All on 4 dental implants were developed by Portuguese dentist Dr. Paulo Maló. 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 Pros and Cons of All on 4 Dental Implants
The All on 4 technique allows patients who would not otherwise be candidates for dental implants to experience their benefits. It is much more affordable and requires much less healing time than bone grafting, and like all implant-supported dentures, it prevents facial collapse and further bone loss in the area of the four implants. And finally, it makes for better chewing efficiency, easier enunciation of speech, and no more embarrassing slips.
There are some risks associated with the All on 4 technique because it is recommended for people who have less than optimum bone density. There must be enough jawbone structure left to support the implants. In addition, the screws used for this method are shorter and smaller than those used for regular implants.
It is therefore very important to have All on 4 dental implants placed by a dentist who has the requisite training and experience. Dr. Murphree can help you find the right treatment solution for your particular situation.
If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call our office or visit our request an appointment page online. We can also schedule you for a brief complimentary consultation if you would like to meet our doctors before you commit to a full exam.