All on 4 dental implants were developed by Portuguese dentist Dr. Palo Malo. He wanted to find a way to provide implant-supported dentures to patients who had lost all their teeth and did not have enough bone structure left for regular dental implants. The usual method is to perform bone grafts to build up the jawbone. But bone grafting is both time-consuming and expensive.
How All on 4 Dental Implants Work
The All-on-4 method works around the need for bone grafting by placing smaller dental implants in the anterior of the mouth, where there is usually more bone left. Dr. Malo found that by angling the implants, he could support a denture arch with just four of them. The panographic x-ray here shows what the implants look like in the jawbone. The diagram below on the right shows how the denture arch is attached after the dental implants have healed.
The Risks of the All on 4 Method
The first risk factor is the fact that this method is recommended for people who have less bone density than normal. It is important to have enough jawbone structure left to support the implants. And unlike other treatments, with the All on 4 method, if even just one of the implants fails, it will cause the failure of the entire prosthesis.
There are other risks associated with the All on 4 method. The screws that are used for regular dental implant root forms are significantly larger and have threads that are much deeper than the screws used in the All on 4 method. The smaller screws thus have a greater chance of loosening in the jaw, causing the failure of the treatment.
If you need dental implants or implant-supported dentures, Drs. Murphree and Reed can tell you what your alternatives are and help you decide on the right solution. If you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation or a full exam, please call our office or visit our request an appointment page online.