A smile can be so contagious that when anyone sees it, they instantly smile as well. Chances are you are reading this blog because you have lost confidence in your ‘killer smile’, and in searching need of tooth replacement. I assume that your research has led you to consider All-on-4 / One Day SmileTM dental implants.
If you are not familiar with dental implants, the name ‘All-on-4’ might sound mysterious, but it refers to replacing the entire arch of teeth with just four dental implants. Before shopping around for the best deal to take advantage of this revolutionary treatment, you need to be sure it is what you are looking for and also conduct thorough research.
Here is a list of the typical mistakes you ought to avoid with All-on-4 dental implants.
1.Know your options.
The first step before considering an expensive and complicated surgery is to thoroughly understand your options. Sit down with an experienced dentist who has the ability to provide as many treatment options as possible. You will want to ask if you are a candidate for:
- Saving your teeth. Always a good option if possible.
- Single implants to replace missing teeth. You may not need an entire new arch of teeth and implants function very well as a single tooth replacement.
- Partial denture. Removable partial dentures have long been an alternative to replacing multiple missing teeth if you have some reliable well anchored teeth to attach the partial denture to.
- Full dentures. While I am not a fan of full dentures they should be discussed as an alternative.
Knowing your options will make you more comfortable with your final decision. After all, it is your mouth and your decision will affect your standard of living for many years to come.
Ask the right questions.
The biggest mistake a All on 4 / One Day SmileTM potential patient can make is being uninformed. Here are a list of questions you should ask your All on 4 / One Day SmileTM dental provider:
- Am I a candidate for IV sedation? This is a difficult surgery made easier with IV sedation. Make sure you are medically safe candidate.
- Do I have enough jawbone? There needs to be adequate height and width of bone to reliably place implants. A cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scan will be critical in determining the quantity of bone.
- Do I have good quality jawbone? Some bone is denser than others. Dense (D1) bone is preferable when placing implants. Heavy smokers often have poor bone quality. Again a CBCT can be helpful in determining bone quality.
- What if I dont have the right amount of jawbone? There are ways around inadequate poor quality bone. Grafts, sinus lifts and Zygomatic implants may be options for you. Make sure your provider is well versed in these options.
- How many implants is right for me? On the lower jaw 4 is usually a good number. However on the upper jaw more is better. If there is sufficient jawbone 5,6 or more is better than 4. At our office we place as many as possible for no extra charge.
The All-on-4 is a complicated dental surgical procedure. As with many things, there is a distinct difference in being able to perform the procedure and being able to do it well. You will find many dentists who fit in the former category and perhaps not so many in the latter.
Many dental practices are offering All-on-4 dental implants. The reason being is that it is becoming very marketable, as new dentists looking to kick off a career are getting trained in the process early on. On the other hand, experienced dentists with little experience in oral surgeries are also attempting to get in on the practice.
I would suggest asking to see some before and after photos of the providers completed patients, not stock photos or photos pulled off the internet. Any experienced practitioner will be happy to share those with you. Also, a patient testimonial would be a good way to verify you are working with a capable provider.
Choose the right materials.
There are many material options available to your dental provider for both the implants and the prosthetic (the set of teeth) itself. Here are some things to consider:
There are hundreds of implant systems available, most of which work well. The important thing to consider is the availability of parts in the future. You want to go with a name brand implant system that will be around for years to come so you are not scrambling to find a replacement item if needed.
The prosthetic set of teeth can be made out of different materials. You will want to have a conversation with your provider about the pros and cons of these materials, as it will greatly affect the long term outcome. See my blog about All-on-Four dental materials.
Dr. Matt DeVaney is a certified and experienced IV sedation dentist and is highly trained in dental surgery including All-on-4 / One Day SmileTM. Our highly skilled dentist staff in Greensboro will help you make an informed decision about your dental care.