Whether you're missing one or multiple teeth, dental implant treatment can help restore your smile. Dental implants can be paired with different dental restorations to replace one or more teeth. Patients missing one or two teeth may benefit from traditional dental implant treatment, while those missing a full arch may want to consider All-on-4® treatment. Learn more about the differences between traditional dental implants and All-on-4® treatment in this overview from Fort Worth, TX dentist Clark Damon.
Traditional Dental Implants
Traditional dental implants can be paired with dental crowns to replace individual teeth or implant-supported dental bridges to replace multiple teeth. Traditional dental implant treatment can take more than six months to complete, depending on the healing times of each patient and whether or not a bone graft was required. Bone grafts may be needed before dental implants can be placed. This is because the jawbone will recede where teeth are missing, especially if they are missing for an extended period of time. In such cases, the jawbone will need to be rebuilt with a bone graft before the dental implant can be placed, adding additional time to the recovery and treatment process.
Once the jawbone is ready for placement of the dental implant, a surgical procedure will be performed to place the implant. Afterwards, the jawbone must be allowed to heal around the implant. As the bone heals, which may take as long as six months, a permanent bond is made between the bone and implant. Once healed, a minor second surgery is required to place the abutment, which is what attaches the restoration to the implant. After a week or two, the dental restoration may be placed to complete the treatment process.
Candidates for Traditional Dental Implants
You may be a candidate for traditional dental implants if you relate to one or more of the following:
- Missing one or more teeth
- Have sufficient jawbone to support traditional dental implants
- Looking for a permanent solution to replacing missing teeth
All-on-4® Dental Implants
Although a full set of teeth may be replaced with traditional dental implants, this approach is more costly and time consuming. All-on-4® dental implant treatment offers a great alternative for permanently replacing a full arch of teeth with only four dental implants. All-on-4® treatment may be used to replace a full set of lower teeth, upper teeth, or both, using four dental implants per arch to anchor a full set of permanent dentures within the mouth.
Unlike traditional dental implant treatment, which requires months of healing and multiple dental visits, All-on-4® treatment is generally completed in a single dental visit. This means the dental implants are placed and the permanent dentures are attached all in one treatment. Another benefit of All-on-4® treatment is that bone grafts are generally not required because the treatment requires less jawbone density.
Candidates for All-on-4®
You may be a candidate for All-on-4® treatment if you relate to one or more of the following:
- Missing all of the teeth in the upper arch, lower arch, or both
- Lacking sufficient jawbone to support traditional dental implants
- Currently wear dentures but are interested in a more secure, permanent option for tooth replacement
Which Treatment Is Right for You?
To find out which treatment is most suitable for your needs, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Damon today.