All-on-Four as a total arch solution
A popular trend that Seattle implant dentist Dr Lance Timmerman in Tukwila is seeing is patients asking for “All-on-Four” hybrid dentures to replace their loose or uncomfortable dentures.
Many people, after years of wearing dentures, become tired of the roof of the mouth being covered or the nervousness associated with the fear that their dentures may fall out while speaking or eating. Most dentures are made of acrylic and wear out over time, and bone that supports dentures will shrink when put under the pressure that dentures create. But as people FINALLY seek an implant solution, they often find that the remaining bone is not ideal. In order to place their implants they will need augmentative treatment, they will need bone grafts.
Bone grafts allow ideal dental implant placement
Ideally, dental implants are placed perpendicular, or at right angles, to the forces exerted during chewing or biting, and in adequate numbers to share the load exerted from these biting forces.
Dental implants should also be an adequate length to handle these forces as well. Long, straight, and several implants are the standard, but what if the sinus cavity is in the location that the implant should be or not much bone exists above the nerve to the lower jaw?
Normally, a sinus lift procedure can be done (lateral or crestal), blocks of bone can be secured over the lower posterior jaw, or the nerve to the lower jaw can be re-positioned. These surgeries are very successful, but can be costly and time consuming.
All-on-Four treatment avoids bone grafts
Some bone grafting may be needed at the time the implants are inserted, but sinus lifts and lower nerve management is avoided.
While usually 2 of the 4 implants in an All-on-Four are angled, by joining the restoration to the other implants (cross arch stabilization) these implants handle the job very well. By themselves the implants would likely not survive, but as part of the All-on-Four they work.
—Dr. Lance Timmerman