How serious of a problem is tooth loss? Does tooth loss in one area affect teeth in other areas of my mouth? Is tooth replacement painful? How long does it take to replace a full set of teeth? What if I’m only missing a few teeth on the top (or on the bottom)? 

These are all great questions that Anchorage, Alaska, implant dentists hear every day. If you’ve lost teeth due to tooth decay, gum disease, or an accident, you are not alone. At any given time in the United States, millions of people face tooth loss.

Yes, tooth loss is a serious problem, but it’s a problem with more than one solution. Missing teeth is an aesthetic problem, but missing teeth can also cause problems with your oral health and the functioning of your teeth and gums. Whether you’re missing one tooth, several teeth, or all of your teeth (both arches), your Anchorage, Alaska, dental implant dentist can fix the problem of missing teeth, restoring your teeth and your self-confidence. 

If you’ve been avoiding social situations and other life experiences due to missing teeth, please know that there are solutions that permanently correct the embarrassing problem of tooth loss. While dentures are a temporary fix that most people struggle with, dental implants are a permanent solution that could easily last the rest of your life if they’re properly maintained. 

If you are in fairly good health, don’t smoke cigarettes, and have no pre-existing medical conditions that would preclude you from getting dental implants, please read on to learn more about the differences between traditional dental implants and All-On-4 Dental Implants®.

Traditional Dental Implants

Traditional dental implants involve several posts being surgically placed into your jawbone. These titanium posts (that resemble screws) serve as the tooth roots for the missing teeth. Most people require 6-8 dental implants to replace a full set of teeth (both lower and upper arches).

Here’s a snapshot of the dental implant procedure with traditional implants:

Traditional implants are just one of the different types of implants available today. Every patient’s treatment plan differs and is based on many factors including the number of missing teeth, the amount of existing jawbone, general health, and commitment to post-surgery instructions.

  • If you have a sufficient amount of jawbone to work with, you will likely not require a bone graft. Prior to undergoing any part of the dental implant process, your remaining teeth and your gums will be treated for any disease or decay. It’s very important to place dental implants into a healthy mouth. 
  • While you’re under anesthesia, your Anchorage, Alaska, implant dentist will prepare the gums, and holes will be made in your jawbone to prepare them for the implants.
  • Osseointegration (when the implant fuses with your jaw) will occur in the months after the implants are surgically placed. Your jawbone will strengthen and grow around the dental implant, so your implant can function as a normal tooth root. This stage is a very important one, and the length of time needed for successful osseointegration varies with each patient.
  • Then, an abutment (a connector) will be placed to connect the tooth replacement to the crown which will be added later.
  • The gums continue to heal after the abutment is placed.
  • Your dental implant dentist will take an impression of your teeth so that your permanent replacement teeth will fit properly and securely.
  • Then, your permanent tooth replacements will be placed and polished. A dental crown is usually the finishing touch of a dental implant.

All-on-4 Dental Implants®

As its name clearly indicates, All-on-4 Dental Implants® use only four posts to replace a full set of teeth. With the All-On-4 procedure, the bone density required to secure the implants is less than is needed with traditional implants; traditional implants require a much higher degree of bone density.

The All-on-4 implant technique requires that the Anchorage implant dentist tilt the posterior implants 45° toward the back of the mouth. The posterior implants are placed into the anterior maxilla, which is part of the jaw with more bone density.

The All-on-4 procedure is less invasive than traditional implants because fewer implants must be placed. Since All-on-4® implants eliminate the need for bone grafting, people with osteoporosis may be considered for these dental implants in Anchorage, Alaska.

More About Traditional Dental Implants vs. All-on-4 Dental Implants® in Anchorage

Please call Excellence in Dentistry, serving Anchorage and surrounding areas of Alaska, to learn more about dental implants or to schedule an appointment for a consultation (907) 349-0022

You may also fill out our online contact form, so one of our dental team members can reach out to help. Dr. Kendall Skinner and Dr. Michael Fox have many years of experience in implant dentistry, general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry, and laser dentistry and stand ready to help you experience innovative tooth replacement options that last long and change lives.