Pros and Cons of All-on-4 Dental Implants — Should You or Should You Not Get Them?
Pros and Cons of All-on-4 Dental Implants, What They Are, and How They Work
Losing a full set of teeth can be a frightening experience, but there are ways to make things better and get your smile back to where it was. And no, we’re not talking about dentures only — we’re presenting you with a more sophisticated solution: all on four implants. Today, we’re taking a look at all the pros and cons of all on 4 dental implants, seeing when and why you should opt for them, and setting them against similar solutions to see how they fare against them.
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What Are All-on-4 Implants?
So, all-on-four implants are dental appliances meant to replace a full set of teeth. That means they’re a substitute for the whole lower or upper row of teeth. The procedure involves fixing four permanent implants to the bone and then placing a set of artificial teeth on them. It might seem complicated, but everything can be done during a single appointment.
This is a relatively novel solution for missing teeth, and a lot of people resort to it instead of something like dentures, and for a good reason. Namely, all-on-four implants don’t need special daily treatment. In fact, you don’t even have to remove them. They also require no bone grafting, and they can help stimulate the jaw bone, keeping it strong and healthy, which is not something you get with plastic dentures.
Other pros and cons include:
- High success rate and quick installation — As we’ve said, you can get these implants installed during a single appointment. In addition, the procedure is a viable option in about 98% of cases.
- Rapid healing process — When you think about drilling, grafting, and other similar procedures, you probably think you’ll need ages to recover from it. That’s not the case with all-on-four implants. Most people recover within a few days to a week and without the need for a lot of medication (e.g., painkillers).
- No need for special dietary changes — Some artificial teeth demand that you stay clear of hard foods such as candy. That is not the case with all-on-four implants. Sure, you’ll need some getting used to the implants, but after a few weeks, you’ll be free to enjoy any type of food.
- No need for specialized cleaning routines — As you might know, you have to take special care of your dentures. You must take them off, clean them, and keep them in specialized solutions overnight if you want them to last you a long time. If you get all-on-four implants, you’ll only need to brush them and floss, just as you would with natural teeth.
- Trouble speaking — These implants usually restore one’s ability to speak, improving their confidence in the process. However, some patients might find it hard to adjust to them. Sometimes, the difficulties are caused by ill-fitting or loose implants that impair or alter the airflow needed to produce sounds. Fortunately, such problems can be easily fixed.
- The price — As you might have guessed, all-on-four implants can be quite pricey. Sometimes, they might cost more than $20,000 per arch, but they usually go for somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000! Of course, the price will vary depending on many factors, such as your place of residence and the dental office of your choice. If you think the price is too steep, well, you might be right. However, there are a lot of things that go into making and fixing all-on-four implants, so the price is to be expected.
- They might cause tenderness and irritation — These implants require surgery, so don’t be surprised if you end up with tender, swollen, or irritated gums once the procedure is over. Of course, the problems will go away eventually, and you’ll be able to speak and eat as usual. It just takes a few weeks for your mouth to adjust and get used to the implants.
- There are potential aesthetic issues — Although there are rather slim chances of anyone noticing, you might find it annoying to see that your gums don’t really match the artificial gums that come with the implants. Fortunately, this con is only a slight issue and won’t affect the effectiveness of the appliance.
- Complications during the surgery — Any surgery comes with some risks, and getting all-on-four implants is no different. Thankfully, complications are rare, and only about 5 in 100 patients experience problems after the procedure, for example, when the implant refuses to fuse with the bone.
Is Getting All on Four Implants Painful?
Weighing all the pros and cons listed above, you might be wondering whether the pain is worth it, or you might be wondering whether the procedure hurts at all. To put your worries to rest, we can say that the procedure is done under anesthesia, so you won’t feel anything. However, once everything is done, you might feel pain in your jaw, gums, etc. In addition, you might experience gum inflammation and tenderness. Naturally, your doctor will prescribe you some medication to manage the pain.
How Durable Are All on Four Implants?
Another important factor in all this is durability. That is, how long can you expect this solution to last.
In short, it is not common for all-on-four implants to break. If you take good care of them and maintain a good oral hygiene routine, you won’t have anything to worry about. Of course, if you bite on something hard and crack one of the teeth by accident, you shouldn’t be surprised, as that would happen with natural teeth as well. But, if you follow your dentist’s instructions, you won’t have any problems for years to come.