A screw-retained denture is another method of retaining dentures with implants. Unlike other methods, these dentures are actually retained with small screws into the implants allowing them to only be removed by your dentist. Due to their high retention, they also allow the majority of the excess acrylic in the dentures to be removed and make the look and feel much more natural and comfortable.
Also known as All-on-4 implant-supported dentures, screw-retained dentures use from four to six dental implants per arch to anchor permanent sets of artificial teeth — dentures. By having a number of anchor points, screw-retained dentures are vastly more stable than regular dentures. There’s no need for adhesives; there’s no slipping. Plus, they don’t cause the gum irritation that occurs with full dentures.
For a person who has been missing all of his or her teeth, the life changes made by All-on-4 implants are hard to sufficiently detail. Instantly the patient can smile confidently, eat a normal diet again, speak more clearly, and feel a real boost in self-confidence.
These are the benefits associated with the All-on-4 dental implant system:
These implant-supported dentures are best for patients who have lost most or all of the natural teeth. In almost all cases, if the patient only has a couple remaining teeth, or if their existing teeth are heavily decayed and damaged, these teeth will be pulled to facilitate moving forward with All-on-4.
Otherwise, there are few restrictions. Age is not an issue. That’s why All-on-4 is popular for our patients from Pasadena and the surrounding areas.
The amazing thing about All-on-4 is that in a single appointment at our offices on Colorado Boulevard a patient can go from having no teeth to having a full set of teeth. That’s crazy, right? No. That’s All-on-4.
Prior to having this procedure, you’ll have a consultation with one of our Dental Studio of Pasadena dentists. This will likely include a panoramic x-ray or CT scan to look at the condition of any remaining teeth and of the jawbone mass. Once you decide to move ahead, you’ll only need two appointments to gain a full new smile.
In the first appointment, we’ll pull any remaining teeth and address your gum problems. Then we’ll plot the location of your four or six implants on each arch. We place the implants and take impressions of your mouth. These will be used to create your permanent full-arch prosthesis for top or bottom or both arches. Next, we’ll place a full arch of temporary dentures on top and bottom, attaching them to the implants.
When your jawbone has grown around your implants, making them a part of the jaw, you’ll return for your second appointment. We’ll have your custom-made prostheses. We remove the temporary arches and then check the fit of your full-arch prosthetic. If everything looks good, we attach your permanent upper and lower arches, and you’re good to go.
As mentioned above, the amazing thing about screw-retained dentures is that they can be done in one day in most cases. The first step, if necessary, is to remove any remaining damaged teeth. We’ll also thoroughly clean out and remove any diseased gum tissue. From there the actual placement of your implants takes just two and a half hours per arch.
We begin the process with a CT scan of your jawbone. This shows us the overall condition of your jawbone and lets us plot the best locations for the eight implants. Next, a computer simulation of your mouth is created, and the implant locations are mapped out. We’ll also take impressions to create your temporary false teeth.
For the actual placement, we can use local or general anesthesia (your choice). We place the two back implants at an angle and the front implants vertically. The implants get their name from the titanium “implant” that is screwed down into the jawbone. For the angled implants, we will drill a tiny hole to start the implant. The vertical implants are usually placed in sockets formerly occupied by the natural tooth roots. After the implants are placed, a post, called an abutment, is attached to each implant. The final step is to attach a temporary set of teeth to the four posts top and bottom. You’re done for now. Since the implants are not fully integrated, at this point you’ll eat a soft diet but you’re likely used to that because you’ve been missing so many teeth.
A period of 3-6 months, depending on how fast your jawbone grows, is then allowed for the implants to fully become accepted by the jawbone, which grows around them. When your Dental Studio of Pasadena dentist feels the implants are fully integrated into the jaw, we replace your temporary prostheses with your permanent teeth. Now, you’re good to go. You can eat what you want and show your beautiful new teeth to the world.
These are remarkable procedures, not just in their simplicity and ease, but also in their lack of pain during recovery. There is some slight discomfort when your gums heal from the small incision used to access the jawbone, but most patients don’t need prescription pain medication, feeling over-the-counter options can easily manage the pain.
Yes, once your eight of 13 implants become a part of the jawbone, they are there for the rest of your life. They will not break down or otherwise dislodge. The full arches of artificial teeth attached to the bottom and top implants will likely need replacing every 15 years or so, but that’s not difficult. We usually can simply recreate the same prosthetics and then attach them to the still-rock solid implants.
The key to long-term success with these procedures is that you keep your gums healthy. To do that, you’ll use a special brush meant to clean under prosthetic appliances. The brush will remove any food debris and plaque from the bottom edge of each prosthesis. Other than that, all you do is brush your full arches of artificial teeth as you would your normal teeth. You’ll need to use a non-abrasive toothpaste to not harm the artificial teeth.
When we place your implants, there is a slight chance of infection. This is rare. The real risk with any implant placement is the failure of the implant. If one of your eight or 12 implants fails, this means there wasn’t successful osseointegration of the implant base into the jawbone. However, this doesn’t mean your entire set of upper and/or lower teeth will fail. We can usually replace that single implant, leaving the others in place. An implant won’t fail a second time.
If you're interested in learning more about All-on-4 dental implants please contact us for a consultation with one of our providers at (626) 431 2930 or fill out our contact us form. We will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.