When planning to have an all on 4 dental implant, it’s important to know not only the benefits, but also the challenges you will face after the treatment. This is of particular importance to edentulous patients, individuals who have lost all or most of their teeth as there is an edentulous space in their mouth.
Still, some non-endentulous who lost only a few, are also contemplating on all on 4 dental implants as a better option for the conventional crowns or dentures. Many who learn about the benefits and advantages of the all on 4 dental implants, a.k.a. full-arch fixed implant bridges, are convinced the treatment is the ultimate solution to all types of dental problems.
Important Things to Anticipate When Opting for an All on 4 Dental Implant
The full arc bridges are supported by four to six metal implants made of acrylic materials like porcelain, monolithic zirconia and titanium, which are assembled into a cobalt-chromium frame. Although many encourage the all-on-4 as the best option, oral surgeons also present them with certain conditions that they should consider before finally deciding on an all-on-4 treatment.
Minor Speech Issues When speech issues arise, they can be overwhelming for patients who are not aware that a minor speech flaw might ensue. Bridges that are supported by implants need horizontal and vertical bulk for strength. Furthermore, most bridges need to have 15 millimeters or more of height, to replace healthy bone and soft-tissue volume. Such conditions can affect a patient’s ability to pronounce speech sounds using letters “T”, “D”, and “N”.
Struggle to Adjust to Bridge Thickness – The bridge bulk of an all-on-4 dental implant replacement can be very hard for patients to psychologically adjust to when always feeling the unnatural thickness. During the transition process, patients feel both real and artificial soft tissue, which if posing as a problem to a patient, cannot be undone because it’s irreversible.
Proprioception is a term that refers to having awareness of the position and movement, which in this context concerns the mouth. Having a dental implant would require 10 times more force to apply than it would take to do the same action with a natural teeth. The lack of proprioception feedback could cause patients to bite excessively, which can lead to bone loss or fractures of the restoration.
High Caries Risk
Older adults are at high risk of tooth decay that lead to caries or cavities as both teeth and gums wear down as people age. Having an all on 4 bridge can make adults vulnerable to root decay, especially older adults who take medications that lessen saliva flow, heightens the risk of developing root decay.
Parafunction – This term refers to habits like irregular chewing cycles and clenching, which might not have the right effect on an all-on-4 dental implant treatment. The bulk, the poor feedback or proprioception will increase the chances of developing negative oral behaviors.