Tooth loss is quite common among adults. In fact, more than 35 million American adults are missing at least one tooth. Missing teeth can result in a variety of oral and overall health issues. The good news is, there are several options for tooth restoration.
For patients who are missing one tooth, we recommend a single-tooth implant. For patients who are missing most or all of their teeth, we recommend All-on-4 dental implants, dentures, or bridges.
One of the most common treatments at Dental Arts of Florida in Jacksonville is All-on-4 dental implants. This involves the placement of 4 dental implants to support a full arch of teeth. It is appropriate for both the top and bottom arches. However, there are a few things that you should consider when deciding if this is the best option for you.
Dr. Fred Tepedino and the team at Dental Arts of Florida understand that the decision to replace your missing teeth is a big one. There are 5 All on 4 dental implants factor that you'll want to consider when creating your treatment plan.
One of the biggest concerns our patients have is speech issues. What may be a minor flaw for most people is a major concern for All-on-4 patients. This tooth restoration option requires vertical and horizontal bulk for strength, which often requires bone grafting and soft tissue build-up. This means that the restoration is bulkier than the original bone/soft tissue that it replaced, causing patients to struggle with sounds like "D", "N", "S", and "T".
However, while this seems to be a trigger point for most patients, it is important to note that it is possible to retrain the tongue over time.
In addition to the prosthesis impacting speech, another concern that patients have is adapting to the bulk of the restoration. Patients are used to feeling their natural soft tissue touching their teeth. However, with All-on-4, the natural soft tissue touches the artificial soft tissue of the bridge which then touches the teeth. Some patients adjust to this change while others have difficulty with it. Unfortunately, they don't realize it's a problem until the surgery has already been done and there's no way to reverse it.
This concern is often overlooked, but it is very important. You have receptors in the periodontal ligament that prevent excessive force when biting down. However, dental implants do not have this ligament, which means it takes more force to register awareness of contact. This results in patients biting down too hard and fracturing their restoration- especially when this restoration is used for both arches.
If there are at least a few natural teeth left, this isn't as big of an issue because the ligaments provide signals to stop you from biting down too hard.
Habits such as irregular chewing cycles, bruxism, and clenching need to be considered when creating a dental treatment plan. As mentioned above, natural teeth detect forces better than implants. Therefore, if possible, you may want to save some natural teeth to help modify these behaviors
If patients with these habits must have all of their teeth replaced, options such as a bar-supported overdenture may be a better option. This is a modified version of the All-on-4 dental implants treatment. It is highly recommended for patients who have severe bruxism. Patients can remove the overdenture at night and replace it with a flat-planed nightguard. This will protect the prosthesis and reduce strain on the implants and jawbone.
For patients who are missing all their teeth, All-on-4 dental implants factor is a fairly viable option. However, for patients who still have some of their natural teeth, it may not be. If the natural teeth that are present are mostly intact and don't need much- if any- work, its important to try to save them if possible. The risk of implant failure due to decay or periodontal disease is much lower than the risk of damaging the prosthesis or implant/bone due to aggressive parafunction.
For many years, the only options for replacing missing teeth were dentures or bridges, which didn't always last very long. They were constantly in need of adjustment and/or replacement due to bone loss or wear and tear on the prosthesis.
Dental implants have become the gold standard for tooth restoration because they look, feel, and function more like natural teeth than other options. All-on-4 dental implants factor is a restoration option that uses 4 dental implants to support a full arch of teeth. It is an appropriate option for both the top and bottom arches.
However, while there are many advantages of this tooth restoration solution, there are also a few things that you will want to consider when thinking about your options.
For Dr. Tepedino, dentistry is a family tradition. He comes from a family of more than 20 dentists over 4 generations. He and the team at Dental Arts of Florida in Jacksonville are here to help you understand your options. He received his Doctorate in Dental Medicine from the University of Nova Scotia and then moved into private practice to focus on cosmetic dentistry and implant restorations. He took over Dental Arts of Florida in 2011.
If you are missing teeth and want to know more about your options for tooth restoration, contact us today to schedule your consultation. We are located at 7645 Gate Parkway Suite 103 in Jacksonville. Our office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. On Wednesday, we are open by appointment only. We look forward to meeting with you and helping you decide which tooth restoration option is right for you.
All-on-4 dental implants are a modern solution for those with multiple missing teeth. Instead of individual implants for each missing tooth, All-on-4 uses just four strategically placed implants to support an entire arch of replacement teeth. This method offers several benefits over traditional dentures or bridges, such as improved stability and a more natural appearance. With proper care and maintenance, All-on-4 dental implants can last a lifetime, providing a durable and long-lasting solution for those seeking to restore their smile. If you're considering tooth restoration, it may be worth exploring the All-on-4 option to see if it's right for you.
The All-on-4 dental implant procedure typically requires multiple appointments, spread out over several months. The initial consultation and planning stage can take several weeks, followed by placement of the implants and several months of healing. During this time, the implants will fuse with the jawbone. After the implants have fully integrated, the replacement teeth will be attached to the implants. On average, the entire All-on-4 dental implants factor process can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months. The exact timeline will depend on individual circumstances, such as the health of the jawbone and the number of missing teeth. Your dentist can provide a more accurate estimate of the timeline for your specific case.