Anyone who has had major dental surgery knows that taking time to recover is part of the process. Wisdom teeth extractions, dental implants and full mouth restoration procedures all involve periods of rest, as well as temporary changes to your diet and other habits. Your personal situation, dental history and other factors influence how long this recovery period lasts.
The All-on-4® procedure is an advanced form of full-mouth dental restoration. It’s very similar to traditional dental implants, but with a crucial difference: it involves supporting an entire arch of new teeth on just four implants. Unlike dentures, which are sometimes ill-fitting and uncomfortable, All-on-4® dental implants don’t need to be removed for cleaning or when you go to sleep. A procedure with a 98% success rate, All-on-4® provides you with a new set of teeth in just 24 hours. Of course, getting used to All-on-4® teeth is par for the course. Many new patients about to embark on their All-on-4® journey have concerns about eating with All-on-4® prosthesis and questions like “Do All-on-4® feel like real teeth?”
Next Smile Australia delivers the All-on-4® treatment using the Malo Protocol, a two-stage process that All-on-4® pioneer Dr Paulo Malo created. During stage one of the process, you receive your provisional bridge of teeth to wear for three to six months while your implants fuse with your jawbone. Once this process of osseointegration is complete, it’s time to fit your final set of teeth.
How long is the period of getting used to All-on-4® teeth, and how long can you smile, speak and eat with them just as you would with your regular teeth? By following the recovery timeline and observing the right aftercare procedures, you’ll usually find that it doesn’t take very long at all.
All-on-4® is designed for patients who have lost all or most of their teeth due to common causes like injury, illness, genetic conditions or trauma. If you only have one or two missing teeth, traditional dental implants are a more appropriate form of treatment. So, do All-on-4® feel like real teeth? And how long can you expect the phase of getting used to All-on-4® teeth to last?
Your provisional bridge will be ready no later than 24 hours after your All-on-4® dental implant surgery and often as soon as you wake up from it. While All-on-4® has a faster recovery time than other dental restoration procedures due to not requiring dental bone grafting, among other additional procedures, there is still a recovery period involved. You’ll want to take at least a few days off work to rest as you deal with some of the standard swelling and soreness.
You can resume normal use of your teeth (speaking, eating, smiling, etc.) as soon as you receive your provisional bridge. But there are guidelines you should follow during the aftercare stage and foods to avoid when you’re eating with an All-on-4® prosthesis.
Thorough and diligent aftercare makes the process of getting used to All-on-4® teeth a lot easier. Next Smile Australia is happy to help with the aftercare stage of your All-on-4® process, and a few simple steps can make the stage easier for you:
Don’t brush or rinse your teeth for 24 hours
Brushing or rinsing your teeth can interrupt the healing process that naturally takes place immediately after All-on-4® surgery. It is recommended to wait 24 hours before you rinse or brush your teeth.
Brush All-on-4®like real teeth
Clean your All-on-4® prosthesis the same way you would your natural teeth: all the way up to your gum line with a soft bristle toothbrush. Brush twice a day, floss at least once a day and rinse after every meal. You can also use a gum stimulator to remove food particles that have gotten lodged between your dental implants and gums.
Don’t smoke or vape
A habit that’s already harmful to your oral health at the best of times, smoking and vaping can cause infection a lack of saliva production and prevent gum tissue and bone from rejuvenating. This all could lead to a much longer recovery period and risk of the dental implants not fusing to the bone, causing the treatment to fail.
Book regular dental check-ups
All-on-4® implants don’t decay like real teeth, but you should still book dental check-ups and cleans regularly. Next Smile Australia recommends one check-up and clean every six months to maintain optimal implant placement and good oral health.
Foods to Avoid In the Healing Stage
An important aspect of getting used to All-on-4® teeth is watching what you eat during the recovery process. Eating with an All-on-4® prosthesis can be challenging at first. But once the recovery period is over, you can return to eating whatever you want. Here’s a brief list of what sort of foods to avoid in your early stages of recovery.
Hot food and drink
It only gets easier after the first few days of eating with an All-on-4® prosthesis. During the first few days, you’ll have to stick to soft or blended foods. You’ll also have to avoid hot beverages and foods like coffee and soup during this period to avoid burning your mouth due to the anaesthetic.
Hard or crunchy foods
Avoid hard or crunchy foods during the first 12 weeks of getting used to All-on-4® teeth to avoid putting unnecessary pressure onto the dental implants while they fuse to your jawbone.
Alcohol not only slows down the healing process, but it also interferes with medications for dealing with the pain.
Hot or spicy foods tend to irritate the implant sites and hinder the healing process.
There are many more foods you should avoid after you have dental implants: nuts, popcorn, acidic foods, and hard candy.
To protect your dental implants while getting used to All-on-4® teeth, stick to soft foods like smoothies, soups, poached eggs, fish, hummus, bananas and steamed or boiled vegetables.
Tips for Getting Used To Your New Teeth
After a healing and adjustment period, All-on-4® feel mostly like real teeth and look and function the same way. They feel natural and unobtrusive, and you won’t feel overly conscious of their presence in your mouth. The main difference between an All-on-4® prosthesis and your natural teeth is that because they’re not attached to your nerve endings, they don’t feel sensations like hot and cold. Here are some tips for getting used to your new teeth quicker:
Although All-on-4® teeth let you speak as naturally as real teeth (and prevent the difficulties with pronouncing certain sounds that arise from missing teeth), it still takes a while for your mouth to become accustomed to speaking with them. The more often you speak in the weeks and months following your dental implant surgery, the sooner you’ll get used to speaking with All-on-4®.
Practice good oral hygiene
Following all aftercare procedures and taking care of your dental hygiene keeps your mouth healthy and helps your new teeth feel more natural faster.
Mostly, getting used to your new teeth just takes time. With enough rest and repeated usage, it won’t be long at all until your All-on-4® teeth feel just like your natural teeth.
A Renewed Smile at Next Smile Australia
If you’ve lost all or most of your teeth, there’s a high chance that All-on-4® is the right procedure for you. Next Smile Australia can provide you with a brand new, authentic-looking smile that restores your self-confidence in how you look. To see more of the results and hear the patient stories for yourself, take a look at our patient journey videos.
Next Smile Australia takes a dedicated and empathetic approach to your treatment and carries it out at one of our hygienic, medically regulated Super Clinics.
For more information about the All-on-4® procedure or to arrange a personal consultation, contact Next Smile Australia.