Do you want nothing more than new? Dental implants are the best way to avoid having removable teeth. Has this supply been too expensive and time-consuming for you so far? Then the new All on 4 concepts could be a solution for you – but can the new type of dental prosthesis keep what it promises?
The background to the alternative method for dental implants
The All on 4 treatment concept promises toothless patients a quick, relatively inexpensive, and uncomplicated supply with dental implants and fixed dentures. Some dentists have been using the method successfully for years, but it is not the standard care.
Until now, a fixed bridge that had to replace all teeth required at least 8 dental implants in the upper jaw and at least 6 dental implants in the lower jaw. All on four manage with just four implants per jaw. Since dental implants are awfully expensive, the All on 4 concepts significantly reduces your costs for dentures.
Another advantage: Usually, a thin jawbone must be built up to securely anchor dental implants and dentures. Since the All on 4 concept uses a special technique for implantation, you can even get implants if you only have a very thin jawbone. All on 4 promises you a secure supply even without bone grafting.
Besides, with the All on 4 treatment, you will get a temporary bridge inserted directly during the operation, which you will wear during the healing time of the dental implants. This means you do not have to wait a long time for your new, fixed teeth as before.
In most cases, you can have the entire treatment, from pulling the teeth that cannot be preserved, to placing the dental implants, to inserting the first fixed denture, carried out in one day.
How does the All on 4 treatment work?
To plan the dental implants and dentures, the dentist first takes a 3D X-ray of your jaw and takes an impression. Then, based on these images and models, with the help of special planning software, both the exact position of the dental implants is determined, and it produces the first fixed denture for the patient.
On the day of the operation:
- The first thing that is done is to extract any remaining teeth
- then the dental implants are placed using a specially made template
- then the dentures, i.e., the temporary bridge, are screwed on
- patients can go home with their new fixed teeth
Advantages and disadvantages of all four methods
The All on 4 concept sounds like a very tempting way to get fixed dentures inexpensively and easily. But can you also trust the method?
Official recommendations in implantology have so far assumed that it requires 8 dental implants in the upper jaw and 6 in the lower jaw to ensure a secure fit. So far it has also been said that immediate loading of the implants is not possible. But some implantology experts expect that the official recommendations will soon be adjusted and all on 4 will become the standard.
Others advise against the concept because of poor experience. So, they have concerns about loading the implants immediately after insertion. They also suggest that it is important to clean the bridge very thoroughly every day. Otherwise, inflammation, called peri-implantation, and loss of the implants can quickly occur.
The advantages briefly:
- no waiting time for a permanent restoration for your teeth
- also suitable for patients with little bone substance
- fewer dental implants, less cost
- All treatment possible in one day – patients go home with new teeth
Disadvantages of the concept:
- no experience of decades with the concept
- possibly problems because of early loading of the implants
- requires a lot of discipline in brushing teeth and daily oral hygiene
- relatively difficult to clean by yourself
- The risk of inflammation on the implants can lead to loss of dentures
- premature loss of dentures may cause higher costs than expected
All on 4 – is that something for me too?
They developed all four to enable more patients to receive implants. If you have so far shied away from an implant treatment because of the high costs and effort, you can use the All on 4 methods.
The method could be suitable for you, for example, if you only have a small amount of bone left. Because thanks to a special method, less bone substance is required. All four promises to be just as safe and durable as conventional methods. Even if you have shied away from the high costs so far, all on 4 could be a solution for you. The reduced number of implants also means lower costs. Finally, all on 4 is also an option for you if you cannot or do not want to wait for your fixed denture, as you can be fitted with a fixed bridge straight away. Besides all these advantages, it is important to consider whether you trust yourself to do thorough daily cleaning, as it is a prerequisite for the long-term durability of the implants.
The all on four concepts are suitable for patients who:
- have few jawbones
- are looking for an inexpensive alternative in implantology
- want a less complex treatment
- want to have their fixed dentures immediately
- will practice very thorough oral hygiene
For patients who are at increased risk of inflammation of the dental implants, preimplantation have been a fixed bridge only partially suitable. Besides bridges, there are also semi-fixed, implant-supported dentures that you can remove and clean much more easily. Let an experienced dentist advise you which dental prosthesis – whether dental implants or prostheses – is the right one for your teeth.
All on 4 – the cost of your new teeth
The costs for an All on 4 treatment are quite different and comprise several items:
- Fee for the implantation
- Cost of the implant part
- Production and material costs of the dentures that are screwed onto the implant
Depending on the material and the dentist’s fee, the total costs are between € 8,000 and € 15,000 per jaw.