What is the concept behind All-On-4 dental implants?
The journey to easier replacement of a complete row of teeth
All-on-4 implants have dramatically advanced tooth replacement in dentistry. The technique replaces a row of teeth without multiple invasive procedures.
Implant dentistry has been evolving since the 1950s. However, the revolutionary technique of All-on-4 only became available from Nobel Biocare in 1998. Here’s an overview of how implant dentistry began and the research behind the development of this life-changing implant technique.
At The Point Dental, we only use Nobel Biocare implants, the patented implant system informed by extensive medical research. We offer complimentary consultations where you can learn more about All-on-4 implants.
Dentistry today is more sophisticated than ever before
Throughout the 16th century, barbers acted as dentists, using crude tools to remove infected teeth, often without anaesthetic. It was only around 1940 that dentistry became a profession in Western society.
Until the 1950s, people with broken and missing teeth had to live with an empty or damaged mouth. Before fluoride toothpaste became widely available in the 1950s and 1960s, many people eating a Western diet experienced decaying teeth and gums.
How were dental implants done before All-on-4?
The discovery of “osseointegration” made dental implants possible. Osseointegration was first performed in rabbits, using titanium implants that fused to the bone. This process requires the body to accept the implant as an integral part of the mouth structure.
- Dental implants are a very recent innovation
Osseointegration was first introduced in the 1960s by Swedish researcher and professor Per-Ingvar Branemark. The first implants using this technique involved screwing six to twelve screws into the jaw. The implants or screws then provided support for a row of prosthetic teeth.
In the early trials and experimentation, the 90-degree angle of implants made space for a higher number of screws into the jawbone. It was thought that placing more screws within the mouth provided redundancy. If one of the screws failed or broke, the teeth would be held securely in place by the other implants.
What was wrong with early implant techniques?
The main problem identified with implants that used higher numbers of screws was the difficulty of maintaining hygiene. By reducing the number of screws, implants became easier to care for and maintain after surgery.
To insert a higher number of implants, patients with deteriorated bone structure in the jaw require bone grafting.
The patient must be allowed to recover at various intervals to heal from such intensive procedures. It can take several weeks for the bone to regenerate after a bone graft. Once the bone has healed, another appointment is required to place implants into the newly reinforced jawbone.
The complete implant process took between four and six months. Only once the bone graft is fully healed can the implants be inserted to support the prostheses. Patients had to undergo multiple procedures, which meant they also had to wait longer for a full tooth-filled smile.
- Early implant methods were arduous and required multiple procedures, including painful bone grafting
- Healing times were extensive. It took months before the final prosthesis insertion revealed a full smile
Why replace a row of teeth rather than individual damaged teeth?
After the earliest dental implants, it was found to be more effective to replace a row of teeth instead of replacing individual damaged teeth. When a patient with a complete row of teeth bites down, the load is spread evenly through the jaw, rather than putting a lot of pressure on one location.
Spreading the load evenly across the jaw gives a better short and long term outcome.
- Replacing a row of teeth is more sustainable than replacing a single tooth
Development of All-on-4
In 1998 Paulo Malo, a professor from Portugal, was the first to treat a patient using implants placed at a 45-degree angle at the back of the mouth. This angle mimics the shape of a natural tooth root.
This 45-degree angle means that four implants can support a new row of teeth. All-on-4 is a much less invasive procedure and allows for faster healing.
This method was studied and tested with funding from Nobel Biocare and became known as the All-on-4 technique.
- All-on-4 implants mimic the structure of natural teeth
The All-on-4 implant technique was revolutionary as it provided additional stability and support for the jaw. Placing the titanium rods at an angle means that the teeth can be loaded right away. Recovery time is shorter, so the patient doesn’t have to wait long to have a complete, new smile.
- All-on-4 is a less invasive procedure, with fewer screws and no bone grafting
- Recipients of All-on-4 implants will heal faster than those with other implant types
All-on-4 implants stabilise the prostheses with four titanium rods. Using four angled titanium rods overcomes limitations where the gums and bone may have deteriorated over time. All-on-4 is a feasible and durable alternative, with many benefits when compared to dentures.
The All-on-4 concept is the result of many years of patient research. A particular focus was refining the prostheses for the best aesthetic outcome. Once researchers were confident in the long-term outcomes, the results were published, and All-on-4 became available to dentists globally.
- All-on-4 is suitable for anyone with deteriorated gums and bone
- Ongoing research and medical studies ensure the patented All-on-4 products by Nobel Biocare are continually advanced
If you have experienced significant tooth loss or damage, All-on-4 dental implants can restore your smile. Regain your confidence with a permanent solution that is easy to maintain and will last for years.