When searching for the right dental treatment for you, a major part of the process is asking questions. It’s important to find out if a treatment option is right for your particular situation, what it involves, what the side effects are, and how your personal dental and medical history may affect the outcome. Missing teeth can negatively impact your life in several ways, ranging from your oral health to the health of your heart through to your job prospects. Various treatment options exist, although not all are right for every person. One that has consistently achieved positive results is the All-on-4® treatment concept.
All-on-4® is a form of reconstructive dental treatment that provides a new set of teeth that look, feel and function like a natural set. But if you haven’t yet explored the treatment concept deeply or had a personal consultation, the difference between this and other treatment options, such as dentures, may not be obvious. You may wonder: “if All-on-4® are artificial teeth, are they removable? Do they last forever? How will the implants fit into my gum, and does food get stuck under the All-on-4® teeth?”
All-on-4® isn’t just about looking better. While giving you a new smile is part of the treatment, All-on-4® is also designed to protect your oral and physical health and improve your overall quality of life. This includes allowing you to eat and drink whatever you like whenever you want. The idea of food particles getting lodged and trapped beneath artificial teeth is troubling. That’s why we’ve decided to explain exactly what All-on-4® is, how you can eat once your new teeth have been implanted and how to keep them clean.
What is All-on-4®?
You’ve heard of dentures, more commonly known as “false teeth”. You’ve also likely heard of dental implants, which involve inserting a series of titanium screws into the gum to replace each missing tooth’s roots and attaching an artificial “crown” to the top of each screw. Both are among the most popular treatments for missing teeth, along with dental bridges. All have proven effective treatment options suitable for patients with varying degrees of tooth loss.
What makes All-on-4® different? All-on-4® offers a long-lasting full “bridge” or arch of new teeth supported by only four implants: two at the front and two at the back on each jawbone. While there are many potential patients looking for solutions to their dental issues who still may not have heard of All-on-4®, it has been around for many years. The procedure has a clinically proven 98% success rate.
But long-term denture users who are thinking of switching to the All-on-4® treatment may wonder, “does food get stuck under the All-on-4® teeth like it sometimes does with dentures?
It’s worth pointing out that there are significant differences between the way that All-on-4® works and other forms of dental treatment. Dr Paulo Malo pioneered the All-on-4® treatment in 1998 and has personally trained many Next Smile dentists and surgeons in his approach. The treatment style is certainly unique, but it has also proven to be very effective.
How Does All-on-4® Work?
Instead of requiring a titanium screw for each artificial tooth, All-on-4® supports an entire bridge of new teeth using four implants. This avoids bone grafting and therefore speeds up results, shortens the healing time and avoids a lot of the discomfort present in other forms of treatment.
This is how Next Smile approaches the All-on-4® process: we use ‘the Malo Protocol’, Dr Malo’s own technique. You’ll receive your first set of new teeth during the first stage, a ‘provisional bridge’. This is often ready as soon as you wake up from implant surgery, but always within the next 24 hours. You’ll wear this provisional bridge for three to six months, giving the new implants time to fuse with your bone (osseointegration). During this time, you’ll already be able to reap the benefits of All-on-4®, eat and drink the things you used to enjoy and share your new smile with everyone you meet.
After your provisional period and your new implants have become part of your jawbone, you’ll be ready for stage two: fitting your ‘final bridge’ or new set of long-lasting teeth. The benefits of this treatment process are numerous: no bone grafting or long, painful recovery period to go with it, a new smile in one day and the peace of mind that the dental surgeon who performed the treatment has followed the protocol of the procedure’s creator.
But can you really start eating the day you get your provisional bridge? Does food get stuck under the All-on-4® teeth either in the provisional or the final stage?
Can Food Get Stuck Under the All-on-4® Teeth?
While dentures can make it difficult to eat certain foods (e.g. hard foods like corn on the cob or chewy foods like pork chops), All-on-4® function like real teeth and give you the freedom to eat or drink anything you like as soon as your healing period is over (it’s still best to avoid hot drinks and hard foods immediately after your surgery).
Does food get stuck under the All-on-4® teeth? It’s possible but extremely unlikely. Like other dental implants, All-on-4® teeth sit above the gum line, leaving a slight gap for cleaning.
Next Smile’s All-on-4® Super Clinics have state-of-the-art technology, and we customise your All-on-4® teeth using digital impressions of your jaw. When you seek out All-on-4® treatments from Next Smile, any chance of your bridge being improperly fitted is so low as to be negligible. However, food can get lodged under the bridge and around the implant connectors to the bridge. While your All-on-4® teeth aren’t susceptible to tooth decay, it’s still important to take care of them by cleaning them twice daily and attending regular dental hygiene appointments.
How to Look After Your All-on-4® Teeth
Does food get stuck under the All-on-4® teeth? It can. Food can get lodged under the bridge and around the implant connectors to the bridge but can be easily cleaned.
The All-on-4® treatment includes very specific after-care instructions, including not rinsing or brushing your teeth for 24 hours after surgery. For the next two weeks, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush and only the minimum amount of pressure to clean your teeth. After a couple of weeks, you should maintain a cleaning routine similar to the one you would use to look after your natural teeth. Brush twice a day, floss at least once and use an antibacterial mouthwash.
Book a Consultation at Your Nearest Next Smile Super Clinic
If you’re ready to improve your smile, All-on-4® may be the treatment for you. Patients suitable for All-on-4® include those who have lost multiple teeth due to illness, genetic conditions, tooth decay or injury and those who aren’t suitable for other teeth restoration methods.
Our team members are guided by values like empathy, transparency, dedication and excellence, and we bring these qualities to every stage of your treatment journey.
Our All-on-4® Super Clinics are industry-leading clinics designed to provide our patients with the highest levels of care in a hygienic, medically regulated setting. Our clinics are not only staffed by Malo-trained professionals such as surgeons, but they’re also equipped with advanced dental technology and all the facilities necessary to make All-on-4® teeth in-house. These include dental laboratories, state-of-the-art surgical rooms, X-rays and CBCT scans. We’ll keep all of your appointments under one roof. And if you live a long way from a major city, our accredited partners provide the same standard of ongoing care and maintenance closer to home.
If you’d like to find out more about the All-on-4® treatment and our All-on-4® Super Clinics, contact Next Smile.