All-on-4® treatment concept FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
Our patients ask lots of questions and Dr. Omar Abdo is happy to share the knowledge. Below are some questions we here more often than others.
Q. I’ve read that patients with all their teeth missing need 6 – 8 or more implants per jaw. Why do you recommend only 4 per jaw?
A. This is a big one. The research and scientific documented studies and clinical success with the All-on-4® treatment concept procedure allow for the back two implants to be angled slightly, giving as much support as multiple implant placements. An implant-supported bridge sits comfortably on these four specifically placed implants and is just as effective as sitting on many more implants using a non-All-on-4® treatment concept technique. Sometimes we do see the need for 5 or 6 implants instead of 4. The results are less cost, less chair time, less healing, and a faster smile.
In addition, most dental clinicians do not have experience in the All-on-4® treatment concept protocol and continue to use as many implants per jaw as the bone will allow, adding to the cost factor, trauma factor and treatment time.
Q. Is the All-on-4® treatment concept Procedure new or experimental?
A. The All-on-4® treatment concept procedure has been successfully performed in Europe for over 15 years and here in the U.S. for about 4 years. Approximately 10 years ago the world’s leading dental implant manufacturer, Nobel Biocare, joined implant specialists and researchers in Europe to study computer simulation and bio-mechanics to create the optimal use of implants for the edentulous patient (most or all of their natural teeth missing). It seems new, because more and more patients are asking for this procedure by name, often after hearing rave reviews from someone they know or love and trust.
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Q. How long does it take, I mean I’ve heard stories where people had to wait almost two years to have implant cases completed?
A. To answer “how long does it take”, let’s first examine how long it used to take using traditional implant procedures. The surgery would normally involve 6 – 8 implants per arch, bone grafting and perhaps a sinus lift would be recommended. Several visits to the surgeon, restorative dentist, CT Scan facility, and off site dental labs would add to the time table. This could easily translate into the patient being without teeth, or with a temporary denture for 1 – 2 years.
Now, with the All-on-4® treatment concept procedure (which for the most part eliminates bone grafts and other ancillary procedures): after the initial examinations, any extractions, implant placement, the making of the new temporary implant-supported bridge, and adjustments take one day, and happen in one facility. In one day you will be walking out with a new smile and renewed quality of life.
After sufficient healing of the bone (4 – 6 months), your final and permanent tooth supported bridge will be prepared and attached to your implants giving you a lifetime of smiles.
Q. How painful is the procedure?
A. Like all surgical procedures, there are varying degrees of discomfort. We will, however, give you exceptional care during your visit and the days following. Now, many implant patients comment on how surprised they were with the minimal discomfort they felt during the procedure, and most returned to work within days of the procedure, if not the next day. There will be some swelling, but for the most part nothing that cannot be controlled with ice and over the counter pain reliever for any discomfort.
In addition, unlike dentures and partial bridges, your new teeth rest on the implants and not on the gum tissue, therefore avoiding any associated tenderness from the surgical area.
Q. How does an All-on-4® treatment concept option differ from dentures?
A. A denture is a removable device that is controlled by the patient and needs to be removed for cleaning and maintenance. It sits on the gum line, or is supported by “prepared natural teeth”, normally natural teeth that can no longer function as nature intended. In the case of a partial denture, it is attached using metal hooks to adjacent teeth – further leading to failure as it grinds against natural dentition and the gum line. Patients who are missing most or all of their natural teeth and are wearing dentures know the pain and discomfort brought on by these appliances, and most seek alternative treatment. In addition, dentures do not replace the tooth root, which in turn will cause the jaw bone to melt away due to lack of stimulation, causing even more pain and embarrassment for denture wearers.
Now there are viable options to help restore your smile. And one cost effective, proven option is the All-on-4® treatment concept procedure. The All-on-4® treatment concept provides for new teeth that are affixed to 4 implants per jaw, and look, feel and function like naturally healthy teeth. In fact, dental implants are the closest thing we have to natural teeth. And the implants stimulate bone growth, just like your natural tooth roots helping to eliminate that sunken facial collapse which is so prevalent with denture wearers.
Q. How strong will my new teeth be, and will I be able to eat more easily than I can with dentures?”
A. You will be able to eat just about anything without worrying about slippage or your teeth falling out. The bite force with implants is far greater than with dentures. Your bite force with dental implants is about 250 pounds per square inch, where as with dentures, it’s about 6. Your new implant-supported bridge can be cleaned like natural teeth while in your mouth by brushing and flossing. Only your clinician can remove the prosthesis for periodical maintenance, if necessary. You now have a permanent solution to dentures and/or partials and a lifelong guarantee of worry free success.
Q. Will my new implant-supported bridge be comfortable, or will it irritate my gum tissue like my existing partials (bottom) and dentures (upper)?
A. There is no irritation with implant-supported bridges. The new teeth are supported by the implants and not the gum, allowing freedom from the distress dentures caused, and the unsightly metal from partial denture wearers. Also, because there won’t be any devices covering your palate, you will be able to enjoy the taste of all the foods you’ve been missing, and you won’t need any dental adhesives to hold your new teeth in place. No more slipping, no more sliding, no more bad breath, no more worrying about your teeth falling out, no more mashing up your food, or even covering your mouth when you speak. Just smiles, from here on.
Q. Are any General Dentists recommending the All-on-4® treatment concept Procedure?
A. We currently have many general dentists that have referred their patients to us for their implant procedures including single tooth, multiple teeth, and especially patients missing all their teeth. They have seen the results we have achieved for other patients and believe in the benefits of the All-on-4® treatment concept. They also realize that a specially designed dental facility is necessary to efficiently provide the best possible environment to perform these procedures. Our office has all of the necessary components in one place. We even provide facilities for your family and friends to wait in comfort.
Q. Why don’t all dentists recommend the All-on-4® treatment concept for people with missing and compromised teeth?
A. Most dental implant specialists (oral surgeons and periodontists) lack the experience and the facilities, including an in-house All-on-4® treatment concept-trained dentist, dedicated dental implant lab, or the high end technological advances needed to perform the All-on-4® treatment concept in one facility in one day. In addition, the office of Dr. Omar Abdo has a complete team of surgical and restorative assistants, implant coordinators and a customer service team ready to help your experiences with us be as comfortable and rewarding as possible.
Q. Can I bite into an apple again?
A. Yes! Crunch and chew away much like you did before your natural teeth failed you!!