All-on-4: Not a One Size Fits All Solution

All-on-4 solutions are dental restorative processes that involve inserting dental implants in one of the jaws of a patient in order to provide support for a bridge with prosthetic teeth. An All-on-4 dental procedure is typically used when a patient has lost several teeth in one of his or her jaws.

Nevertheless, while being one of the most efficient and convenient treatments for tooth loss, All-on-4 solutions are not for everyone.

First, there are some health conditions or lifestyle choices that may disqualify or prevent patients from getting the procedure. Cancer and diabetes for example, might mean that a patient would need another method for replacing teeth. Since All-on-4 solutions involve surgery, patients that can’t have surgery will usually not be able to receive an All-on-4 treatment. A common problem that prevents a patient from having surgery is blood issues, such as the inability to coagulate.

Regarding lifestyle choices, by far the most common impediment to getting an All-on-4 solution is smoking. Smoking is highly correlated to infections in the mouth after surgery. Patients who smoke might lose the dental implants very soon after the surgery. A period of non-smoking both before and after the treatment is necessary for the All-on-4 to develop normally. Since the process requires a minimum of two procedures with several months in between, the patient might have to stop smoking for a year or more. Unfortunately, even if a person takes up smoking again years after the surgery, the risk of infection and the loss of the All-on-4, while reduced, will still be there.

The amount of bone left in the jaw as well as its strength might persuade a patient to consider other options that might be better for him or her. These options might include All-on-6 and All-on-8 solutions. As their name implies, these options involve the use of 6 and 8 implants respectively, instead of 4. They offer more stability to the restoration, but they require bigger and stronger jawbones. Other potential options could include a bone graft prior to implantation or perhaps dentures.

In any case, you should talk with your dentist, and if you’re taking a medical treatment, your doctor should also be consulted before deciding to get an All-on-4 dental solution. Not only does the decision to get an All-on-4 full mouth restoration have to be made on a case-by-case basis, but the restoration has to be customized for each patient.

The best way to begin this process is with a phone consultation. The team at Costa Rica Dental Guide is happy to help you find a qualified dentist in Costa Rica so you can begin to explore your dental care options.

If you are interested in cosmetic dentistry in Costa Rica, please fill out the “Help me Find a Dentist” form. A participating dental specialist will reply to your needs.