How are All-on-4 Dental Implants different from dentures?

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For several years, the only options for replacing missing teeth were to go without or to have a custom denture or bridge made. With the invention of dental implants, this changed. Implants, rather than a replacement device that rests on top of the gums and jaw, embed an artificial tooth root directly into the jawbone, making them the best and most stable alternative to natural teeth.
When it comes to removing all of your teeth, there are two main options: an implant device called All-On-4 and standard denture plates. The All-On-4 Dental Implant choice is the best option for the majority of patients. 

Dental implants have many advantages.

By their very nature, implants provide several advantages and are now considered the gold standard of treatment for patients who need tooth replacement, whether for a single tooth, multiple teeth, or a full collection. The most noticeable advantage of implants over dentures is that they are permanent.

Removable appliances that can fall during eating or speech do not cause embarrassment. However, that is just the start of the benefits that implants have. Other advantages include:

  • Other teeth can be reduced or used as anchors for dental appliances as a result of the reduced effects.
  • Longer life expectancy than removable dentures
  • Easier to keep clean, as they need the same grooming procedures as standard teeth.
  • Since the implant interacts with bone similarly to natural teeth, there is less loss of jawbone mass.

All-On-Four implants

When a single tooth is replaced with an implant, the system closely resembles a natural tooth. The implant resembles the root of a natural tooth, and the artificial crown mimics the form and structure of the visible portion of a natural tooth.

When replacing multiple teeth, however, you do not need one implant per missing tooth, particularly if the missing teeth are adjacent or if you’ve lost all of your teeth. When a whole collection of upper or lower teeth has to be replaced, the All-On-Four system expands the benefits of dental implants.

Instead of one implant per tooth, the All-On-Four device anchors a permanent replacement package, top, bottom, or both, with four implants. Porcelain, a durable, stain-resistant material that closely resembles natural teeth in color and translucence, is often used for prosthetic teeth.

Eight implants can be used to secure all of your teeth. Since the precise location of the implants is variable, you could still be a candidate for the All-On-Four method if you’ve lost bone mass in your jaw due to missing teeth. These can be used if there is still enough bone mass. The implant post and the jawbone integrate, providing a base that exceeds the power of natural teeth, as with all dental implants.

Are All-on-4 Implants right for you?

If you’ve lost all or most of your teeth, All-on-4 is something you should seriously consider. One of the advantages of the procedure is that it doesn’t require bone grafts; the way the posts are placed takes advantage of the densest areas of the jaw, so even patients with some bone loss will be able to get it done.

If you have gum disease, it must be treated prior to the implant surgery; however, if you smoke, you must quit both before and after the operation to reduce the risk of infection.

Two of the implants – specifically the ones in the back of the mouth – are implanted at a 45-degree angle in an All-on-4 operation, which enables them to rely on the thickest parts of the jawbone for support. Also, though you’d typically have to wait for the area around your implants to recover before getting some kind of reconstruction, the All-on-4 treatment generally allows you to get temporary dentures to wear in the meantime.

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When should dentures be preferred over All-On-Four implants?

Despite the numerous benefits of the implant-based All-On-Four method, there are a few factors that may lead you to choose removable dentures. The loss of jawbone mass may be the most convincing explanation. If you’ve been without teeth for a long time, you might have lost so much bone that you can’t get implants to function. Bone grafting is an alternative, but it adds to the All-On-Four procedure’s time and cost.

References:

Poly‐ether‐ether‐ketone and implant dentistry: the future of mimicking natural dentition is now!, Polymer International, 10.1002/pi.6212, 00, (2021).
 
Comparative Analysis of the Stability of Prosthetic Screws under Cyclic Loading in Implant Prosthodontics: An In Vitro Study, Applied Sciences, 10.3390/app11020622, 112, (622), (2021).
 
Implant and prosthesis survival rates of full‐arch immediate prostheses supported by implants with and without bicortical anchorage: Up to 2 years of follow‐up retrospective study, Clinical Oral Implants Research, 10.1111/clr.13678, 321, (37-43), (2020).