If you worried about losing your teeth, needing dentures or you have difficulty eating the foods you love then you may be a great candidate for All-On-4® full arch dental implants. All-On-4® dental implants are a revolutionary process that can give you a full set of fixed teeth in single day!
Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? That’s because it is!
And if you’re interested in having the procedure done, Tehachapi dentist, Dr. Jose David Sanchez at Sedation and Implant Dentistry of Tehachapi is the dentist you want to do this procedure. Not only does he have the skill and the experience to give you your full set of teeth in a single day, but he is also extremely compassionate and dedicated to his patients.
Here Dr. Sanchez explains the All-On-4® dental implant procedure as well as the difference it’s making in people’s lives
Q: Let’s talk about All-On-4® Dental Implants. What is it?
Dr. Sanchez: All-On-4® is what we call a graftless solution for replacing a full arch of teeth. What we do is we place four implants and a full arch of teeth that are virtually screwed into place, all in the same day. This way we have fixed teeth (not removable like dentures) in the mouth.
Q: Do you mind explaining just a bit more?
Dr. Sanchez: A lot of times, we see patients that have terminal dentition, and by that, I mean, they’re going to lose their teeth, whether it’s going to be tomorrow or in a few years. We explain to them that they’re going to be in what we call a complete endentulous situation, which means they’re not going to have teeth. People don’t want that, so what we can do is take the teeth out. Then the same day, we can place the dental implants and put in fixed teeth. That way, there’s no down time. They don’t have to wait six months for grafting. We do it all the same day.
Then, four to six months later, the patient is going to come back to our Tehachapi office and we will refine that product and make the teeth look a little better, if they’re a little off. If they like the way they look, we will keep them the same. We will make it fit better and we are going to reinforce it, to make it something that’s going to be more durable for the long term.
Q: This seems like something you wouldn’t want done by just anyone.
Dr. Sanchez: That’s true. You want it done by somebody who has done it a few times and has some experience. It is a relatively new technique to the United States. It came from Portugal in about 2005. In Portugal, they have been doing it since about 1995. So it’s relatively new as far as implant dentistry. And the concept is entirely different from what we used to do.
I have been been placing implants and doing the All-On-4 technique for several years. I trained with one of the leading experts in implant dentistry, Dr. Carl Misch, who is an author on implantology. I am also a Fellow of Misch International Implant Institute, Fellow of International Congress of Oral Implantologists and Fellow of Global Dental Implant Academy.
Q: What are some of the advantages All-On-4® has over dentures?
Dr. Sanchez: Oh, there are a lot of advantages. The first advantage is you have fixed teeth. You don’t have to take them out at night. You can chew virtually anything within reasonable limits. Normal chewing is the same function as regular teeth, but you don’t want to open beer bottles with them.
All-On-4® restores your chewing ability by as much as 90%, whereas removable dentures, reduce your chewing by as much as 75%. That means you may only have 25% of your original chewing ability with dentures.
Dentures flop around, they come out and require adhesive. A lot of people have dentures, but a lot of people don’t wear them like they should because they’re just uncomfortable.
The other thing about dentures is they pound on your bone, and what’s going to happen over time is you’re going to lose bone. You’re going to lose support. A person who has been wearing dentures for 10 or 20 years, probably has lost at least 50% of the bone they had originally. So, long-term use with dentures is not beneficial. But with implants, it helps to support the bone. In fact, they stimulate the bone and make the bone stronger.
Q: Who are the best candidates for the All-On-4® full arch dental implant procedure? Do they have to already wear dentures?
Dr. Sanchez: The best candidate for All-On-4® is somebody who does have teeth but is going to lose them. These people still have bone. However, for people who have dentures, it doesn’t mean they’re not good candidates. It can still be done as long as they have a sufficient amount of bone. What we have to do is take a 3D CT scan, which is a 3-dimensional X-ray, and the X-ray can tell how much bone a person has.
With All-On-4®, we try to keep it simple and place just four implants. Sometimes we end up placing additional implants if there isn’t a sufficient amount of bone to support the All-On-4®, but the technique is the same.
Q: This procedure seems like it really has the ability to change lives. How are your patients responding to the All-On-4® procedure? Are they happy with it?
Dr. Sanchez: Every patient I’ve worked on, they tell me they absolutely love it. It restores their confidence. They can smile. They can enjoy the foods they want to eat. One of the things they tell me, “As we get older, one of our only enjoyments left is eating,” and this allows them to enjoy that. They can go out and eat with confidence, and they don’t have to worry about dentures slipping or coming out. Everybody have worked on has been very happy.
Q: Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to share with those considering All-On-4® dental implants?
Dr. Sanchez: To anybody considering All-On-4® full arch dental implants, I would encourage them to talk to somebody who has had the procedure. They will tell you how it’s changed their life.
I love doing implant dentistry. I might be considered an older dentist. I’ve been doing this for quite a while, and a lot of my friends come and ask me, “Why don’t you retire? Why don’t you stop doing working?” And I tell them it’s because of what I get back from these patients. They come back to me and they are so happy. You don’t know how good that makes me feel. There are only a handful of us in the country who know how to do this and who know how to do it correctly.