What is a full-arch rehabilitation? A dental implant solution for patients for with failing dentition, edentulism or ‘toothless-ness’

What is a full-arch rehabilitation? A dental implant solution for patients for with failing dentition, edentulism or ‘toothless-ness’

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One of the most requested dental procedures in modern dentistry is dental implants. For someone who has no teeth, a full-arch rehabilitation provides a permanent, stable and attractive smile.

A full arch rehabilitation is replacing all your teeth with highly functional prosthetic tooth bridge that is permanently inserted in your jaw. It can be the top teeth, bottom teeth, or the whole mouth, depending on your needs.

What is an ‘All-on-4™’ treatment?

All-on-4™, All-on-6, All-On X are various trade names for a full arch rehabilitation where a full tooth bridge will be supported by only 4, 6 or ‘X’ amount of implants. The ‘All-On4™’ treatment was created by Portuguese dentist, Dr Paulo Malo and is a registered trademark owned by Nobel Biocare. It was ground-breaking due to how he used only four points, and four implants, to securely attach a full jaw of teeth. Its high success rate is in part due to the CAD/CAM technology that makes the system highly accurate.

It is important to note that these procedures can be performed using a variety of different implant systems manufactured by different companies. Numerous companies have developed specialised implant systems and restorative components supplying high primary stability for immediate arch loading as well as highly aesthetic restorative outcomes.

Speak to your Dentist about this unique treatment option supplying various benefits over conventional dentures.

What is the process for dental implants?

To get dental implants, you must first be a person who is in good health generally. You need excellent bone health in the jaw, or have the option of receiving a bone graft. Diabetics, people with heart disease, smokers, and people with poor oral health in general may not be candidates.

This is a three step process. First, you’ll need to visit your dentist, who will conduct a full series on imaging processes, which may include x-rays and CT scans. There will also be a thorough physical check. Then, a detailed plan will be drawn up on what result will be best for you. Rather than a single implant per tooth, a full arch rehabilitation can use four implants to attach the teeth (where the name all-on-4 originated from). This may not be suitable for everyone, and sometimes the jaw may need more implants.

Then, the second step is the surgery itself. Other teeth are extracted, bone grafts or sinus lifts may be required too. Then, holes are drilled into the jaw, and the four implants are inserted. To provide extra strength, the angle of the holes drilled matter, and often the implants are tilted for stability[1].

Once the holes are drilled and the implants in, then a period of time is required to let the jawbone heal. This is incredibly important for the process, as the implants need to ‘osseointegrate’ with the jaw. This means that the bone and titanium implant fuse. This is the reason implants are so strong, and a jaw of teeth can be anchored on four implants.

Teeth can be loaded onto the implants straight away, but this puts extra pressure on the implants, which can lead to failure if you have an ill-fitting temporary bridge. Studies have shown that immediate loading can be cautiously recommended[2], but that may come with more care instructions.

Once implants have healed and fully integrated, a final trip to your dentist is required for the final bridge to be fitted. It will be screwed in, adjusted if required for perfect passive fit and then you are ready to face the world with a beautiful smile.

[1] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cid.12526

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25976172

Why are full arch implants better than dentures

There are a range of reasons that implants are superior to dentures.

  • Incredible stability with no slipping or movement
  • Clear speech with no mumbling or lisping
  • Full diet available, from steak to apples
  • Fantastic, natural looking appearance

The process of having 12-14 teeth on 4-6 implants means less cost than a one-to-one tooth to implant ratio, while maintaining strength and function. It also means a far simpler process to recover from, with less surgery sites.

If you need a full mouth, or jaw, of teeth replaced, contact your dentist to find out more. They can advise if this is the option best for you. Get started today, for a beautiful smile tomorrow.