Traditionally dentures were the only solution for patients missing most or all of their upper or lower teeth. Many people find the fit and feel of dentures uncomfortable, and they can be challenging to clean and care for. Dentures can also alter the way people speak, laugh, or change the food they eat.
The issue with dentures is that they move due to changes in the jaw structure from bone resorption. All-on-4 dental implants have revolutionised entire upper or lower teeth replacement. Instead of replacing each tooth with a dental implant individually, which is expensive and time-consuming, four implants are placed on the upper or lower jaw and attached to a permanent arch of prosthetic teeth.
This solution is comfortable and has a realistic appearance, but many patients wonder what do all-on-4 implants feel like? All-on-4 dental implants may initially feel strange to some patients, but as you get used to the implant, they start to feel normal, and the positive effects can be incredibly beneficial.
What Do All-on-4 Implants Feel Like?
Patients who are used to the feeling of missing teeth or patients who have used dental bridges or dentures before will find the feeling of all-on-4 dental implants different. They will feel different from your original teeth too.
All-on-4 dental implants are attached to your mouth via metal screws drilled into your jaw. Your natural teeth are not attached to your jaw; the root is connected to the periodontal ligament, which sits next to the jawbone. A dental implant cannot hold on to this ligament-like natural tissue, so they are securely attached to the bone itself. This makes your new implants more secure, without the wiggle some people might feel with natural teeth.
The dental prosthetics may also feel slightly different. If you are used to dentures, you might be familiar with how they fit in your mouth, but the arch of teeth permanently attached to your dental implants will be different.
These teeth sit more securely in your mouth and reduce the strain on your gums and jawbone, as the bite force will be more evenly distributed. There should be no pressure points or rubbing, and the fit of the arch of teeth should be comfortable and snug.
The arch of teeth also takes up less room in your mouth than a standard set of dentures. Most dentures cover part of the roof of the mouth using suction to stay secure, a feeling many patients dislike even after years of use. All-on-4 dental implants are secured to your mouth, so there is no need for this extra coverage; the arch of teeth only covers your gums.
Finally, your all-on-4 dental implants will feel different because they are not real teeth. Your real teeth have feelings and nerve endings. These teeth will not. For people used to natural teeth, this can be a bit disconcerting, but patients quickly get used to the feeling, often welcoming it if their original teeth were highly sensitive or painful.
How All-on-4 Implants Feel During and After Surgery?
Answering the question, what do all-on-4 implants feel like will come down to each individual patient. Everyone’s implants will feel different, but there are several common sensations that most patients experience.
- Dental implant surgery is minimally invasive and performed under local anaesthetic to reduce discomfort. Any post-surgical discomfort or swelling is manageable with OTC medications and ice packs.
- The first few days with the new dental implants and prosthetics might feel strange or weird, but this is normal, and patients get used to the feeling of their new prosthetic teeth quickly.
- After surgery, patients are often given a temporary arch of teeth after the dental implants are placed. This might feel a little out of place or off; this is normal, and any fit issues should be resolved with the final set of prosthetic teeth.
- The final arch of teeth feels natural, with most patients forgetting they are even there.
- There is no sensation in the prosthetic teeth, which for patients with previous hot or cold sensitivity in their teeth might be different.
- The arch of teeth is secure and does not move, giving most patients the confidence to foods they previously couldn’t with dentures like apples, raw vegetables, or popcorn.
How Do Different Prosthetic Materials Feel?
The arch of prosthetic teeth and the implants can be made out of different materials. The two primary materials used in dental implant procedures for the posts in the jaw and support for the arch of teeth are titanium and zirconium.
These materials are long-lasting, medically safe, and durable, but titanium is slightly lighter. Many patients are concerned that using heavier zirconium for dental implants will make opening and closing their mouths more difficult.
This is not the case. Patients report that both materials feel lightweight, and there is no issue with opening, closing, chewing, or talking.
The arch of teeth can be constructed from different polymers and materials, including using the latest 3D printing technology. Arches made of different materials should feel the same in the mouth, even if they feel a little heavier when picked up with your hands.
The jaw is an extremely strong part of the body, and patients will not feel a slight weight difference between arches or implants.
Post-Surgery Recovery and Aftercare
After your surgery is complete, you can take a few steps to help care for your new implants and get used to the feeling of your prosthetic arch.
Immediately following your surgery, your dentist will give you aftercare instructions on caring for the dental implant site. This may include what foods to enjoy or avoid and how to irrigate the site to prevent bacterial buildup.
You’ll also schedule a follow-up appointment around two weeks after surgery. This allows your dentist to examine the dental implant site to ensure that it is healing properly and doesn’t show signs of infection like peri-implantitis.
After a few months, your dental implants should be fully healed and your final prosthetic arch installed. At this time, you should be able to eat, chew, and talk normally. You can enjoy whatever foods you want, even if they are hard or chewy.
Just because your prosthetics aren’t real teeth doesn’t mean you shouldn’t brush and floss daily. Your gums are still susceptible to periodontal disease, and your mouth tissue can be damaged by the build-up of plaque or food particles. You should maintain good daily oral hygiene habits and treat your prosthetic teeth like real ones.
For patients used to traditional dentures, it is essential to remember that your prosthetic arch is permanent and not removable. You do not need to take your arch out every night. You also cannot remove the arch to clean it. Maintaining good oral cleaning habits is crucial.
A Comfortable, Affordable Fit for Patients
An All-on-4 dental implant procedure is a good option for patients requiring an entire upper or lower teeth arch. It is faster, less expensive, and less invasive than replacing all the teeth with full implants, yet it offers excellent results in terms of comfort, wearability, usability, and appearance.
Though many patients worry about what do all-on-4 implants feel like, almost all previous patients report that the prosthetic is comfortable and restores their mouth to full use and comfort. Speak to your dentist on (07) 4801 7035 today to learn more.
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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