All-on-4 dental implants, also known as the Boston technique, place four dental implants to replace missing teeth.
Another name for this technique is Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR) or guided tissue regeneration with implantation (GTR-I). It was developed around 1999 by Dr Boston and his team in France. Since then, it has been successfully implemented in thousands of patients all over the world.
Dr Boston’s research showed that placement of 4 dental implants could reliably support replacement crowns for missing anterior teeth without additional bone grafting, thus eliminating the need for complicated surgeries and speeding up treatment time significantly. The procedure uses specific techniques to ensure enough bone is available for dental implants – like removing seeds from a watermelon.
This technique is slightly more challenging than the traditional implant placement, requiring only two dental implants and bone grafting. It, therefore, is typically used for patients with fewer missing teeth or healthier gums. In addition, patients who do not need additional bone augmentation can save substantial costs associated with surgeries and postoperative medication and shorten their treatment time by up to half.
How to place four dental implants using the All-on-4 method?
The All-on-4 method has been hailed as a significant breakthrough in the dental industry and is widely accepted by dentists specialising in implantology. In addition, its simplicity and effectiveness have made it an attractive treatment option for patients seeking to replace one or more missing teeth.
The treatment procedure involves four dental implants placed adjacent but not touching each other. The implants are surgically positioned so that they allow proper placement of the artificial crowns – similar to how beads on a string would be placed just close enough together to allow threading through without obstructions. Patients typically go home with temporary teeth attached to their new dental implants after about five days post-surgery and can enjoy eating and smiling again immediately following their procedure. It usually takes 6 to 18 months for the bone to grow around the implants and create an optimal foundation for permanent teeth replacement. During this time, patients will need to return to their dentist every few months for adjustments of new crowns. After all dental implants are in place, several new teeth can be permanently attached in one setting.
The All-on-4 technique offers a distinct advantage over other options because it uses four dental implants instead of 2 or 3. This allows decreased vertical space between tooth replacements. In addition, it eliminates the need for additional bone grafting procedures, which could add up to 12 weeks onto the treatment time. It also increases patient safety by reducing trauma during surgery and postoperative recovery, reducing blood loss, and eliminating additional medication.
In addition to providing attractive benefits, All-on-4 dental implants are also proven to be stable. In a 10 year study of the Boston technique, it was shown that it is as durable as traditional implant placement procedures. This means patients who underwent this treatment option will not need to return to their dentist every month or two – saving time and money on office visits.
Advances in dental technology have allowed this procedure to surpass traditional dentistry involving bone grafting and more complex surgeries, which results in faster treatment times and higher patient quality of life. As a result, patients with missing teeth use All-on-4 dental implants to replace their natural teeth and regain their beautiful smiles.