This four-part article series explains the meaning of some rudimentary dental implant terminology that patients might come across on their journey to getting new teeth.
Welcome back to our four-part article series on the rudimentary terminology you might like to know if you are looking into getting new teeth in one day. In our previous article installment, part two of the series, we provided definitions for two conventional teeth replacement technologies: non-implant supported bridges and removable dentures. We then went on to explain the dangers often associated with these technologies, which only replace the visible portion of missing teeth - alveolar atrophy. Let’s now take a look at bone grafting and a sophisticated dental implant procedure that can be used to give patients presenting with advanced jaw bone loss new teeth in as little as a single day!
Dental Terminology You Might Like to Know!
Bone Grafting: “Bone grafting” is procedure whereby bone tissue is acquired from another part of the body (or another source) and used to augment the jaw in site/s of depleted bone volume. As it was discussed in Part 2 of this article series, bone loss is generally a result of tooth loss and alveolar atrophy. In the context of oral and maxillofacial surgery, bone grafting is done to augment and encourage the growth of new and healthy bone tissue in the jaw so that dental implants can be placed. Bone grafting is an invasive procedure and is therefore can be quite traumatic and painful for patients to go through. It is also expensive and usually requires many months of healing before the jawbone is strong enough to accept implants.
The “All-on-4": The All-on-4 is a revolutionary dental implant technique that was first introduced to the market in the early 1990’s. Since it’s innovation by European implantologist, Dr. Paulo Malo, it has enjoyed tremendous success worldwide due to its ability to provide patients suffering with failing dentition (or who have lost most if not all of their original adult teeth) with a brand new set of fixed teeth in as little as a single day, with a single surgery. This treatment time goes without precedent: Traditional dental implant procedures and techniques could require as many as 18 months to give patients new teeth.
This All-on-4 protocol consists of the strategic placement and angulation of four dental implants in regions of the jawbone that are more resistant to the atrophy caused by tooth loss (see image above). Through the careful planning of implant sites, oral specialists are almost always able to find enough support for a customized, non-removable (fixed) prosthetic dental bridge, without the need for bone grafting first. This saves patients in need of new teeth the trauma and expense of undergoing such a procedure, while also saving them the many months that would otherwise be spent in recovery.
For these reasons and many more, the All-on-4 is considered a “breakthrough” in the fields of dental implantology and fixed oral rehabilitation.
Osseointegration: The process whereby bone tissue biologically bonds or fuses with the surface of an implant. Titanium is completely biocompatible, so the body typically does not reject the implant. Rather, the bone cells attach themselves to its surface and new bone grows around the implant.
Stay Tuned for Part 4
To learn more about dental implants and oral health terminology, stay tuned for the final installment of this four-part article series.