When is the Right Time to Consider All-on-4? Re-examining Your Dental Plan
A few years ago no one even knew about all 4 dental implant bridges, while today, many patients specifically request this treatment thinking it will solve their dental issues. But, even though it’s objectively amazing, is this treatment really the best option for you? It’s time to take a look at some possible issues with this procedure that can cause problems for you in the future.
This is a major concern for many patients that consider all on 4. In some cases, bridges require both horizontal and vertical bulk that will make them strong and durable. While vertical bulk can vary in height, most bridges need to be high at least 15mm or more. What this means is that your clinician might be forced to replace more than just your missing teeth to achieve the right height. They often need to tackle soft tissue and bone, even if it’s strong and healthy. In some cases, this makes no difference, but in others, it can affect the sounds like “D”, “T” and “N” as the tongue needs to adapt to the new teeth. Horizontal bulk, on the other hand, can affect “S” sounds and result in lisping. Some patients don’t see that as a problem and many learn to adapt to the changes quickly, but for some, this can be a huge problem.
Excessive biting force
This can be a big issue if you don’t hire a good specialist. When having a dual-arch treatment, you might develop an excessive biting force. Why? Well, your jaw has something called periodontal ligaments that make teeth sensitive to low forces. Your dental implants don’t have this ligament which means you’ll need to extort approximately 10 times more force to register your bite. It’s hard to imagine, but try to remember the feeling you get when you’re recovering from local anesthesia after you had your tooth fixed. You certainly know how hard it is to recognize excessive force and any contact to the tooth when your tooth is numb. This can result in damage to all 4 bridges and even bone loss. However, if you find a good all on 4 dental implants expert, they will explain that you have to be mindful while using your new teeth for the first few weeks and even months until you get the feel and learn how to use them properly.
Inability to notice irregular biting
Some unhealthy habits you have like clenching your jaw, grinding your teeth when you sleep or irregular chewing cycles can mess with your all in 4 treatment. Like with the excessive biting force mentioned above, you can also struggle with detecting these irregularities. At first, you need to be very mindful with your biting so that you can modify your negative behavior and not damage your new teeth.
Difficulty adapting to the feel
Your bridges might slightly affect your speech, but they can also bring some other unpleasant side effects. For instance, it can be quite hard for some to adapt to the feel of having something foreign in your mouth. You’re probably used to the transition of your tongue from your soft tissue to your teeth which you can’t really feel with all on 4 bridges. You will feel your real soft tissue, then the fake soft tissue of the bridge, and then your new teeth. Some patients might consider this a problem, but most learn to live with it pretty fast. There’s nothing you can do to get that natural feeling back, so it’s best to just go with it and your brain will learn to adapt.
If you decide that all on 4 is the right procedure for you, once you get your new teeth, all the negative side effects will be worth it. A bold and radiant smile is priceless!