There are two reasons why you could have food trapped under your All on 4 prosthesis, both are related to the design. One could be a small gap between your All on 4 and your gums and the other could be the shape of the prosthesis being inadequate.
One of the most difficult things to accomplish with an All on 4 is the prosthetic design. The design of the teeth must be cleansable otherwise a food trap will form underneath. The design must also allow floss to pass underneath and around each implant to effectively remove any food or debris.
If a gap or space is present between your gums and teeth, all we need to do is add material to fill in the space. This can easily be resolved in office by our on-site lab technician. It only takes a few hours and typically can be done the same day, leaving our patients feeling confident knowing they won’t be without their teeth for very long. Unfortunately there are some cases that require the adjustments or repairs be done by an outsourced laboratory.
It’s still possible to have a food trap without any gaps or spaces between your gums and the prosthesis. This is usually due to the shape of the All of 4. If you choose acrylic we can easily adjust the material with a bur (filing instrument), however if your prosthesis is made of zirconia this type of adjustment could be more challenging due to the zirconia material being much more stronger than your typical acrylic thus making it harder to file/grind down. We do not recommend filing or grinding zirconia material because it creates micro fractures and could potentially weaken the structure of your prosthesis. Either way these types of adjustments require the touch of a qualified dental laboratory technician.
All on 4 prosthetics made from acrylic are normally very easy to fix. We unscrew the prosthesis from the implants and make the adjustments to the areas creating the food trap. In some cases we may need to add acrylic in order to achieve better contact with the surrounding tissue.
Final prosthetics made with Zirconia are more difficult to fix. The prosthesis will need to be removed, relined and carefully adjusted with a bur. If this isn’t done precisely it can cause fractures to the porcelain. In some cases we may need to add porcelain to fill in any gaps/spaces between the prosthesis and the gums.