A closer look at the All-On-4 dental implant procedure.

All-On-4 : Dental Implants

Many people believe that the adage: “New teeth in a day” is too good to be true. In reality, it’s possible, but only with careful planning and expert care.

Below, we’ve outlined each step in our process to give our patients a better idea of how we approach the procedure and achieve our success rate:

• We will work with you, your personal physician, and your local dentist to collect as much medical information about your condition as possible. This allows us to avoid any surprises upon your arrival and increases the likelihood that we can complete your treatment in one visit.
• We will coordinate your overall treatment and maintenance with the local doctor in your area so that you will have support in your local area post-surgery if needs arise, and so you will have a destination for ongoing maintenance.

• We will arrange your accommodations as well as your travel to and from our surgical facility to make your visit as easy as possible. We will also provide guidance for things to do and see while you are visiting Montana, tailored to your individual wishes, from sightseeing to fly fishing.

• You will have a face-to-face consultation with the doctor and staff at the Surgical Arts Centre two days prior to your surgery for final information gathering and preparation for your surgery.
Your surgery will start first thing in the morning at typically last from one to three hours.

• Once the surgical phase of your treatment is complete, you will wake up and the process of delivering your new smile will begin with the help of our in-house lab technician. This step will also typically take from one to three hours. During this phase you will receive continuous care from our nursing team to make sure you are comfortable and that your needs are attended to.

• Once the lab has completed your new bridge, it will be attached you your implants and you can begin showing off your new smile!

•  You will come back to the Surgical Arts Centre the next day for an evaluation following surgery and to check the accuracy and comfort of your new bite.

• After your 24-hour check, you may head to the airport to travel home if you wish. Some patients choose longer to avoid changes in atmospheric pressure during flight that may cause discomfort, but we have not had patients complain of this problem, even when flying the day after surgery.

• After surgery, you will be asked to maintain a soft diet consisting of things easily cut with a fork for between four and six months. During this time, the bone around your implants matures. After four to six months, you will have your implants checked either by your local dentist or your surgeon to confirm that the bone has healed properly. If all is well at this point you can begin to enjoy an unrestricted diet from this point forward.
• Many patients will at this point choose or need to have a new bridge fabricated for their implants. We can facilitate this process in Missoula, but since doing this portion correctly requires several visits over a period of time, many patients complete this portion with their home dentist for convenience.This new bridge may be needed for several reasons:

  • As you heal, the shape and bulk of the soft tissue and bone under your bridge will change. For some patients this will be significant and allow food under bridge, or create other concerns.
  • The original bridge placed the day of surgery is acrylic. Some patients prefer the fabrication of a bridge with titanium reinforcing frame to prevent breakage.
  • A new bridge made with a titanium substructure allows patients to have more molars, further back in the mouth.
  • If the patient is not entirely satisfied with look of the original bridge (shade, tooth shape, size, etc) a new bridge can be made, achieving the exact look the patient desires.

What might other centers do differently – and what should I be wary of?

• Most destination practices offering dental implant treatment market themselves as an “all-in-one” destination. Be aware that it is not possible or desirable to fabricate a titanium frame bridge in just a couple of days. Doctors claiming this are not offering the same process that we recommend.

Any center that does not require you to have an ongoing relationship with a qualified doctor in your area is not giving you the whole story. Dental implants require diligent maintenance and attention from a skilled dentist. For many patients, this is even more important than with natural teeth. Anyone who does not stress this importance does not have your best interests in mind.

• Many service providers have doctors with no special training, other than taking a weekend course or two. The All-On-4 procedure is a highly specialized and challenging procedure and the skill of the doctor determines not just the immediate result, but the probability the outcome will last a life-time. Be absolutely certain to research your doctor’s experience and training specifically with the AO4 procedure.

Request a consultation with Dr. Holtzen today

Call our office today to learn whether All-on-4 may be a good fit for your dental implant needs – and to schedule an appointment to speak with our surgeon. We are happy to answer your questions and listen to your story: (406) 549-6600.

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