According to the American College of Prosthodontists, “more than 35 million Americans do not have any teeth” and “about 15 percent of the edentulous population has dentures made each year.” Artificial teeth can restore the appearance and function of your smile, vastly improving your quality of life and health, but not all dentures are created equal. Unfortunately, conventional dentures, which rest atop the gums and adhere with suction, often shift, look unnatural, and require messy, foul-tasting adhesives to remain in place. As an alternative to traditional prostheses, Dr. Stephen J. Gershberg often recommends placing implant dentures using the innovative All-on-Four™ technique. Read on to learn more about this restoration method and find out how it could benefit your smile.
What is All-on-Four™?
Dental implants are titanium posts Dr. Gershberg can insert into your jawbone to replace the roots of missing teeth and provide a secure hold for artificial teeth. The All-on-Four™ technique involves using four to six strategically placed implants per arch to stabilize a partial or complete denture. By placing your implants at an angle, Dr. Gershberg reduces the number he must use, making your procedure simpler and more efficient.
Who is a Candidate?
The All-on-Four™ procedure is minimally invasive and effective, so many patients wish to utilize this technique. You may be eligible for All-on-Four™ if you:
- Have lost most or all of your teeth in your upper or lower arches. If you have lost a single tooth, Dr. Gershberg may suggest a crown, while an implant-supported dental bridge may be more appropriate for a row of two to four adjacent missing teeth.
- Are in good oral and dental health. Periodontal (gum) disease, extensive decay, or any sort of infection may make implant placement unsafe for you.
- Have sufficient jawbone material to hold the implants. The All-on-Four™ procedure requires less jawbone tissue to perform than other implant procedures, but you will need to meet certain jawbone density and volume requirements. If you do not, Dr. Gershberg may recommend an implant preparation procedure such as a bone graft or sinus lift.
- Do not suffer from any immune compromising, chronic, or life-threatening illnesses that could compromise your surgery and recovery.
- Are dissatisfied with your current conventional denture. Dr. Gershberg may retrofit your prosthesis for All-on-Four™ or custom make a new one according to your needs.
At your initial consultation, Dr. Gershberg will review your dental records, perform diagnostic tests, assess your mouth, and discuss your concerns with you to determine if you are a good candidate for All-on-Four™.
The Treatment Process
If you qualify for All-on-Four™ and decide to pursue this treatment, Dr. Gershberg should be able to complete your procedure within one to two appointments. At your first visit, he will create small incisions in your gum tissue and then place the four to six posts you require in each arch. At this point, he may attach either a temporary custom-made prosthesis to your implants, allowing you to reclaim your smile while you heal. Once your bone has integrated with the implants and you have successfully recovered from surgery, Dr. Gershberg can see you for a final appointment, at which point he will attach your permanent prosthesis.
Benefits of All-on-Four™
Our patients appreciate sophisticated All-on-Four™ dental implants because they:
- Allow them to eat, speak, and smile more comfortably and confidently
- Provide a natural, cosmetic appearance
- Have a shorter healing period than other implant-supported dentures, which require many more implants per arch
- Do not move within the mouth
- Help maintain jawbone health and prevent deterioration, since the implants exercise this tissue
Dr. Gershberg can further detail the benefits of All-on-Four™ treatment at your initial consultation for this procedure.
About Your Bryn Mawr All-on-4™ Dentist
Dr. Gershberg has used his expertise and attention to detail to serve the Delaware Valley, Main Line, and Tri-State communities for more than three decades. He regularly restores patients’ smiles with implant dentistry and gives lectures on this subject at the Albert Einstein Medical Center. Dr. Gershberg will use his knowledge and experience to help you decide which restoration option fits your needs and preferences. To learn more about All-on-Four™ dentures or schedule a consultation, call us at 610-527-6700.