Step-by-Step Guide to the All-on-Four Dental Implant Process: From Surgery to Final Prosthesis
The Journey from All-on-Four Dental Implant Surgery to Final Prosthesis
The All-on-Four dental implant procedure is a transformative journey for patients seeking a full-arch tooth replacement. Understanding the timeline from the initial surgery to the fitting of the final prosthesis is crucial for patients to set realistic expectations and prepare adequately.
1. Pre-Surgical Assessment
The journey begins with a pre-surgical assessment. During this phase, detailed jaw records and photos are taken, and patients can express their preferences regarding the color and shape of their teeth. This stage also involves a thorough review of the patient’s medical history and necessary consultations with physicians if there are health concerns. Patients are briefed on preparing for the surgery, including dietary restrictions and other pre-operative instructions.
2. Surgery Day
On the day of the surgery, patients undergo IV sedation for comfort. The procedure involves extracting necessary teeth, recontouring the bone, placing dental implants, and fitting a temporary prosthesis. This temporary prosthesis, although not the final one, is designed to ensure the patient is comfortable and satisfied with their appearance immediately post-surgery.
3. Post-Operative Appointments
Follow-up appointments are scheduled at one month post-surgery. X-rays are taken to monitor the healing process and implant integration.
4. Final Fitting
The final fitting typically occurs around four months post-surgery for the lower jaw (mandible) and five months for the upper jaw (maxilla). This timeline is crucial to allow for osteointegration of the implants and the natural reshaping of the bone and gums following surgery. At this stage, final impressions are taken to begin the process of creating the final prosthesis, typically made of monolithic zirconia.
5. Final Prosthesis and Cleaning Schedule
Once the final prosthesis is fitted, it’s crucial to maintain regular cleaning schedules. For a zirconia prosthesis, cleanings are recommended every six to twelve months. In contrast, acrylic or titanium hybrid prostheses require more frequent cleanings, typically every six months, due to their tendency to attract more bacteria.
Choosing the Right Prosthesis
The choice of material for the final prosthesis is an important decision. Zirconia is recommended for its resilience, aesthetic appeal, and lower propensity to attract bacteria. In contrast, acrylic prostheses may lead to staining and breakage over time.
Patients have the opportunity to customize the final appearance of their prosthesis, including adjustments in shade and shape, to ensure their satisfaction with the final result.
The All-on-Four dental implant procedure is a comprehensive process that requires careful planning and attention at every stage. Understanding the timeline and what to expect at each step helps patients navigate the journey towards a successful and satisfying outcome. Regular post-procedure care and maintenance are crucial to ensure the longevity and health of the dental implants and prosthesis.