There are several terms used to describe the procedure whereby your implants can be fitted all at once, in one day. The main ones are ‘All-on-4, ‘Teeth-in-a-day’ and ‘Smile-in-a-day; they all mean the same thing: the fitting of a whole set of replacement teeth, with just four implants required, in one day.
Dental implants are a well established solution for missing teeth. The procedure involves having a socket placed into the gum, into which a crown can be placed. This crown can then support a bridge of other replacement teeth.
All-on-4 can give patients a whole new set of teeth using only four implants by placing two of the four implants at such an angle that the bridge is supported by the implants at the front of the mouth, where the jaw bone is denser and stronger.
Once your dentist has checked that your mouth is suitable for the procedure, he or she will take a CT scan to check that your bone is of adequate quality for the implants. If you have teeth which are badly decayed, broken or about to be lost, these will be removed first.
To place the four implants, after sedation or comprehensive numbing your dentist will make small incisions into your gum. The jaw bone will be drilled to create small hollows in which the implants are placed. Then the implants will be placed into the jaw bone and the incision stitched up. In time, the implants will fuse with your jaw bone in a process called osseointegration and this will give your replacement teeth the maximum stability.
Two of the implants will be placed at the front of the mouth, taking advantage of the dense jaw bone that exists there while the two implants at the back of the mouth are fitted at forty-five degree angles to allow maximum stability and take full advantage of the stronger bone towards the front. Crowns which support an arch of replacement teeth (known as a dental bridge) can then be attached to the socket of the implants.
With All-on-4 permanent bridges can be fixed on the same day and patients can leave the dental surgery with a full set of replacement teeth intact and ready for use.
Like all surgical procedures, All-on-4 can leave patients with some discomfort while eating or drinking or might be a dull, background pain. Pain relief such as paracetamol or ibuprofen will usually deal with these effectively.
Although your mouth might be sensitive after All-on-4 being, your replacement teeth will allow you eat and drink normally and you will have a new set of teeth that are tough enough to cope with all foods without any sensitivity.