All-On-Four v All-On-Six Dental Implants

Dental implants are one of the best ways to restore missing teeth. For patients that need to replace all of their teeth, they may think that traditional dentures are the only option. Fortunately, an implant supported denture can work wonders for patients who would prefer a more permanent solution.

Implant supported dentures are much more natural looking than traditional dentures and are significantly more secure and do not allow for irritation which can cause sores on the gum tissue. An implant supported denture can use four or six implants, which we will review here.


How are implant supported dentures placed?

Before your denture can be put in, your implants have to be placed! Either an oral surgeon or a periodontist is the doctor that will place your implants and will perform any surgeries that may be necessary before your implant surgery. These may include a bone or gum graft, or Periodontal treatment. Dental implants are better for your overall health since they help support bone structure and prevent deterioration.


To place your implants, your doctor will administer a local anesthetic to the areas receiving the implants and make small incisions in the gum tissue before drilling a small hole in the jaw bone at each implant site. Your implants will be allowed to heal for up to six months before your denture is placed.


The implants work to absorb the pressure from chewing and speaking that is applied to the teeth all day and is preferable to traditional dentures, which apply pressure directly to your gums and bone. An implant-supported denture can be placed on one or both arches using 4 to 6 implants per arch and can either be permanently fixed in place or removable. The removable option allows the patient to take the denture out for oral hygiene and maintenance. The fixed option is screwed into place and can only be removed by your dentist. Your Dentist will help determine which option will be best for you and your lifestyle.


What are the differences between all-on-4 and all-on-6 implant-supported dentures?
Both an all-on-4 and an all-on-6 are fabricated using an acrylic base with either composite or porcelain teeth. The only real difference is the number of implants used. An all-on-6 is usually more stable because two implants are placed in the posterior area of the arch which can provide more support for chewing. An all-on-4 is more commonly used but some patients need the extra implants.


Either denture will require more frequent professional cleanings, possibly as often as every three months. During your cleaning, the denture is removed and the implants are cleaned. Implant-supported dentures maintain the integrity of the jaw bone and face shape. A traditional denture will eventually lead to bone deterioration and cause changes to facial structure. As the bone changes, the denture can become ill-fitting and uncomfortable to wear.


Which type of implant-supported denture is right for me?

Your Dentist and Oral Surgeon will evaluate your bone mass and consider your lifestyle and dietary habits when determining if you are a candidate for implants. Implant-supported dentures are initially more expensive than other options but they last so much longer, they are often more cost effective in the long run!

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