The term “All-on-4” refers to a specific pattern of dental implant placement to allow restoration of all the teeth, in either the upper or lower jaw. Before the bio-engineering regarding complete dental arch restoration was well understood, it was not uncommon for patients to have multiple dental implants placed in the edentulous (all the teeth are missing) jaw, with the idea that more dental implants provided greater strength.
Bio-engineering studies subsequently demonstrated that 4-6 dental implants placed in an edentulous jaw provided sufficient stability to support the reconstructed dental arch, and that adding more dental implants did not increase the strength or longevity of the restored teeth. The good news for patients who have lost, or will soon lose all the teeth in one or both jaws, is that full dental arch reconstruction can now be done much more cost effectively and comfortably than in the past. These complex dental reconstruction cases are computer planned and executed such that a patient can go to sleep in the office setting, have all the diseased teeth removed, the bone of the jaw modified, and dental implants placed in one procedure.
This treatment is most often followed by the placement temporary teeth that are connected to the implants, during the same day. The patient wears the temporary teeth for a period of 6 months, at which time the dental implants are fully integrated into the jaw, and a final, permanent dental restoration is then placed. The patient visits with their restorative dentist on a regular basis to have the dental restoration monitored and maintained.