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All-On-Four® Dental Implant Frequently Asked Questions
How are All-On-Four® Dental Implants different from dentures?
As opposed to dentures, All-On-Four® dental implants are a permanent set of teeth that look and feel natural, which means they:
- Are permanent teeth that are brushed and cleaned like natural teeth
- Do not have to be taken out and cleaned each night
- Do not need messy, sticky adhesives
- Do not press down on your gums, preventing discomfort
- Allow for you to taste and experience the hot/cold of your food
- Do not cause you to gag
- Allow you to bite with increased force, which means you can eat all of your favorite foods
- Prevent bone deterioration
How do All-On-Four® Dental Implants compare to traditional implants?
All-On-Four® Dental Implant procedures utilize only 4 implants, whereas traditional implants utilize anywhere from 5 to 8 implants in one arch. Because the posterior implants of the All-On-Four® procedure are placed at an angle, it allows for increased support by using the natural support of your bone.
Also, traditional implants often require bone grafting, a process that can take 6 months or more. The All-On-Four® Dental protocol requires no bone grafting for most patients, with a success rate that is equal to or better than traditional implants.
All-On-Four® Dental Implants save you from unnecessary surgery and discomfort, as well as time and money.
What makes Dr. Brueggen qualified to perform All-On-Four® procedures?
Dr. Brueggen has performed dental implant procedures since the 1970s and has become a leader in the Houston area because of his expertise in the field. He has studied under the pioneer of the All-On-Four protocol, Dr. Paulo Malo.
Every patient is different and can be complex due to health issues and unique bone conditions. But, Dr. Brueggen has seen it all and can provide each patient with a solution that will be safe and effective for them.
Furthermore, the Brueggen Dental Implant Center is fully equipped with imaging equipment, an on-site lab and an experienced team to provide you with the best care possible.
How many All-On-Four® Dental Implant Procedures has Dr. Brueggen performed?
Dr. Brueggen has been performing dental implant procedures for over 30 years. The All-On-Four® protocol was pioneered in Europe. Published papers began appearing around 1994. At the time, it seemed a radical concept defying many long held beliefs. Dr. Brueggen was immediately intrigued by the concept, though skeptical, and began following the literature. After reviewing 10 years of published data suggesting astonishing results, primarily from Dr. Paulo Malo the pioneer of the All-on-Four technique, Dr. Brueggen began to believe that perhaps this young surgeon from Portugal might be on to something.
In 2005, Dr. Brueggen was privileged to be invited to a lecture given by Dr. Malo in California. After meeting Dr. Malo, studying his body of evidence, and questioning his methods, Dr. Brueggen was convinced that this was a compelling new method for alleviating the crippling effects of total tooth loss. Dr. Brueggen asked Dr. Malo if he could come to Portugal and study with him and he agreed. Early in 2006, Dr. Brueggen went to Portugal and began an in depth study of both the surgical and prosthetic protocol. Immediately upon returning home, Dr. Brueggen began offering this procedure and now works with All-on-Four cases routinely with patients from all over the world. He feels that, in most cases, it provides a better and more permanent solution for his patients.
What is his success rate with All-On-Four® Dental Implants?
Published studies show a 98.2% success rate using All-On-Four® Dental Implants on the lower arch, and a 97 - 98% success rate using them on the upper arch.
Dr. Brueggen agrees with those studies. In rare occasions, an implant can fail to integrate. In that instance, Dr. Brueggen will discuss your options with you and determine the best solution. In most cases, it simply requires placing the implant in a slightly different position.
Who is the ideal candidate for All-On-Four Dental Implants?
The ideal candidate for the All-On-Four® Dental Implant procedure is someone who is currently wearing dentures or will need dentures in the future and is in good health with little bone deterioration. If you or Dr. Brueggen are concerned about any health issues, he will contact your physician to discuss your medical condition and determine if this procedure is right for you. Dr. Brueggen will obtain medical clearance from your doctor, if your doctor feels that it is acceptable to proceed with the procedure. It is rare for a medical condition to interfere with your ability to have this procedure.
However, because of his expertise, Dr. Brueggen has been able to work with all types of bone conditions and those who might have been turned away from other dentists. In this instance, Dr. Brueggen might have to place additional implants to counteract the bone loss or perhaps help you to grow more bone, but no matter what, Dr. Brueggen will personally evaluate your case to provide you with the best possible results.
If Dr. Brueggen feels that you are not a good candidate for All-On-Four® Dental Implants because of health concerns or severe bone loss, don't worry; Dr. Brueggen is an expert in all types of dental implants. There are always alternative procedures to meet your needs.
Where will my replacement teeth be made?
Your brand new smile is crafted in our on-site lab. Every part of your procedure, from beginning to end, is created under one roof and Dr. Brueggen personally oversees each step to ensure the best results possible.
Will my results look natural?
Dr. Brueggen uses the latest concepts in smile design to create your new smile. Dr. Brueggen takes your facial features, skin tone, age, and personality into consideration when creating your new permanent set of teeth to ensure that they are congruent with your features. It is important that they are the right size, shape, color, and proportion. A common mistake made by dentists inexperienced with the subtleties of the prosthetic demands, is to show a line, when smiling, where the artificial gums meet your natural gums. This is evaluated by Dr. Brueggen during the surgical planning to ensure that this junction is not visible during smiling or speech and you have the most natural outcome possible.
Prior to the fabrication of your final set of new teeth, Dr. Brueggen makes sure that you are pleased with the size, shape, color, proportion, and comfort of your new teeth. Many patients comment that their new teeth are more beautiful than their permanent teeth ever were. You can be confident in your new smile.
From beginning to end, what should I expect with my All-On-Four® Dental Implant procedure?
Each patient is different, and therefore, can expect different timelines, but a general guideline for the All-On-Four® Dental Implant Procedure is:
1-2 visits for initial consultation and to prepare x-rays and impressions
1 visit to place the implants and new teeth and extract any teeth (if necessary)
Come back for post op visits as required usually 2
1 visit four months after placing implants for new impressions for the permanent set of teeth
1 visit six months after placing implants to place permanent set of teeth
Why don't I get my permanent set of teeth the day my implants are placed?
As with any surgery, you need time to heal. So, once the implants are placed, you are given a temporary set of teeth or long-term provisional prosthesis made of acrylic resin, which places less stress on your gums and implants. With this set of teeth, you take it easy. You can eat solid foods, but we ask you to only eat foods that can be cut with a fork or that you do not have to tear with your front teeth (like apples).
Once your gums have healed and the implants have stabilized, Dr. Brueggen will place your permanent set of teeth, which will be made of acrylic or porcelain and will have a titanium frame that allows you to enjoy all of your favorite foods.
What if I just need implants on my both arches? Do I need to have All-On-Four® Dental Implants on both arches done at the same time?
it is usually best to perform the procedure at the same time to achieve better results, and save you time and money. But in some cases, we can schedule separate procedures to meet your financial and health needs.