What Happens During an All-On-4 Procedure?

Older man happy with his implant denturesAll-On-4 dental implant supported dentures represent the very best of several specialized dental fields. State-of-the-art 3D imaging and planning equipment combines with innovative materials and a dynamic approach to placing the implant posts to create a procedure that can help edentate (completely toothless) patients receive a functional, beautiful set of replacement teeth in a single appointment. Learning more about what to expect from the procedure will help you decide whether this treatment option is right for you. Today, we’re going to walk you through the main points of the procedure, from design the dentures to day-of sedation to follow up appointments.

Consultation and Treatment Planning

Before proceeding with treatment, your periodontist or oral surgeon will determine whether you qualify for All-On-4.  Good candidates are usually non-smokers in good general health. Once you qualify for the procedure, the planning phase can begin. This phase usually includes taking impressions and 3D scans of your jaw, dental ridges, and gums to serve as guides for where the implants will be placed and how your implant dentures will fit. At this stage of the planning process, your input regarding what you want your new smile to look like – from the shape and shading of the teeth to how prominent you’d prefer them – plays a vital role in the design and crafting of the dentures.

Day of the Procedure

Although your All-On-4 appointment will be a nuanced experience influenced by highly personalized factors, most procedures follow a similar series of steps:

  1. Arrive at the office in the morning, accompanied by a family member who can escort you home at the end of the day.
  2. Sign the necessary paperwork and settle into the treatment chair.
  3. Your periodontist or an anesthesiologist will administer IV sedation, which will take effect in a few minutes.
  4. Your periodontist will place the implant posts and abutments. This surgical portion of the procedure usually takes about two hours.
  5. Next, your periodontist will insert the fixed provisional, a temporary implant denture that will remain in place until the implant posts fully heal. The provisional dentures are designed to your specifications and are not a one-size-fits-all temporary.
  6. He will check the provisional denture’s fit and, if necessary, make any needed adjustments. If you have TMJ or grind your teeth at night, he will also take impressions to create a protective nightguard mouthpiece.
  7. Finally, you will have the chance to look at your new smile in the mirror.

After the Procedure

The evening after your procedure, you will still feel the effects of the IV sedation. Plan to relax around the house and, if you feel hungry later, enjoy soft, mild foods like broth-based soup, smoothies, or frozen yogurt. At the two week point, you will return to your periodontist’s office, where he will check the implants for proper healing and talk to you about any issues you’re having with fit or function. You will come back to the office in 3-4 months, once the implants have fully healed. At this appointment, you will receive your permanent implant dentures.

About Dr. Marco Cueva

Marco Cueva, DDS, MS is a board-certified periodontist with extensive training and experience providing a variety of sleep apnea treatment options, including oral appliances and surgical solutions. New patients can schedule an appointment with Periodontic Excellence at our Allen, TX dental office by calling 972-390-9944.

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