If you’ve lost teeth to injury or tooth decay, you may be considering dental implants or dentures to replace your teeth. As you’ve explored your options, you may have learned about All-on-X implants. These types of implants are relatively new and may be a great option for you.
What Are All-On-X Implants?
All-on-X dental implants are a dental restoration technique originally created by Nobel Biocare in 1999 as All-on-4Ⓡ and is now used widely as the top restoration process for full arch tooth loss worldwide today. The technique involves a limited number of dental implants (typically 4 or 6) secured to the jawbone to support a full arch of replacement teeth. The implants are placed at specific angles to maximize their support and stability. These implants are made of titanium, which is designed to fuse with bone. This imitates tooth roots and helps to prevent bone loss.
Are All-On-X Implants Different From Regular Implants?
Though implants are an important part of this procedure, there are some significant differences between All-on-X implants and regular implants. Traditional dental implants are individual metal posts that are surgically implanted into the jawbone to support a single tooth or a bridge of teeth. All-on-X dental implants use a significantly reduced number of implants, typically four or six, to support a full arch of replacement teeth. The reduced number of required implants and subsequently surgery sites leads to a quicker, simpler procedure that patients heal from faster, and also significant cost savings compared to traditional full-mouth implants.
How Are All-on-X Dental Implants Different from Regular Dentures?
All-on-X implants replace your teeth in a similar way to dentures, but there are significant differences between the two. Traditional dentures are removable appliances that replace missing teeth. They are often held in place with denture adhesives, which can be messy and uncomfortable, or can be implanted to snap on and off as needed. All-on-X dental implants are a fixed solution, meaning they are permanently attached to the implants and do not need to be removed for cleaning or maintenance.
Snap-on dentures are an intermediate option between traditional dentures and implant retained dentures where removable dentures can be snapped onto implants with a button connection rather than the screw technology. This type of denture is typically less bulky than traditional options, but still function similarly to removable dentures and come with other drawbacks and high maintenance costs due to requirements like professional denture cleaning and periodic replacement of the snap connections.
Here’s a breakdown on the three options side-by-side:
All-on-X dental implants provide significant advantages over all other types of dentures as well as full implant replacement. We’ll discuss these benefits in more detail later in the post. First, let’s take a look at the process behind All-on-X implants.
The Process to Get All-on-X Implants
The process behind All-on-X implants takes some time and multiple dental appointments. This process is more involved than dentures, however the recovery time is shorter and easier than replacing your teeth completely with individual implants. This is a general overview of the process, step-by-step. This process may look a bit different for you, depending on your dental needs, but this is an outline of what you can expect:
1. Initial Consultation
The first step in the process is to schedule an initial consultation with your dentist or orthodontist, and ask them about All-on-X implants. During this consultation, the dentist will evaluate your oral health and determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure.
2. Treatment Planning
If you are a good candidate for All-on-X dental implants, the dentist will create a customized treatment plan based on your specific needs and goals. There may be some preliminary treatments required to treat any signs of infection, gum disease, or tooth decay of existing teeth. This may also include taking X-rays and 3D images of your jawbone to determine the best placement of the implants.
3. Implant Placement
The next stage of the process is placing the dental implants. This is typically done under local anesthesia or IV sedation to ensure you are comfortable during the procedure. The dentist will carefully place four implants into your jawbone at specific places that will provide the best support for the full arch. Your dentist may recommend allowing these implants to set completely and stitch up the gum around the implanted screws for a short period of time or go forward with attaching temporary teeth at this time.
4. Temporary Teeth
Either within the same visit or during a separate visit shortly after the implants are placed, the dentist will attach a set of temporary teeth to the implants. These temporary teeth will allow you to eat and speak normally while your jawbone heals and the implants fuse with the bone. This process is called osseointegration, and it will help to prevent bone loss. Once the titanium implants have fused with the jawbone, they will work similarly to regular teeth with tooth roots. This will keep the jaw bone engaged and prevent bone loss, which dentures will not.
5. Final Teeth
Once your jawbone has fully healed and the implants have fused with the bone, your dentist will replace the temporary teeth with a set of permanent teeth that are custom-made to match the shape, size, and color of your natural teeth. These teeth may be made from porcelain or another durable material.
6. Follow-up Care
After the procedure, your dentist will provide you with instructions on how to care for your new teeth and implants. It is essential to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly, just like you would with regular teeth. It’s also important to schedule regular check-ups with your dentist to ensure your All-on-X dental implants are working properly and aren’t damaged.
Benefits of All-on-X Dental Implants
Now that you know a bit about the process behind All-on-X dental implants, let’s take a look at some of the benefits. This might help you weigh the options for replacing your teeth, and compare regular implants or dentures with All-on-X dental implants.
Stability and Security
All-on-X dental implants provide greater stability and security compared to traditional dentures. With All-on-X dental implants, you can eat and speak with greater ease and confidence, without worrying about your teeth slipping or falling out. You won’t have to worry about denture paste or adhesives, removing your dentures at night, or damaging them.
Improved Bone Health
All-on-X dental implants can help prevent bone loss in the jaw, which can occur when teeth are missing and not replaced. Since the implants are connected to the jawbone, they stimulate the jawbone, preventing it from deteriorating and maintaining the shape of the face.
Require Less Bone Tissue
Often, patients seeking more permanent options for replacement teeth have already tried dentures, which do not offer any jawbone support. If the jaw bone has weakened or deteriorated as a result, individual implants may no longer be an option. All-on-X options require less jaw bone tissue overall, which expands the range for patient eligibility, even after they have experienced some bone loss.
Faster Treatment Time
All-on-X dental implants require fewer implants than fully replacing your teeth with implants. This means you will have a shorter and easier recovery compared to multiple implants.
All-on-X dental implants can improve the appearance of your smile by providing a full arch of replacement teeth that look and feel like natural teeth. This can give you the smile you’re looking for and improve your confidence.
Improved Quality of Life
With All-on-X dental implants, there are no limitations to the foods you can eat. While dentures can make it difficult to enjoy some foods, like apples, nuts, popcorn, or corn on the cob, you can enjoy any foods with All-on-X implants. Because these are designed minimally in the gum area and do not cover the palate of the mouth like dentures, you also retain your ability to taste.
All-on-X dental implants are an excellent option for people who are missing all or most of their teeth on their upper or lower arch. They provide greater stability and comfort than traditional dentures and can help prevent bone loss in the jaw. All-on-X dental implants can also improve your appearance and overall quality of life. If you are in the Las Vegas area and you are interested in learning more about All-on-X dental implants, make an appointment with a dentist today.