What if you could replace all your teeth with just four implants per arch?
Millions of American adults struggle with missing, broken, or otherwise unsightly teeth. Often, these imperfect teeth can be treated with a variety of cosmetic procedures from dental implants to crowns and bridges.
However, what happens when you need to replace an entire arch?
That’s where fixed full arch dental implants or All On 4 dental implants come in.
What Are All On 4 Dental Implants?
To understand what All On 4 dental implants are, it helps to know about dental implants. All dental implants require the placement of tiny titanium posts, or screws, embedded in your jaw. These implants provide the foundation of various cosmetic prosthetics such as crowns or bridges.
Implants are by far the preferred choice for replacing missing teeth. Implants replace dental roots and provide a strong, integrated foundation for prosthetic attachments.
All On 4 dental implants are a type of fixed full-arch replacement treatment. All On 4 implants are designed to replace an entire upper or lower arch. The All On 4 approach utilizes just four strategically located implants to support a fixed bridge, or denture prosthetic. This arch replacement strategy has numerous advantages over other teeth replacement treatments.
What Are the Benefits & Advantages of All On 4 Dental Implants?
All On 4 dental implants have many advantages over conventional dental implants and traditional dentures.
- Fixed in place
- Natural mouth feel
- Natural aesthetic qualities
- Biologically integrated (osseointegration)
- Prevents bone resorption
- Minimal jaw bone depth requirements
- Potentially lower lifetime costs
- New teeth in a single appointment
Challenges of All On 4 Dental Implants
All On 4 dental implants are an excellent choice for full arch replacement patients. Additionally, All On 4 dental implants are suitable for a wide range of patients.
However, All On 4 dental implants aren’t for everyone.
Challenges associated with All On 4 dental implants include:
- Unsuitable for single tooth replacements
- Requires a minimum jaw bone depth
- Higher upfront costs than alternatives
- Device failures can require extensive repairs
All On 4 Dental Implants vs. Dentures
Traditional dentures are a popular alternative to dental implants. Prior to the invention and widespread use of modern dental implants, dentures were the preferred treatment for missing teeth. While affordable and easy to replace, dentures have significant drawbacks when compared to implant-based solutions.
Major differences between dentures and All On 4 dental implants include:
- Cost (initial)
In general, dentures are much less expensive than All On 4 dental implants. However, when lifetime costs are taken into consideration, the total cost differences are less clear-cut. Traditional dentures must be replaced as frequently as every few years. In comparison, All On 4 dental implants can last many years or longer. Well-designed, expertly fitted, and well-maintained, it’s not uncommon for All On 4 dental implants to last decades or even a lifetime.
This brings us to the question of longevity. All On 4 dental implants can be expected to last much longer than a set of dentures. Dentures must be replaced frequently. Furthermore, removable dentures are prone to breakage from being repeatedly removed for cleaning.
All On 4 implants function much like your natural teeth. On the other hand, dentures can sometimes fall out or limit what you can eat and do. One of the best arguments for All On 4 dental implants is the high level of functionality they provide.
While both All On 4 dental implants and traditional dentures can look great, All On 4 dental implants tend to look more natural and aesthetically pleasing. All On 4’s must be carefully tailored and fitted for each person’s individual smile. As a result, All On 4 custom solutions tend to look better than mass-produced dentures.
Finally, there is no question that All On 4’s feel much better in the mouth. They are functional extensions of your jaw and feel much like your natural teeth would. Dentures simply cannot compare to implant-based solutions in this important regard.
All On 4 Dental Implants vs Indivudual Dental Implants
While similar in some ways, All On 4 dental implants should not be confused with conventional individual dental implants.
In order to replace a full arch of teeth, All On 4 dental implants require four strategically placed dental implants per arch. In contrast, a conventional individual implant approach would require as many as 14 implants for a single arch or 28 implants for a full mouth replacement. The significant difference in the number of implants required translates to reduced costs, reduced surgical time, reduced recovery time, and reduced overall treatment time in favor of All On 4 dental implants.
The major difference between All On 4 dental implants and conventional implants include:
- Cost (initial)
- Surgical scope
- Recovery time
- Required pre-existing bone depth