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Factors to Consider Before Choosing All-on-4 Dentures
All-on-4 dentures are an immediately loaded restoration that is held in place by four dental implants. It is often recommended for patients with low bone density or when bone grafting would be difficult or impossible. All-on-4 dentures are reliable and allow patients to enjoy full dental functionality.
Before choosing All-on-4 dentures
Usually, the implant specialist will let the patient know what to expect with the implant supported dentures. Despite the many benefits of All-on-4 dentures, patients need to consider certain factors before choosing this dental restoration.
The bulkiness of the denture
Some patients may find it hard adjusting to the feel of these dentures because of the bulky design. For those expecting to get replacement teeth, they might be surprised to feel the prosthetic gum tissue. The dentist will show examples of the All-on-4 denture to help patients prepare for the look and feel of the denture after surgery. Concerned patients can consider alternative options.
Usually, with this denture, it is often important to alter the bone and soft tissues. For stability, the denture will likely be bulkier than the patient’s natural tissues. This may affect speech, but patients can overcome this challenge through tongue restraints. It may be hard initially to clearly pronounce sounds produced when the tongue touches the hard palate, including N, D and T. It may also be somewhat hard to produce S sounds.
If the patient is worried about speech, it may cause anxiety, and they might need to consider less bulky alternatives.
Parafunction and proprioception
Parafunctional habits such as bruxism can affect a patient’s eligibility for All-on-4 dentures. This denture does not perceive forces well, compared to natural teeth. Periodontal mechanoreceptors heighten the sensitivity of natural teeth to grinding forces, but dental implants do not have this feedback. Teeth grinding or clenching can damage dental restorations if unchecked. The dentist will need to take measures to curb this habit before performing the implant restoration procedure.
One method is to restore the dental arch individually to allow the patient to develop mechanoreceptors in the facial muscles and joints. Another alternative is to use bar-retained overdentures. In this case, the prosthesis can be removed at night and replaced with a nightguard to protect against the effects of bruxism. However, for many patients, the point of getting All-on-4 is to enjoy the benefits of a fixed denture, which means that a bar-supported overdenture may not seem appealing.
Point of note
Regardless of the limitations of All-on-4 dentures, these implant restorations have a remarkable potential to improve the quality of life for patients who have lost all their teeth. Patients who are struggling with poorly fitting dentures, discomfort and eating problems can opt for All-on-4 as a reliable and affordable treatment option. They offer a predictable treatment outcome that is minimally invasive and beneficial for elderly patients who have other health concerns.
Before choosing these All-on-4 dentures, patients need to fully understand certain conditions surrounding the restoration to make an informed decision. To learn more about implant supported dentures, book an appointment with the dentist for a consultation.
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