Believe it or not, tooth loss is extremely common among adults, especially as we age. In fact, more than 35 million people in America are missing all of their upper and/or lower teeth. Rather than living with the discomfort and hassles of dentures, many people are opting for what is called “all-on-four” dental implant restoration.
All-on Four: One full arch of teeth
To fully understand this remarkable technique for replacing teeth, you should first understand what a dental implant is. An implant is a small titanium screw that fits inside your jawbone and replaces the root-part of a missing tooth. Minor surgery is required to insert the implants. Once the implant is in place, a crown is attached to give you a highly realistic-looking and functional prosthetic tooth.
Here’s where it gets really interesting: You do not need a dental implant for each and every one of your missing teeth. All you need is four precisely placed implants on the top of your mouth, and four on the bottom, to restore your full smile. That’s the beauty of the all-on-four. And because the implant is made of titanium, it has the unique ability to fuse to living bone and function as part of it. So eventually, the dental implant becomes part of the jawbone and serves as a strong, long-lasting foundation for your new teeth.
Besides ensuring that your implants are permanently fixed in place, this bone fusion has another important benefit: it prevents future bone loss in the jaw. This helps to maintain a more youthful facial structure—and better oral health. But perhaps the biggest surprise about the all-on-four is how quickly it can transform your life.