When you have dental issues that are noticeable, such as damaged, diseased, or missing teeth, you may be tempted to hide them from the world. In today’s society, healthy teeth are often viewed as a sign of attractiveness, overall health, and success. Missing teeth can impact your self-esteem. If you’re looking for ways to restore your smile, the All-on-4 solution can restore your confidence.

Male patient smiling in a dental chair.

The Psychological Impact of Missing Teeth

Tooth loss can affect people for a variety of reasons, and although the physical effects are obvious, the emotional impact cannot be overlooked. A smile is one of an individual’s most defining features, and studies show that it is one of the most memorable characteristics to people you meet. Missing teeth have a significant impact on the look of your smile, so it is not surprising that tooth loss can greatly affect self-confidence.

Those who have broken or damaged teeth, tooth loss, or dental diseases that cause a visual change in their smile can experience a significant feeling of insecurity and inadequacy. As low self-confidence continues, work and social life satisfaction may decrease as well.  Many adults who experience tooth loss have social embarrassment, because there is a social stigma attached to tooth loss, with “bad teeth” being associated with low socio-economic status, insufficient hygiene, or poor life choices. While these stereotypes are typically not grounded in fact, the stigma remains and those with dental issues can begin to experience psychological trauma. One of the first responses to tooth loss is usually “how quickly can I get this fixed?”

All-on-4 and Traditional Dental Implants

If you have only one missing or damaged tooth, a traditional implant makes sense. However, if you have several, or a full arch of teeth that need to be replaced, the advanced technique of All-on-4 is a much more practical solution. Traditional implants can only replace one tooth at a time. Each implant will require its own procedure with a bone graft to anchor the post. If you need more than one tooth replaced, the cost to restore your smile as well as the time you will spend in multiple surgeries will greatly increase. Because All-on-4 only requires four to six posts per arch, the procedure is minimally invasive and can replace a full arch of natural teeth with only one surgery. Unlike traditional implants, bone grafts are rarely needed. Rather than individual implanted teeth, the All-on-4 implant is a permanent fixture which looks and functions much like natural teeth.

The Difference Between All-on-4 and Dentures

For many years, dentures were the solution for adults who required more than one or two replacement teeth. While dentures replace a full set of missing teeth, the look, feel, and function is not comparable to All-on-4 therapy.

Dentures often slip and move against the gum line, making eating and speaking difficult, and as they loosen over time with gum recession, they are not only increasingly uncomfortable and do not look natural. Many denture wearers find that dentures decrease their confidence in their smile rather than improve it. They worry that others will be able to tell that they are wearing a set of false teeth when they eat, speak, or even smile in public. By comparison, the All-on-4 solution is permanent and long-lasting. These dental implants are fixed into your jaw, and with proper care, can last the rest of your life. They are made to blend seamlessly and will not move or shift, allowing you to eat, speak, and smile with confidence. Rather than cause additional discomfort or irritation to your gums and jaw, All-on-4 implants can significantly improve your oral health.

All-on-4 Can Positively Impact Your Well-Being

Because All-on-4 provides a fully restored smile – permanently – the psychological impact is positive and significant. Many denture wearers are uncomfortable that their device will be noticeable when they talk, eat, and even smile, as dentures slip and move. But when you have a fully restored set of teeth that are permanently affixed to your jawbone, you will have none of these concerns. Those who have gone through the All-on-4 procedure are able to speak clearly, eat the foods they enjoy, and show off their teeth with confidence.

Who is a Candidate for All-on-4?

If you have missing, diseased, or damaged teeth, you are likely looking for a long-term solution. All-on-4 can be the right solution. In general, if you have missing teeth but healthy gums, good oral hygiene, and sufficient jawbone structure, you are a good candidate for All-on-4. However, if you have certain chronic diseases you may not be able to support the All-on-4 implants. Those with thin or brittle jaw bones may need to have bone graft surgery prior to the All-on-4 procedure. Your dentist will be able to do a thorough evaluation and develop a treatment plan to determine the best path for your success.

Whatever the reason for your missing teeth, there is an accessible solution and no reason to suffer the negative psychological impacts. All-on-4 dental implants can give you back your confidence to eat, drink, talk, and smile in public without worry. If you are struggling with missing or damaged teeth, contact Bellevue Dental Care and Implant Center to learn more about this opportunity and to find out whether or not All-on-4 is right for you.