All-on-4® Dental Implants

Can Restore Your Smile in a Day

For patients who are missing most or all of their teeth, implant-supported dentures offer the most stable, natural-looking form of restoration. Dental implants are tiny posts embedded in the jaw to replace lost tooth roots. Dr. E. Richard Hughes is proud to offer the All-on-4® technique, which involves placing just four implants to fully restore your dental arch.

Using this minimally invasive technique, you can arrive at our office with a compromised smile, and leave with a fully restored ability to chew, speak, and smile with confidence. To learn more about whether the All-on-4® method is right for you, contact our Sterling, VA, practice and schedule a consultation with us today.

Understanding the All-on-4® Treatment Concept

The All-on-4® method represents an exciting breakthrough in the field of restorative dentistry. During surgery, Dr. Hughes will use sophisticated diagnostic tools to determine the optimal positioning of just four implants in your jaw to provide incredible support for a full denture. During the same appointment, he can attach an immediate-placement denture. After surgery, you can immediately experience the benefits of a fully restored smile.

Many Patients are All-on-4® Candidates

Once teeth are extracted or lost, the surrounding bone tissue typically atrophies or shrinks. Consequently, if you delay treatment for a missing tooth, you will likely need a bone graft in order to provide the necessary support for a traditional dental implant. However, many patients who have experienced some degree of bone atrophy may still qualify for All-on-4® implants. By placing the implants at a slight angle in the jaw, the All-on-4® method takes full advantage of a patient’s existing bone tissue, allowing a greater number of candidates to qualify for implant-supported dentures.

Good candidates for the All-on-4® method are:

  • In good overall health
  • Free from medical conditions that could complicate recovery
  • Missing the majority of their teeth in the upper or lower arch
  • About to undergo multiple tooth extractions to address decay, injury, infection, or other dental health issues
  • Dissatisfied with the function and feel of their traditional dentures
  • Dedicated to maintaining good oral hygiene habits

Although a much wider range of patients can qualify for All-on-4 implants than traditional ones, you still need to be in good oral health. If Dr. Hughes detects the presence of periodontitis, decay, or other oral health problems, these must be addressed before you can become eligible for dental implants.

Additional Benefits

The All-on-4® implant technique can offer a wealth of benefits over other restorative options:

  • Reduced recovery time: The minimally invasive nature of the All-on-4® technique reduces your recovery time and minimizes your already low risk of complications.
  • Convenience: Traditional implant surgery can require several months of healing before restorations can be placed. The All-on-4® method allows Dr. Hughes to place a fully functional denture the same day as your surgery.
  • Aesthetics: Implant-supported dentures rest snugly against the gums and will never shift or loosen while you eat and speak.
  • Cost savings: Because it requires only one surgical procedure, the All-on-4® method generally costs less than the cost of receiving conventional implants.
  • Enhanced stability: Tilting the two posterior implants allows Dr. Hughes to use longer posts. This increases the bone-to-implant contact, providing greater stability after the posts have fused with the surrounding bone.

All-on-4® has helped many patients improve their quality of life, but the procedure is not right for everyone. To determine whether you are a suitable candidate, Dr. Hughes will perform a thorough evaluation of your overall health, treatment goals, and other important factors.

How Are All-on-4® Dental Implants Placed?

Your All-on-4® dental implant treatment begins with a consultation at our Sterling dental clinic. Before this appointment, you may wish to write down any questions that you have about the surgery and recovery. Dr. Hughes will answer these in as much detail as you like and walk you through what to expect. If you are found to be a good candidate for this restorative treatment, an appointment will be scheduled to place your dental implants.

If you experience dental anxiety, Dr. Hughes offers nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation options to help you relax during treatment. Once you are comfortable, he will begin your implant surgery by numbing your gums with a local anesthetic. If any teeth need to be extracted before your implants are placed, they will be gently loosened and removed at this point.

Although dental implant surgery is an outpatient procedure, you should plan to have someone drive you home afterward.

Once you are comfortable, small incisions will be made in your gums. The doctor will use these openings to create four small holes in the jawbone and place your implants. The incisions will then be closed up again and gauze placed over the surgical sites. Your doctor will then attach a prosthesis to the implants. You can then leave the office with a complete set of implant-retained dentures that will allow you to chew, speak, and smile with confidence.

The procedure typically takes several hours to complete. Although dental implant surgery is an outpatient procedure, you should plan to have someone drive you home afterward.

After Surgery

The All-on-4® technique reduces healing times, but it is still a surgery. Dr. Hughes recommends that patients take a week off from work to recover. Post-surgical pain should be manageable with over-the-counter medications. Dr. Hughes may ask you to return to our office about two to three weeks after your procedure for a follow-up appointment.

Over the next four to six months, your implants will fuse to the surrounding jawbone tissue through a natural process known as osseointegration. Around four to six months after your initial surgery, you will be scheduled for an appointment to check on your healing. If osseointegration has been successful, we can make an impression of your smile.

This mold will be used to manufacture your reinforced hybrid prosthesis at a trusted laboratory. Technicians from our partner lab will ensure that your permanent denture is crafted precisely to your measurements. Your new denture will have the same natural look and fit as your temporary prosthetic, but it will be made to last decades.

Learn More During a Consultation

If you are suffering from missing teeth, Dr. Hughes can help you rebuild your smile promptly and effectively. Dr. Hughes is an honored fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry with over 20 years of experience in implant dentistry. Contact Dr. Hughes’ office today to learn more about the All-on-4® method.