The continual advancements in dental implant technology have made them a fantastic alternative to the daunting prospect of having to lose teeth. Losing teeth presents all sorts of challenges. On an aesthetic level, a missing tooth can really affect how your smile looks.
On a functional level, a missing tooth places increased pressure on remaining teeth, affecting overall dental health and possibly causing serious issues in the jaw. A missing tooth can also have a devastating impact on oral hygiene, as empty sockets are breeding grounds for harmful bacteria, as are neighbouring teeth that tend to tilt over when teeth are not replaced, make it difficult to keep the area clean.
When it comes to replacing a single missing tooth the traditional dental implant is your best option. When it comes to replacing multiple missing teeth you have a couple of options, including two types of dental implant treatments – Normal and All on 4.
So, what is the difference between a normal and an All on 4 implant?
A traditional dental implant is the most natural form of tooth replacement therapy. It mimics a natural tooth by having two parts. The first part is a titanium post, which looks like a screw. Over time this post fuses with the jawbone and works in the same way that the root of a tooth does. The second part is a crown, which is made of porcelain and designed to look exactly the same as your surrounding teeth.
A traditional dental implant procedure typically takes four appointments:
- The first visit involves diagnosing the problem and planning the treatment. This first step is the most important because traditional dental implants are only suitable for those that have good jawbone density and haven’t suffered any serious periodontal disease.
- The second appointment will be centred on inserting the titanium post into the jawbone.
- After the post has been given time to fuse with the jawbone a third and fourth appointment will be scheduled to place the crown on top of the post. After this you will have a completely natural looking tooth that will give you all the functionality that your natural tooth did.
All on 4 Dental Implants
All on 4 dental implants work in the same way that traditional dental implants do except they are designed to cover a number of missing teeth. While a traditional implants can be used for multiple teeth they require a lot of bone density and disease and age can often rob us of this density.
All on 4 implants are perfect in this situation, as they only require four titanium posts to give someone an entire jaw of new teeth. All on 4 implants are perfect for people who have lost or about to lose a number of teeth. They are particularly useful for elderly patients, patients who have suffered extensive dental trauma or patients who are suffering from extensive gum disease or unsatisfactory dentures.
All on 4 dental implant treatments follow the same course as dental implant options, typically taking three appointments for the procedure to be completed. This form of treatment offers functional and aesthetic benefits as compared to dentures and bridges. Patients who receive All on 4 implants report a return to full functionality and the ability to enjoy all of the foods they once did, with the procedure often being completed within two or three days.
Normal and All on 4 implants rely on the same technology and ability to replicate the way a tooth is naturally fused with the jawbone. The key difference between the two technologies is that they are suitable for different problems.
In the case of a singular missing tooth for a patient with good bone density and gum health a normal implant is the best option. For a patient with a number of missing teeth, poor gum health or unsatisfactory dentures, the All on 4 implant is a far better option.
Replacing missing teeth is up there with the most important work a dentist can perform. No one should have to deal with a missing tooth when there are such effective implant options out there. Replacing missing teeth really is about so much more than filling in a gap.
It’s about restoring confidence to interact socially, to smile in photos and to feel your best when you leave the house. It’s about enjoying a good steak, crunching down on some perfectly cooked crackling and snacking on potato chips and most importantly it’s about giving your mouth the structural integrity it needs to ensure you enjoy oral health for as long as possible.
So, whether it’s a normal or an All on 4 implant procedure don’t delay any longer. Take advantage of the technology available and get your mouth back to full health.