Weakening teeth as you age is a common problem, one that can lead to tooth breakage, mouth discomfort, and a general lack of confidence in your smile. However, accepting age-related dental challenges doesn’t have to be a final answer. For one patient, an All-on-4 implant solution provided an optimal alternative because of its permanency and long-term reliability.
Here’s a closer look at their transformation:
The Issues: Whole-Mouth Dental Challenges
Our patient came to us with a number of issues. His teeth had been breaking down over time to the point where he couldn’t eat properly. An old bridge, provided years ago was loose and falling out. It made it difficult for him to talk and unwilling to smile.
Our patient wanted to explore his best long-term options, so we explored bridge repair, full dentures, dental implants, and all-on-4. In this case, repairs would only be temporary because the breakdown of the existing teeth was not possible to fix.
For our patient, a permanent option was desirable so we moved forward with something similar to all-on-4 implants.
All-on-4 is a procedure similar to dental implants. The difference is that rather than implanting individual teeth, we can implant an entire row of teeth (similar to dentures) using just four implants as anchors. The implants support a fixed bridge that is comfortable, strong, and improves the smile.
In most cases, we use four implants. However, because the patient’s jawbone was a little softer, we chose to use six implants for additional strength.
The SRDC Approach
We break the all-on-4 treatment into four distinct phases: Planning, Treatment, Healing, and the Final Bridge.
To prepare, we took photos, 3D x-rays, and scans of the patient’s mouth and worked with the lab to design the size and colour of teeth and the bite. We showed and discussed these with the patient to finalise the plan.
Under sleep dentistry, the broken and infected teeth were removed and the six dental implants were carefully and precisely placed. The patient had very minimal discomfort afterwards.
After this initial process, the patient healed for three days. On the 3rd day, we placed a provisional bridge to attach the dental implants. We checked the bite and smile and made sure the patient was satisfied.
During the healing process, we placed the patient on a soft diet for 6 months as we allowed for the dental implants to fully integrate with the bone to ensure strength. This is a very critical point in the process, as proper attachment will ensure longevity of the procedure.
During this time, we met with the patient multiple times to ensure that the bridge was comfortable and that the patient was happy with their new smile.
After 6 months, the implants are at full strength. We took the final records for the fixed bridge to complete the procedure.
The Results: A Comfortable, Confident Patient
After following up with our patient, we’re happy to report that they are extremely satisfied with the procedure. It is more comfortable for them to smile, talk, and eat, and they can do so with confidence. Because the all-on-4 implant provides a permanent option, they no longer have to incur the discomfort, costs, and issues associated with their previous bridge. The teeth have become a part of their mouth, look and feel natural, and improve their overall quality of life.