Dental procedures can be frightening for many individuals who are not sure what to expect, especially when it comes to a new set of teeth. At BioDental, we strongly believe that educating our patients on what to expect and the realities of working towards their new smile will alleviate concerns and reduce anxieties.
Setting Realistic Expectations
The allure of getting a complete set of shiny new teeth in a single visit is captivating, but it’s important to understand that this applies to just around 10% of patients. While some clinics promote “same-day” treatments, the reality often involves a process known as “immediate loading.” This means placing temporary dentures on the same day as an implant placement. However, only a specific group of patients meet the criteria for this approach, which hinges on implant torque and positioning. At BioDental, our team of experts with extensive experience will usually suggest that immediate loading may not suit those needing multiple extractions before implantation. This step is taken to minimize the increased risk of implant failure. Our goal is always to ensure successful and long-lasting implants that are done right the first time.
Will All-on-4(6) Feel Just Like My Natural Teeth?
It’s essential to differentiate All-On-4(6) restorations from the sensation of natural teeth. Natural teeth are held by the periodontal ligament, a flexible tissue between the tooth’s root and the jawbone. This design permits slight movement and acts as a shock absorber while eating. Additionally, nerve endings linked to the alveolar nerve provide the sensory experience of biting and chewing to the brain.
In contrast, All-On-4(6) procedures involve directly implanting fixtures into the jawbone, without the presence of nerve endings associated with natural teeth. This absence means a lack of tactile feedback related to biting and chewing. Instead, the patient may feel gentle pressure on their gums, which is the point of contact for the implant retained denture. Over time, most patients easily adjust to the feeling.
It’s Important to Still Have Regular Dental Visits Even with All-On-4(6)
Let’s debunk a common misconception – the notion that getting All-On-4(6) teeth eliminates the need for future dental visits. This is surely not the case! After the initial procedure, regular visits to the dentist remain essential to maintain the implants and prosthetic components to ensure your implants last as long as possible. BioDental recommends regular check ups every 6 months to ensure ongoing stability of both the implant and denture.
In addition to checking the function of the implants, professional dental care is critical for personal hygiene and overall oral health. Patients should also continue to brush after every meal, use mouth rinse, water picks and of course floss regularly. These actions play a key role in preventing leftover food particles from accumulating between the gums, dentures and implants. Being proactive with oral hygiene significantly reduces the risk of potential issues like peri-implantitis or implant complications along with other oral health issues.
Speech Changes Post-Denture Placement:
Some patients have noted changes in their speech after receiving their final All-On-4(6) dentures. This adjustment is simply due to the tongue naturally adapting, influenced by several factors. For example, if a patient has been without teeth or has had very few teeth for an extended period, the tongue needs to broaden to occupy the space once filled by the teeth. Consequently, when the final dentures are placed, the reduced space may cause the tongue to feel constricted or uncomfortable due to the smaller area. This is completely normal and usually improves over time, and certain exercises can help minimize speech changes. For any patients that have previously had invisalign, this is a relatable experience.
It’s important to acknowledge that some patients may not fully revert to their pre-denture speech patterns. This altered way of speaking becomes the new normal for these individuals but remember that this change is typically subtle and often more noticeable to the speaker than those around them.
Embracing All-On-4(6), but Being Mindful of Eating:
While many believe that All-On-4(6) teeth function exactly like natural teeth, this isn’t entirely accurate at all times. Despite the strength of modern materials used for the procedure, they aren’t always completely resistant to chipping or breaking (but neither are natural teeth!) The general guidelines remains: if a substance can harm your natural teeth, it can also damage dentures. It’s worth noting that biting into whole applies or tackling tough items like bones and unshelled nuts are discouraged for those with dentures as well.
Facing a Chipped, Cracked, or Broken Tooth:
Even though many materials can withstand pressure, none can claim to be unbreakable. Fortunately, at BioDental all our dentures and prosthesis come with a five-year warranty, and we’ll repair or replace them at no cost to our patients as many times as needed during that warranty period.
Ready to take the next step and learn more during an in person consultation? Contact our office today to schedule your time with an expert! Call us at (619) 754-8508 and we would be happy to answer any concerns before getting started on what can be a life-changing procedure.