Tooth loss has many causes. While the most common cause is gum disease
, tooth loss can also be caused by severe tooth decay, oral trauma, and more. No matter what causes your tooth loss, the effects are all the same. The more teeth you lose, the harder it becomes to do simple tasks like eat and speak. Your smile deteriorates, and your confidence quickly declines. Tooth loss also causes your jawbone to weaken and change shape. Dental implants
are a popular treatment for replacing missing teeth, providing a modern alternative to traditional bridges and dentures
. They can be used to replace any number of missing teeth, including an entire arch. Typically, to be successful, you need to have sufficient bone mass left in your jaw. If you are missing an entire arch of teeth, however, and do not have the necessary bone mass for a regular implant supported denture, Hillsboro Dental Center can help with the All-on-4 treatment concept.
Tooth Loss and Bone Loss
One of the hidden functions of your teeth is that every time you chew, the roots stimulate your jawbone. This stimulation sends a message to your body, telling it that the jaw requires nutrients. In response, the body sends what the jaw and surrounding area needs. When you begin to lose teeth, there is less stimulation. As a result, the message sent to your body is weaker, which leads to fewer nutrients sent to the jaw. Over time, the bone begins to resorb and grow weak.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a modern alternative to traditional tooth loss treatments such as bridges and dentures. They consist of titanium posts, which are surgically implanted into the jawbone. As you heal, the bone gradually fuses to the posts, and they integrate into the jaw. When you have fully healed, the posts become strong, sturdy supports onto which your replacement teeth, ceramic crowns, are anchored.
How Does the All-on-4 Treatment Concept Work?
If you lose an entire arch of teeth, whether it is your top jaw or your bottom jaw, you may be a candidate for an implant supported a denture. This restoration uses 6 to 8 posts implanted into your jawbone, which support an entire arch of replacement teeth. However, bone loss begins shortly after tooth loss. If you lose too much bone mass, you may not have enough left to support the required implants. Placing implants into a weak jaw can lead to loose implants or implant failure. Even if only one post fails, the entire restoration becomes compromised.
Typically, when you do not have enough bone mass, you would require a bone graft before undergoing implant surgery. The All-on-4 treatment concept is designed to provide dental implants for those missing an entire arch of teeth who do not have sufficient bone mass to support 6 to 8 implants while avoiding the need for a bone graft. This treatment uses only four dental implants, which are strategically placed to take advantage of the bone mass you do have. Two implants are placed at the very front of the jaw, where mass is typically greater. The other two are placed at the back of the jaw, implanted at a 45-degree angle. This angle enables the implants to maximize contact with the jawbone, aiding in proper fusion to the posts.
Benefits of the All-on-4 Treatment Concept
The All-on-4 treatment concept provides all of the same benefits that regular dental implants offer, including stimulating your jawbone to help preserve the mass you have left. Benefits unique to this treatment include:
||Less surgery. Because you require fewer implants, you undergo less surgery, and your procedure is shorter.
||Your recovery period is shorter.
||You avoid the need for a bone graft.
||In the upper jaw, the 45-degree angle prevents the implants from piercing the sinus cavities, which then avoids the necessity for a sinus lift surgery.
If you are missing a full arch or teeth, and your jawbone is not strong enough to support the necessary implants for a regular implant restoration, you may be able to avoid the need for a bone graft or being stuck with dentures, with the All-on-4 treatment concept. Call Hillsboro Dental Center to schedule your consultation today at (503) 648-2829.