Photo of senior woman who has excellent teeth smiling to illustrate the benefits of the "all on 4" or "teeth in a day" dental procedure offered by Dallas dentist Gary Alhadef.According to the Center for Disease Control, one-fourth of U.S. adults aged 65 or older have lost all of their teeth, primarily due to gum disease and tooth decay. For adults 20 to 64, just under 4 percent* of the population suffers from this devastating condition. Luckily, for patients who are missing all of their upper and/or lower teeth there are several treatment options available. Most people are familiar with traditional, removable dentures and their disadvantages, related to both aesthetics and function, the most important being that denture wearers experience progressive loss of chewing ability; this is because there is progressive bone and gum loss that occurs when teeth are removed from your jaw. Dental implants help prevent this progressive bone and gum loss and therefore, health and appearance-wise, offer the most optimal benefits.

A dental implant typically consists of a titanium screw (resembling a tooth root) that supports restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth to replace missing teeth. “Teeth in a Day” or “All-on-4” is a system for implanting teeth that is a treatment option for patients who are missing all of their upper and/or lower teeth, and who have adequate bone conditions to support an arch of teeth with only four implants (rather than the usual six to ten). In most cases there is no bone grafting, no sinus grafting or lift, no incision or sutures and no healing time required. The operation is carried out under local anesthesia and is pain-free. Simply put, this technique is the least invasive protocol available for patients with severely compromised teeth and it produces the best long-term results.

Instead of waiting three or four months for your dentures to merge with the bone and your mouth, the All-on-4 solution usually allows teeth to be installed the day you have your surgery. Over time, the implant will fuse with the natural bone, giving your replacement teeth maximum stability. . The All-on-4 system not only gives you a beautiful smile, it lets you eat and function the same as if you had natural teeth. You can eat sticky and hard foods (normally challenging to denture wearers). And since your new teeth are securely anchored to dental implants, they don’t rub against your gums and can be cleaned just like natural teeth.

With All-on-4, before long, you’ll forget you have new teeth, and your dental care will be the same as it was when you had your original, healthy teeth with regular brushing and flossing and bi-annual dental visits for cleaning.

 
*The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)