Unaware by most patients, the prosthetic timeline is one of the most important aspects to ensure your denture fits properly. Healing is the major factor affecting when you get your final denture. Getting your final denture before the healing is complete can cause various complications.
All on 4 – Prosthetic Timeline
Surgery: The first step in the prosthetic timeline is the surgery. The initial surgery is where any necessary teeth are extracted and the implants are placed. At this time, the temporary denture is fitted to the implants and screwed in place. The acrylic temporary prosthesis is light and perfect for not putting too much weight on the implants. If excessive force is put on the implants too soon it can cause potential implant failure. Acrylic prostheses are ideal for a limited amount of time while the implants are osseointegrating. However, the longevity of an acrylic prosthesis is limited, due to how easily it breaks and stains.
Post-Operative Appointments: The post-operative appointments following your initial surgery are very important to ensure proper healing of the implants. The bone recontours for around 4-5 months following your treatment date. While the gums and bone change shape, you may develop a gap between your gums and the prosthesis due to the changing of shape. As a result, food and debris can get trapped underneath the denture. This can become very irritating to the gums and if left unremoved cause implantitis. This is one of the biggest reasons your final prosthesis should never be fitted too soon.
Final Fitting: Once the bone and gums fully heal, the final prosthesis fitting will begin. At this point, your gums and bone are now done recontouring allowing the prosthesis to properly be molded to ensure no gaps. Impressions will be taken of your gums and implants to create a final prosthesis. This final prosthesis can be customized by shape and color. Once seated the final prosthesis should fit like a glove with no gaps or issues.
All on 4 Prosthetic- Complications
Complications if the final prosthesis is fitted too soon can vary. For example, fitting a final denture before the bone and gums heal can cause gaps. These gaps can cause a speech impediment, such as a lisp or a whistle when speaking. Another complication that occurs with gaps in food entrapment. This debris that gets trapped under the prosthesis can not only cause gum irritation but if not removed can cause peri-implantitis and lead to implant failure. Implant failure from trapped food is due to the bacterial buildup that works its way past the bone and gums into the implant site. This can become a serious issue if not fixed immediately. Having your final prosthesis fitted in a timely manner is very important. Ideally, the gums and bone should be done contouring shape and the implants fully osseointegrated. For this process to be fully complete it is around 4-6 months following treatment. Taking this into consideration before getting your all on 4 is very important.