Dental implants are a popular choice for people missing one or more teeth. They offer numerous advantages over types of tooth replacements like dentures and bridges.
Dental implants are permanent dental restoration. They look and function like natural teeth, and they don’t require any special care so that you can enjoy all your favourite foods and brush and floss as normal.
If you’re considering getting a full arch of dental implants, you may wonder about the All on 4 dental implants recovery time. This dental implant procedure involves placing four implants in the jawbone, which are then used to support an entire arch of replacement teeth.
The All on 4 Dental Implant Procedure
The All on 4 dental implant procedure begins with a thorough evaluation by your dentist to determine if dental implants are the best option for you. To determine if you are a candidate, your dentist will examine your teeth, gums and jawbone using 3D imaging or a CT scan, among other screening and imaging tools.
If you are a candidate, the next step is for your dentist to modify your jawbone and create room for the implants to fit into the jaw. This is done using an osteotomy technique, which ensures that the implants will be inserted at an angle that will allow for effective high insertion torque.
Once the dental implants have been placed, your dentist will take digital scans of your jaw and implants to create 3D models. These models will be used to create a full arch bridge that is inserted into your mouth on the same day. Sometimes, the bridge may not be placed until three to five days after implant placement.
Benefits of All on 4 Dental Implants
All on 4 dental implants offer several benefits over standard full arch implant restorations. Some of the advantages you can expect from All on 4 implants include:
Faster treatment time
Conventional dental implants are performed over several stages and can take six to nine months to complete. A single implant takes approximately an hour to place. Traditional full arch restoration typically uses six to eight implants to support the bridge, so receiving multiple implants may need to be done over several sessions.
The All on 4 dental implant procedure can be completed within two to three hours, and in some cases, the bridge can be immediately loaded.
Suitable for patients with low jawbone density
For single implants, you must have sufficiently dense jawbone tissue to support the implant post. If your jawbone has deteriorated, you may be prescribed a bone graft to build up the tissue. Depending on the level of jawbone deterioration, the bone graft recovery process can take six to nine months before the implant can be placed.
Because the weight and bite force of the All on 4 bridge is distributed across the entire jaw, and the implant posts are inserted at an angle, the All on 4 dental implant procedure is suitable for patients with poor jawbone quality without the need for bone grafting.
Enhance your quality of life
Poor dentition is closely correlated with malnutrition. It can be challenging for people with multiple missing teeth to get adequate nutrients from their food as they cannot chew properly.
Unlike dentures and fixed bridges, All on 4 dental implants function like your natural teeth. This means you can eat and speak normally once the implants have fully fused with your jawbone, dramatically improving your quality of life.
Improve your appearance
All on 4 dental implants are custom-made to match your remaining dental arch and fit proportionally within your mouth.
This gives you a natural, even-looking smile.
The bridge component of the All on 4 system is typically made from hybrid metal acrylate, metal composite, metal ceramic and zirconia.
Zirconia has a similar translucent lustre to your natural teeth, and the composite resin used to create the plate is dyed to match your gum tissue.
All on 4 Dental Implants Recovery Time
The All on 4 dental implant recovery time is significantly less than the standard implant recovery time. A 2021 study found that the average All on 4 dental implant recovery time was just four days.
This shorter All on 4 dental implants recovery time is because the implants are placed in the jawbone using a minimally invasive technique. This means less trauma to the surrounding tissue, which leads to a shorter recovery process.
All on 4 Dental Implants Recovery Process
Once your All on 4 dental implants have been placed, you may also experience some swelling and bruising, which is normal and will resolve on its own within a week or two.
Apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel intermittently to either side of your face for 15 minutes at a time. This can help reduce the swelling and numb the area.
You can also take over-the-counter pain medication if you feel any discomfort. However, avoid taking aspirin as this can increase the risk of bleeding.
You will also need to avoid drinking alcohol for the first few days after your All on 4 dental implants have been placed. This is because alcohol can thin your blood and increase the risk of bleeding and bruising.
If you aren’t having your bridge immediately loaded, your dentist will have sutured the implant sites closed with dissolvable stitches. These will slowly disintegrate over a week or two; you do not need an additional consultation to have them removed.
Potential Complications Following an All on 4 Dental Implant Procedure
Studies have shown that All on 4 dental implants have a 94.8% success rate after 10 years. Despite the high survival rate, post-operative complications can occur.
Some potential risks during the recovery process include:
The most common cause of implant failure is poor osseointegration. While it is not always clear why the implants fail to fuse with the surrounding bone, several conditions can increase the risk of failure, including osteoporosis, diabetes, and cancers requiring head and neck radiation. The issue can typically be resolved with a replacement implant.
Infection is another cause of implant failure. This can occur if bacteria enter the implant site. This is why it’s so important to keep the area clean and avoid drinking alcohol or smoking after your All on 4 dental implants have been placed.
Gum disease and infection can occur if bacteria enter the gum tissue around the implant. This is why brushing and flossing carefully around the implants during the healing process is essential, and seeing your dentist for regular cleanings.
Nerve damage is another potential complication of All on 4 dental implants. This can occur if the nerves in the jaw are damaged during the placement of the implants. Nerve damage can cause numbness, tingling or pain in the lips, teeth, gums or chin.
Peri-implantitis is an inflammation of the tissue around the implant, and it can occur if bacteria enter the area. If peri-implantitis is left untreated, it can lead to bone loss and implant failure.
If you experience complications after your All on 4 dental implants have been placed, it’s important to see your dentist immediately. In most cases, these complications can be resolved with treatment.
How to Support the All on 4 Dental Implant Recovery Process?
Following dental implant placement, your body needs time to heal and fuse with the implants through osseointegration. Improper osseointegration can cause implant failure, and poor surgical aftercare can lead to complications like an infection, which can lengthen the All on 4 dental implant recovery time.
You can support the All on 4 healing process by:
Resting for several days
For three to four days after surgery, you should rest at home and avoid strenuous activity, like bending or lifting heavy objects. Rigorous activities can cause increased cranial pressure, which results in bleeding and swelling.
You should also rest with your head elevated on a pillow to allow for optimal post-surgical drainage and reduce inflammation.
Eating a soft food diet
You will need to eat a soft diet for a while after your All on 4 dental implants are placed. While All on 4 dental implants function like your natural teeth, it is crucial to avoid hard or crunchy foods that require bite forces that could put undue pressure on the bridge.
Overloading the implants during the osseointegration process can inhibit the development of calcified tissue needed to stabilise the bridge.
For the first 72 hours, eat a liquid diet of smoothies, meal replacement shakes, and lukewarm blended soups. This prevents tissue irritation and inflammation during the initial wound healing stage.
Then, eat a soft food diet of steamed fish, braised meat, mashed vegetables, and scrambled eggs for several weeks. You can return to your regular diet once the implants are stable and the initial healing process is complete.
Brushing and flossing twice daily
While the bridge and implant posts will not decay, the gum tissue and jawbone underneath can sustain damage without proper oral hygiene.
Immediately following surgery, you are also at a higher risk of infection.
Regular oral hygiene eliminates bacteria and reduces the risk of post-op complications.
It’s important to brush and floss twice daily after the All on 4 dental implants are placed.
You can use a Waterpik and mouthwash to ensure you clean under the bridge to avoid gum disease.
Visiting your dentist regularly
It’s crucial to book routine dental appointments following dental implant surgery. You’ll typically have a follow-up appointment around two weeks after the placement surgery. You should also schedule a second follow-up around six weeks later. This allows your dentist to monitor the healing process and identify potential complications before they worsen.
Following your surgery, you should visit your dentist twice yearly. In rare cases, complications can occur several years after the surgery. Visiting your dentist regularly allows them to monitor and repair any tissue damage and professionally clean your bridge and natural teeth to eliminate plaque and tartar, which can cause gum disease.
Restore the Look and Function of Your Smile at Casey Dental
The All on 4 dental implant procedure is an excellent restoration option for patients with failing or no teeth or those currently wearing removable dentures.
If you’re looking for All on 4 dental implants in Townsville, our experienced team can help you meet your oral health and smile goals. The procedure saves you time and money, and the All on 4 dental implant recovery time is significantly shorter than multiple single implants.
Contact Casey Dentists on (07) 4801 7035 today to book a dental implant consultation and begin your journey to a rejuvenated smile.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
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