All-on-4® Implants - How Long Do They Last? Are They Worth the Investment?
All-on-4 implants are a wonderful option for completely edentulous patients.
If you have an upper or lower denture - or a full set of dentures - All-on-4 dental implants can give you a sense of security when you eat and speak.
All-on-4 implants consist of four implants placed strategically in the jawbone. Your new dentures snap onto the implants, securing them into place.
No doubt you have many questions about investing in implants in Santa Barbara, like how long these implants last. Today, you will learn why this dental implant system is a good investment.
How Long Do All-on-4 Implants Last?
One of the main concerns patients have about implants is how long they will last. It is a good question. After all, getting implants is an investment of both time and money. You want to make sure you are making a smart decision.
All-on-4 dental implants can last for decades. A 2017 study found that dental implants have a 90%-95% success rate at the 10-year mark. Some dentists have seen these implants last up to 20 years.
Of course, there are many factors that can contribute to the success rate of dental implants, including:
- The patient's age
- The length of the implant
- Implant diameter
- Location of the implant
- Quality of the jawbone
- Hormonal imbalances
- Whether the patient is dealing with a chronic infectious disease
- Addiction to drugs or alcohol
- Whether the patient is receiving immunosuppressive drug therapy
- Periodontal disease
A healthy patient with a strong jawbone and low risk factors can expect their dental implants to last for a long time.
How Do All-on-4 Implants Compare to "Regular" Dental Implants?
The main differences between traditional implants in Santa Barbara and the All-on-4 procedure are:
- Healing time/length of the process
- Where the implants are placed
Traditional dental implants are placed in the back and front of the jawbone. The number of implants depends on the patient's needs and can range from six to eight implants.
Unfortunately, if a patient does not have a healthy jawbone/gum tissue or does not have enough bone, they might not be a good candidate for these types of implants.
All-on-4 dental implants consist of four implants that are placed toward the front of your jawbone, where the jawbone is often the densest. The implants that are placed further back in the mouth are situated at a 45-degree angle, allowing the implant to be placed even if the jawbone is not very dense. Patients who opt for this procedure often do not need a bone graft, which cuts down on the amount of surgeries and healing time.
FAQs About All-on-4 Dental Implants
Do you still have questions about these types of implants? Here are just a few common questions patients ask a Santa Barbara implant dentist.
Are These Implants Just as Good as Traditional Implants?
You might be wondering, All-on-4 implants can last for years but are they as stable and as good of an investment as traditional implants?
In 2019, researchers found that there is no difference between the longevity of standard implants vs. narrower ones. Another study the same year evaluated All-on-4 patients after 10-18 years. The study found that, in general, the All-on-4 system is a viable long-term solution for edentulous patients.
The best thing you can do is find out from your dentist which implants fit your unique needs the best.
How Long Does Surgery Take?
The surgery takes between two and three hours per arch.
Is Implant Surgery Painful?
Though the process may sound painful, most patients say they only experience a bit of discomfort.
Your Santa Barbara implant dentist will numb your gum tissue before starting the procedure, ensuring that you are completely numb before proceeding.
Using a scalpel, they will make an incision in the gum tissue. Then, they will use a handpiece to drill into the jawbone. The most you should feel at this point is some pressure.
After your procedure, once the anesthesia wears off, you will likely experience gum soreness, tenderness, and even some swelling. Over the counter anti-inflammatory medications can help with this. Ice packs can also ease some of the tissue swelling. It takes a few days for post-surgery soreness to dissipate.
Do I Need to Wait 4-6 Months to Get My New Teeth?
Typically, with traditional implants, you need two oral surgery appointments approximately four to six months apart. The first appointment is to place the implants into the jawbone. After months of healing and jawbone-implant integration, another minor surgery is needed to expose the top of the implant. Doing this allows the dentures to snap onto the implants.
Depending on your needs and your oral health, you may not need to wait this long when you get All-on-4 implants. Some patients are able to have the implants placed and dentures delivered in a single visit.
What Will My New Teeth Look Like?
Your new dentures are completely custom. You will not get a cookie-cutter set of dentures just like every other patient. Your dental team takes the time to evaluate your mouth, your existing dentures, and take measurements. We may even be able to fabricate dentures based on photos of how your natural teeth looked.
We will also take time to discuss shade choices so you can get a bright, Hollywood-type smile, or one that is bright, beautiful, natural, and totally you.
How Do I Clean My New Teeth?
You will need to have an oral health homecare routine, just as you did when you had your natural teeth. In this instance, though, you will need to learn to use some new tools. Do not worry - they are not difficult or complex.
Our dental team will review the proper way to brush and floss. They will even recommend the best tools, which can include:
- A waterpik
- A subgingival rubber tip
- An air flosser
- A soft-bristled toothbrush or denture brush
You can remove your dentures to clean under them, as well as around the implant posts in your mouth.
Two dental cleanings per year are recommended to remove hard tartar build-up around the implants and to professionally clean your dentures. During these visits, your dentist and hygienist will evaluate the health of your gums and bone. They will also make sure the implant screws/snaps are stable or determine if they need to be replaced.
Implants in Santa Barbara - Should You Make the Investment?
Choosing to get implant-retained dentures is an investment of both your time and money. Before you make the decision, you should talk with a Santa Barbara implant dentist.
Your dentist can evaluate your oral and general health, as well as some of your lifestyle habits, and let you know if you are an ideal candidate for All-on-4 implants.
Dental implants can give you more security and even improve your health. Implants can also last for decades, saving you some money in the long run. They are definitely worth the investment!
Would you like to know more about All-on-4 dental implants? Contact our team to schedule an appointment to discuss all your options.