Learn some interesting facts about dental implants in this four-part article series, from their historical conception to their sophistication as a strong and durable tooth replacement technology.
Welcome back to our four-part article series on the historical development and amazing abilities of dental implants in Chicago. Over the course of our previous three article posts, we have looked at some of the incredible facts to be found on this indispensible technology, from the discovery of osseointegration in 1952 to the 98% success rate of modern dental implant procedures. In this article, the final installment of the series, we shall finish off by discussing how far implant surgery has come since the early 1990’s.
Interesting Fact # 7: Dental Implants Can Give Patients New Teeth in One Day
In the early 1990’s, European implantologist, Dr. Paulo Malo, developed a dental implant technique that would enable specially trained dentists to achieve the unprecedented in the fields of fixed oral rehabilitation and dental implantology. This innovation, termed “All on 4 Implants” was able to give patients a brand new set of teeth in a single day, with a single surgery. In order to fully appreciate this, let’s take a look at the route for teeth replacement using traditional dental implant procedures.
Let’s pretend that you’re edentulous (don’t have a single original adult tooth left) or are facing an immediate future of edentulism. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that this isn’t too much of a stretch of the imagination! Before the introduction of All on 4 Implants, the journey taken to get a complete set of fixed and non-removable teeth placed would require:
- As long as 18 months for you to get new teeth,
- As many as 6, 8 or even 10 dental implants per jaw,
- Multiple surgeries and recovery periods,
- Bone grafting surgery, which is painful and expensive
- Over a hundred thousand dollars to finance!
Dr. Malo was well aware of the limitations and challenges of traditional dental implant procedures, especially in the treatment of edentulous and near-edentulous patients. So, he dedicated much time and effort to the development of a surgical technique that would bypass these challenges and, in doing so, immensely cut down on the time and expense required to give patients new teeth. The fruits of his labor are “All on 4 Implants”. Let’s take a look at how they work.
The “All on 4” technique essentially consists of the very precise placement and angulation of only four dental implants in the upper and/or lower jaw. A customized prosthetic dental bridge, which looks like a full set of teeth, is then attached to the abutments of these dental implants. The positioning of the dental implants enables oral surgeons to reap maximum support from the jawbone for a set of replacement teeth, even in cases where patients have lost a lot of supporting bone tissue due to denture wearing.
This typically bypasses the need for bone grafting (a massive accomplishment in itself), and because only four dental implants are needed, the entire procedure can be done in a single day, with only a single surgery! This reduces the expense of fixed oral rehabilitation by tens of thousands of dollars, making it far more accessible to a greater number of patients in desperate need of a new set of teeth.
A Final Note on Dental Implants
As you can see from all the amazing facts discussed, dental implants really are a feat of modern dental and medical science. Their abilities are simply unparalleled and yet, with every passing year, implant hardware and surgical procedures continue to be refined and further developed. From the earliest replacement teeth carved out of seashell to modern All on 4 Implants: the science has come a very long way and continues proudly on its upward trajectory!