LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Over the course of about four years, Joey LaBove slowly allowed his big smile to disappear.
"I had some broken teeth in the front, through probably gnashing my teeth at night and my teeth had become brittle," said LaBove.
It was not painful for LaBove, but he said it had an impact on his confidence, personally and professionally, as a salesman.
"I'm an extroverted person, but I caught myself smiling less and smiling what I call through a clenched mouth," he said.
LaBove decided to meet with Dr. Steven Park at Robinson Dental Group in Lake Charles to learn about options to repair his smile.
"I just felt too young to maintain dentures," said LaBove. "I just did not want to do that. I wanted something that would fit my lifestyle and this does."
What LaBove chose is the All-on-4 implant system, using just four dental implants to support a full arch of fixed teeth.
"You can put all of your teeth on four implants and this procedure is revolutionizing what we're doing in implant dentistry," said Dr. Park, "because we're able to place implants the same day and then also put teeth on top of it the same day."
Implants are inserted into the jawbone, acting as anchors for a permanent, full-arch bridge.
"You can angle these implants longer, much more sturdy implants, toward the front of your mouth, but yet still hang back teeth off of them," said Dr. Park.
The All-on-4 dental implants are an option for people who have been told in years past that implants could not be done.
"Even if you have bad teeth, even if you have no bone, if you have very infected teeth," said Dr. Park, "everybody is essentially a candidate for this procedure."
LaBove had the procedure under sedation and says he woke up to a smile he cannot stop showing today.
"I had forgotten what my smile looked like," he said, "so it's nice."
All-on-4 implants can also help slow or eliminate bone resorption and help lower the chance for periodontal disease. The price is hefty, with an estimate for one arch around $25,000. This is for permanent teeth that will not need to be removed. Maintenance is simple brushing and flossing.