You may have heard of all-on-4 dental implants or all-on-6 implants, without actually understanding what's involved in either of these two procedures. First of all, it will be necessary to have an understanding of what a dental implant consists of. Typically, dental implants are made of titanium, because that's a material which is highly biocompatible, meaning it will fuse very well with the natural material of your jaw bone.
It's necessary to implant this titanium post into the jaw bone to provide the most solid foundation possible for the tooth replacement device which will be installed over the top of it. Dental implants also serve a secondary purpose in that they stimulate the jaw bone, so that no further bone loss takes place there. Anytime you lose a tooth and allow the gap to remain there without replacing the tooth, it's possible that resorption will take place, which means the jaw bone will gradually diminish, because it receives no stimulation from the tooth.
Dental implants are used as an option for patients who have lost one or more teeth due to tooth decay, or to some type of physical damage which has occurred. Most dentists will only perform tooth extraction as a last resort, when the tooth simply cannot be saved. This is because whenever a tooth is missing from your mouth, teeth will naturally tend to shift toward the gap left by the missing tooth, and as previously mentioned, resorption can occur to make your jaw bone diminish.
If you're thinking about having all-on-4 dental implants installed, here are some things you should know about what happens during the procedure, so you can prepare yourself. First of all, your dental practitioner will thoroughly examine your mouth and your jaw bone structure, to determine whether or not you have sufficient jaw bone mass to undergo implant surgery. Assuming that you do, your dentist will then schedule a surgery to remove any decayed teeth or remnants from already missing teeth.
The implants, which are small titanium screws, will then be installed into the jaw bone. This will generally happen under some kind of anesthesia, so that the patient feels no pain during the procedure. Once the necessary implants have been installed, you will have to wait between three and six months for full osseointegration to take place. This is the process by which the titanium post will actually fuse with the jaw bone and become part of it.
After this has completed, you will have the absolute most solid foundation possible for the installation of replacement teeth. Once the implants have fully fused with your jaw bone and all healing has occurred, your dentist will arrange for a session where some kind of dental appliance can be installed over your all-on-4 implants. At this session, any necessary adjustments will be made, so that you can have a perfectly comfortable bite, and so your speech sounds normal.
While you're waiting for osseointegration to take place, your dentist may install a temporary prosthesis over your implants. Once the implants have fully merged with your jaw bone, the permanent dentures will be installed, and you can begin using your brand new set of replacement teeth. These two options for tooth replacement are both extremely solid and reliable, and are currently the best possible option for tooth replacement.