Comparison of All-on-4 Dental Implants

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All-on-4 dental implants are just one solution for complete tooth loss in your upper or lower jaw. Other options are traditional dental implants, mini dental implants, and All-on-6 dental implants.

Comparison of All-on-4 Dental Implants

Comparing All-on-4 to Traditional Dental Implants

There are several important differences between these two treatments outlined below.

Number of Implants Required

Traditional dental implants to restore a full arch of teeth require at least six or more implants to be inserted into the jaw. With traditional treatment, the implants are inserted at regular intervals along the jaw; with this technique, the load must be spread evenly.

In comparison, just four dental implants are needed for All-on-Four, and all are inserted towards the front of the jaw. The technique is specially designed to provide the strength and stability needed due to the angulation of two of the implants that are tilted backward.

The angulation allows longer implant posts to be used; increasing contact with the surrounding bone increasing enables longer implant screws to be used. The longer screws provide greater contact with the surrounding bone and provide additional strength and stability.

Treatment Time and Recovery

Traditional dental implant treatment can be lengthy. Once the implants are inserted into the jawbone, they are often fitted with healing caps and left undisturbed for several months for osseointegration, where the implant posts become fused into the bone around them.

During healing, a temporary restoration such as a denture may be used as it is vital the implants are not disturbed or placed under any stress. Once healing is complete, abutments can be fitted to the implants, and a detailed dental impression is taken to fabricate the permanent implant teeth. Once ready, the permanent implant teeth can be fitted, completing treatment.

When fewer implants are needed, treatment times are faster. Often, with All-on-Four, inserting the implants and fitting new implant teeth soon after surgery is sometimes possible. These implant teeth may be temporary, but they are made before surgery, so they are ready to fit quickly, possibly on the same day. Because just four implants are needed, recovery times are quicker and smoother with less discomfort.

Bone Grafting Requirements

Traditional implant treatment often requires bone grafting as patients may have lost teeth due to periodontal disease or trauma that has resulted in jawbone loss. Also, the jawbone tends to be thinner in certain areas, for example, in the jaw closest to the sinus cavities, just above the upper back teeth.

Although bone grafting is extremely effective, it lengthens treatment times and increases the cost.

All-on-Four dental implants do not usually require bone grafting because of where the implants are located. The jawbone is naturally stronger and thicker toward the front of the jaw, and this treatment is designed to maximize its use.

Cost and Affordability

All-on-4 implants tend to be more affordable compared to traditional implants. This is because fewer implants are needed, and bone grafting is less likely to be needed.

Related Articles: When is All on 4 the Best Option?

Comparing All-on-4 to Mini Dental Implants

Mini dental implants are smaller and narrower compared to traditional implants and those used in All-on-4. Generally, mini dental implants are used to stabilize loose dentures so the prosthesis is removable rather than permanently fixed in place. Other differences between these systems are outlined below.

Number of Implants Required

Typically, a complete arch of teeth can be secured with six or more mini dental implants. The exact number can vary depending on your specific oral health requirements and the type of final restoration chosen. Like traditional implants, these are inserted evenly along the arch to help spread the load.

Just four implants are needed with All-on-4.

Treatment Time and Recovery

Mini dental implants can be relatively quick to insert since they are placed directly through the gum and into the bone. Therefore, there is less need for incisions into the gum tissue, and healing is faster afterward. Just like All-on-4, teeth can be fitted onto the implants soon afterward. These may be temporary or permanent.

Bone Grafting Requirements

Mini dental implant posts are narrower in diameter than traditional implants, which can help avoid the need for bone grafting. However, they must still be inserted into areas of the jawbone where the bone is healthy and strong. Although there may be less need for bone grafting than traditional implants, a bone graft might be required in certain cases to help ensure a more successful treatment outcome.

As mentioned earlier, bone grafting is most likely unnecessary with All-on-4.

Cost and Affordability

Mini dental implants are affordable as their smaller size is reflected in the treatment cost. However, mini dental implants are a newer implant system, so there is less research into their longevity. Generally, mini implants can provide a good outcome in specific circumstances, but more traditional implants or All-on-4 could be a better choice with affordable prices.

Related Articles: Eligibility Criteria for All-on-4 Dental Implants

Comparing All-on-4 to All-on-6 Implants

While just four dental implants are adequate to support a complete arch of teeth in most cases, sometimes an additional two dental implants might be recommended, a treatment called All-on-6.

Implant Placement and Angulation

Implant placement is similar for both treatments. In both cases, two implants are inserted vertically at the front of the mouth, and the remaining implants are inserted at an angle on either side. With All-on-Six, two angled implants are inserted on either side of the vertical implants.

Stability and Strength of All-on-6

Because two more implants are used with this treatment, stability and strength is greater. The two additional implants can share more of the load, ensuring the restoration is strong and stable. This might be desirable if you need to replace an upper arch of teeth, as the upper jawbone is naturally thinner and weaker than the lower jawbone. However, sometimes, All-on-6 is also recommended when replacing a lower arch of teeth and where additional stability is needed.

Bone Requirements and Grafting

Just like with All-on-4, the need for bone grafting is lower compared with traditional dental implants. Because two additional implants are required, bone grafting might be more likely with this treatment, but it is usually unnecessary.

Longevity and Success Rates

All-on-4 and All-on-6 can provide excellent long-term results, giving patients teeth that are strong, stable, and look good. While All-on-6 might be slightly more expensive due to the additional two implants, it is recommended in specific circumstances.

If our dentist suggests All-on-6, they will explain why they think you need the two additional implants and the long-term benefits of choosing this treatment over All-on-4.

Related Articles: Long-Term Maintenance of All-on-4 Dental Implants

Advantages of All-on-4 Implants

All-on-Four dental implants offer some clear advantages, which are listed below.

Restoring Full Mouth Functionality

Eating or talking without teeth is extremely difficult, and this treatment restores complete functionality. Your All-on-4 implant teeth will feel strong and secure, restoring your ability to bite and chew food. Implant teeth provide a biting strength similar to natural teeth, so you can eat almost anything you wish.

Improved Oral Health

Dental implants help protect the bone around them, preventing bone loss. All-on-Four implant restorations are designed to restore the correct facial dimensions between your upper and lower jaws, protecting your jaw joints. They also provide the right support for your facial muscles.

Enhanced Appearance and Confidence

Having teeth that look and feel strong and healthy can boost self-confidence levels enormously, especially if you have spent years suffering with failing, painful, and broken down teeth. Dental implant teeth look natural and are designed to enhance your appearance. The highest quality restorations make it difficult to tell you ever lost teeth.

Ideal for Replacing Multiple Teeth

All-on-Four dental implants are ideal for replacing multiple teeth, especially complete arches. The procedure can replace 10 or 12 teeth comfortably and securely.

Related Articles: Post-Operative Care for All-on-4 Dental Implants

Factors to Consider When Choosing All on Four

If this treatment is an option, there are several factors to consider, including:

  • Your oral health and overall health.
  • Treatment costs and whether any of these fees will be met by insurance.
  • The long-term value of treatment is that it can be a great investment in your dental health.
  • Your preference for fixed or removable teeth, as All-on-Four can be suitable for either.

Oral and Overall Health

All-on-4 is a good long-term solution for tooth loss, and this procedure has been tried and tested. It is suitable for most people, but as with any implant treatment, our implant dentist will carefully review your general and dental health before recommending this procedure.

Treatment Costs

We will provide a comprehensive treatment plan outlining all possible costs for each available option. If you have good dental insurance, some of these costs may be covered, and it is worth contacting your insurance provider for more information or asking our dental team for help and advice. While most insurance policies will not routinely cover the cost of implants, more are recognizing the dental and general health benefits of treatment.

Long-Term Treatment Value

Implants are designed to last many years, especially when well-planned and cared for correctly. Although they cost more initially, they can prove more cost-effective in the longer term, and of course, you will enjoy all the other benefits of teeth that look good and feel strong and secure.

Your Preference for Fixed or Removable Teeth

It is versatile, as you can choose to have fixed or removable teeth, and various materials can be used to make these prostheses. While many people will prefer the idea of fixed teeth, a removable prosthesis will be easier for some to care for. It is also important to consider how the prosthesis will feel in the mouth. Because it may replace some gum tissue and teeth, the size might be larger than you initially expected, and you will need time to adapt to how it looks and feels.

All options outlined above can be discussed in greater detail during your consultation. Our experienced implant team can help you decide which treatment is most suitable and will provide the desired outcome.

Page Updated on May 13, 2024 by
Dr. Rahmani
Implant Dentist
) of
NYC Dental Implants Center
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