Dental Implant Maintenance and Aftercare

When patients talk with us about full arch solutions, they routinely talk about how they, “once and for all want to be done with teeth!”  As dentists, we smile and very considerately begin to offer solutions ranging from dentures to the exciting world of full arch teeth replacement with dental implants.  What’s funny is that both paths require ongoing maintenance.  
Close-up of a dentist working in a patient's mouth


Do I have to come back to the dentist once my All on 4 full arch restoration is completed?

Yes, that’s right, you have to keep coming to the dentist!  The best analogy would be a car, a home, or any other performance related machine you have in your life.  Cars require oil changes, lubrication, tires and brakes.  A simple conventional denture requires relines and new teeth periodically for optimal performance.  A full arch restoration like the acrylic or zirconia All-on-4 arch has to have a little maintenance along the way also.  It is this bit of little talked about detail that is important to know as you consider restoration of your smile.

How often or why do full arch restorations need to removed?

To remove or not remove the bridge or arch is what the routine maintenance question boils down to when reviewing our professions recommendations.  Historically, there have been calls for removal four times a year, once a year, once every two years and on and on.  As evidence has accumulated, it has become clear that tissues that are in good condition and enjoying great oral hygiene with no plaque accumulation don’t need the full arch restoration to be removed for preventive maintenance.

In fact, in 2016, the American College of Prosthodontists published a consensus statement that said, “Removal of a fixed, screw-retained implant prosthesis for evaluation is not needed unless there are signs of peri-implantitis, a demonstrated inability to maintain adequate oral hygiene, or there are mechanical complications that require removal.1”

So this statement basically divides patients into two cohorts.  The first is the “no problems” group.  Oral hygiene compliance and care support the health of the implants. and restoration to the point that annual exam with an peri-apical X-ray picture of each implant and dental prophylaxis with our hygienists is all that is needed.  The appliance is cleaned in place and without removal. 

Patients in this category will come annually for maintanence.  Their visit will include a clinical examination, a review of the patient’s occlusion and the tissue health around the prosthetic, implants and abutments. If all appear healthy, the “routine cleaning” will proceed using titanium scalers, ultrasonics, an air polisher with glycine powder, or rubber cup with a fine-grit polishing paste.  This service is not included in the cost of your initial treatment but should be expected as the ongoing oversight of your dentist is essential to long term success.

Close-up of the inside of a patient's mouth

If we find that your situation includes inflammation, bleeding gum tissue, overgrowth of tartar or dental calculus, removal of the full arch All-on-4 restoration will be required and a more frequent hygiene recall interval will be prescribed. 

What are the costs of All-On-4 Full Arch Hybrid Maintenance?

You will need to attend a routine care appointment each year no different than someone with a healthy natural dentition.  The recall examination will specific for your implant case and will include observation and characterization of the tissues around your implants.  X-Ray pictures of each implant will be taken annually and one radiograph is needed for each implant.  A minimum of four radiographs are necessary for each arch.  Finally, the dental prophylaxis will be completed to include polishing of the teeth and acrylic or zirconia of the super structure.
2021 Pricing:

  • Recall Examination $64
  • 4 Peri-apical Radiographs $120
  • Routine Prophylaxis $115

Should your appliance require removal due to disease consideration, there is an additional fee of $450.  This fee is necessitated by the complex nature of the full arch retention system.   An additional charge for the new abutment screws needed to replace the “stretched” screws removed for servicing the appliance or tissues beneath.  The new abutment screws are needed to maintain the precision levels of torque necessary to make the full arch restoration perform without exception.

Contact Us to Schedule a Consultation

All-on-4® dental implants can improve your dental health and your overall quality of life. To find out if you are a candidate for All-on-4® treatment during a dental implants consultation, contact 38th Street Dental in Austin today.

The team at 38th Street Dental

38th Street Dental

38th Street Dental in Austin, TX, utilizes the latest proven technology to provide you personalized dental care. Dr. Meek and Dr. Tasch are members of local and national dental associations, including:

  • The American Dental Association
  • The Texas Dental Association
  • The Academy of General Dentistry
  • The Capital Area Dental Society

To schedule an appointment, call us at (512) 458-6222 or contact us online today!

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