The All-on-4 Procedure
The All-on-4 procedure is a serious surgical procedure that requires several weeks of recovery. There are several steps associated with the complete procedure.
Here’s an overview:
Start with the Examination
Before you get the procedure, a dentist would examine your teeth and discuss the treatment with you. At this point, you can choose what type of All-on-4 dentures you want. The dentist will x-ray your mouth if necessary. If you have teeth stubs or lone teeth that might interfere, your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction.
After you qualify, you should schedule your surgery with a qualified oral surgeon. Patients are typically given a local anaesthetic to numb the gums for the procedure. In some cases, a general anaesthetic, which sedates you completely, might be used. This is the case if you have a dental phobia. The surgeon will first prepare your gums for receiving the implants. This may involve tooth extraction and removing diseased gum tissue (from gingivitis). The implants are placed two in the front, and two at the back. The back implants are placed at an angle to act as “anchors” for the dentures you would wear. The oral surgeon would make small cuts in the gums for the implants. Then, the surgeon would drill into the jawbone and insert the implants. The gums would be stitched to allow healing. After the surgeon cleans the surgical sites, the procedure would be over. You will be transferred to a recovery room to allow the anaesthesia to wear off. You may experience some pain as the feeling comes back to your mouth. At this point, a dentist may prescribe you antibiotics to minimize the risk of infection.
The recovery period can be roughly broken down into two stages. The first stage is allowing your gums to repair themselves from the wounds of the surgery. This would be a quick healing process that might last a week or two. It’s highly recommended to rest for the first week after the implant surgery. Expect the initial days to be difficult and painful. You will have to limit yourself to soft foods. You would also have to manage the pain from the surgery.
You may experience some side effects from the surgery, such as these:
Recovering from an implant surgery would be painful. Different patients experience pain differently. Some patients experience severe pain that might require a prescription painkiller. Your dentist would recommend treatments to manage the pain the best. Resting well after the surgery should reduce discomfort levels.
Bleeding after Surgery
Soon after the surgery, you may experience gum bleeding. A small amount is fine but persistent bleeding is a cause for concern. You would have to remain in the in-clinic recovery room longer if you experience this issue.
It’s quite normal for a surgical site to show signs of swelling. Some people may experience this problem worse than others. The surgical site may swell up to two or three days. The dentist would prescribe medication to manage the swelling. You can also try home remedies, such as using ice packs. Nausea—The surgery itself doesn’t cause nausea, but the medication you are taking to aid in recovery might. Also, if you accidentally swallow blood from the gums, it may cause nausea. Nausea should go away in a day or two. But if it persists, you must immediately seek medical attention.
Bruising and Discoloration
In some cases, the surgical site looks bruised or discoloured several days after surgery. The site may turn black, yellow, or blue, which is not unusual. But the discolouration should go away on its own. You can try applying heat to the area to reduce the discolouration. If it doesn’t go away, you must contact your dentist.
The gauze and stitches in your mouth may cause dry lips. Difficulty swallowing may cause the problem as well. Keep your lips hydrated by drinking water or using chapstick to reduce discomfort.
A sore throat following surgery is not a sign of an infection. If you keep your mouth open mostly after the surgery, your throat may become sore. The sore throat must pass away on its own. Persisting sore throat indicates a serious medical issue.
Weird Sensations in the Mouth
After the surgery, you may experience prickly or sharp feelings in your found. It might feel as if something is jabbing in there. This occurs if jawbone pieces, broken off from the drilling, poke from the gums. The walls of the jawbones from a tooth extraction can cause this sensation as well. If the feeling is particularly uncomfortable, you must speak with your dentist immediately. The side effects should disappear as your mouth heals. If you experience continuing or particularly severe side effects contact the dentist or your general practitioner. Afterwards, you would need a much longer period for the jawbone to heal. The jawbone must repair itself around the implants. The new growth of bone tissue would fuse the implants to the jawbone, at which point the implants can act as artificial roots for teeth. This process can take 3 to 8 months, depending on your individual health profile.
Getting the Dentures
There would be several dentist visits following the surgery to make sure your gums and jaws are healing properly. When the dentist determines the implants are fused to the jawbone, you can get the dentures. The dentist would fix the dentures to the implants as a permanent fixture. This process is relatively simple. However, your dentist may make minor cuts in your gum to expose the implants. But recovering from this procedure won’t take long as the surgery. Once the implants are in, the All-on-4 procedure would be complete.