration is complete, you will return to the office for the placement of the final denture.
These photos of Dr. Steinberg’s work show what All-on-4 implant dentures can do for your appearance and your confidence:
Oral Health Benefits of Implants
Many patients who lose their original teeth opt for a removable denture. As a prosthodontist, Dr. Steinberg has received specialized training in placing implant dentures as well as creating secure, comfortable removable dentures.
While removable dentures work well for many people, implants have some distinct advantages. For example:
- Even the best-fitting, most well-made removable denture will never be as secure as the simplest implant denture. Implant dentures never slip when you speak or come loose when you eat.
- When you lose all your teeth, your jawbone starts to deteriorate. Some patients lose so much jawbone over time that they can’t wear a removable denture at all—a condition called facial collapse. The presence of implants stops this bone loss.
- Implant dentures completely restore your chewing power. Even the very best removable dentures will offer about half of your original chewing power, meaning you may have to confine yourself to softer foods. Over time, that efficiency will deteriorate further.
- Removable dentures put pressure on your gum tissue, which can cause sores. However, the entire weight of an implant denture is supported by its titanium roots.
If you’d like to learn more about All-on-4 implant dentures, please call our office at (520)-886-3030. We’ll be happy to schedule you for a brief complimentary consultation with Dr. Steinberg. You can also fill out our appointment request form, and we will call you.
Click here to see Barbara’s video testimonial about receiving All-on-4 dental implants from Dr. Steinberg.