People who have suffered all or partial loss of their teeth can now finally have a prosthesis to replace their missing dentition. Modern advances in dentistry have allowed these dental restorations to be fabricated immediately, which reduces the time required for obtaining your ability to smile and chew again. We are talking about hybrid dentures, and in this article we will discuss what they are, and how the All-On-4 or All-On-6 dental implant techniques can help you reacquire your long lost confidence.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is similar to an artificial tooth root. It is a titanium rod that is inserted into your jawbone. This rod, after a period of a few months, will integrate with the bone tissue to give you a stable platform onto which a dental crown can be placed.
When you have an infection below the root, or if your tooth has completely broken down due to trauma or decay, you may need to have it removed. Dental implants have become the modern day approach to replacing missing teeth, surpassing dental bridges as the #1 tooth replacement option across the nation.
In some unfortunate situations (such as those patients with chronic gum disease, or rampant dental caries) all of your teeth may end up needing to be removed. This is where the All-On-4 and All-on-6 dental implant techniques can help rescue the day.
What Are All-on-4 Dental Implants?
If you need to replace all of your teeth, the All-On-4 dental implant technique will probably be your first option. Rather than replacing each individual tooth with dental implants, only 4 implants are needed per arch in order to provide you with a restoration that is not only functional and aesthetic, but long lasting as well. These four posts are implanted in your jawbone, and the full arch hybrid denture is constructed and affixed to the four rods. This is essentially a hybrid denture that is mounted onto the rods, and it can replace both the upper and lower teeth as a permanent solution. This prosthesis cannot be removed, unless your dentist uses his or her tools to remove it during your annual recare examinations.
This is a great solution for patients who have lost all of their teeth, as well as patients whose teeth are falling apart. Remember that a dental implant needs sufficient bone to be installed inside of your jawbones, so if you have deficiencies in bone tissue, you may need to start your treatment with a procedure known as bone grafting.
What Are All-on-6 Dental Implants?
All-on-6 dental implants are similar to the All-On-4 concept with the exception that two additional implants are inserted per arch to help further stabilize your permanent hybrid denture. The All-on-6 concept is also known as a set of full dental implants, and they are designed to replace an entire row of teeth in one complete set. As mentioned, the permanent prosthesis uses six dental implants to anchor itself into. These implants will fuse to your jawbone over time, which allows them to mimic your natural roots. The arch will be affixed to the six rods, and you will have a replacement set of teeth that is permanent in nature (similar to the All-On-4 concept).
This procedure is designed for people who are missing all of their teeth or who plan to have their teeth removed and replaced with the all-on-6 arch. It offers a long-term solution for people who have had difficulties eating, chewing, and smiling.
The Difference Between All-on-4 Versus All-on-6
All-on-4 and all-on-6 dental implants have many similarities, with the exception of the use to two additional dental implants to further stabilize the hybrid dentures (seen in the All-On-6 concept). Both treatments try to solve similar problems; specifically, they offer you with a permanent tooth replacement option, as well as aiming to allow you to function without the fear of dentures slipping in and out of your mouth.
The procedure takes between two and three hours, and it is typically performed under general anesthesia. Both procedures place a prosthetic arch on the implants.
There are three major differences between these two approaches:
- The All-On-6 concept uses two additional implants per arch to help stabilize your hybrid denture. This is useful for patients who have very long arches where 4 implants would lead to potential fracturing and breaking of the final prosthesis
- The All-on-6 concept typically is more expensive as two additional implants (along with their prosthetic parts) are placed to fabricate your functional hybrid denture. Expect to pay $6,000 per arch for an All–On-6 versus an All-On-4. More on this below.
- The All-On-4 approach uses slightly angled outer dental implants. This allows there to be less of a cantilever effect to prevent potential breaking of the hybrid denture. The All-On-6 approach uses parallel implants, and since two more implants are used towards the back of the jaw(s), the cantilever effect is reduced lessening the chance of fracture of the permanent prosthesis.
Cost of All-on-4 and All-on-6 Dental Implants
One of the key differences between All-On-4 and All-On-6 dental implants is the cost. The all-on-4 implants are less expensive, primarily because there are fewer implants. The average cost of all on 4 implants is around $59,000. This normally includes restoring both the upper and lower jaws with a permanent set of hybrid dentures attached to implants.
In fact, the procedure can range from $35,000 to $120,000 for a full set of teeth, and it can take up to a year to complete. It depends on the quality of your jawbone, and if any additional procedures such as sinus lifting or bone grafting are needed.
All-on-6 dental implants are more expensive because they have two additional implants. The cost of all-on-6 dental implants can range from $40,000 to $140,000. Costs will vary based on the practicing dentist, if any additional procedures are needed, and if your dental insurance will help burden any of the expenses involved.
Some dentists offer same day permanent denture solutions that use different materials and are slightly less expensive. However, when you are looking at comparative prices, the important thing to note is that the cost can vary widely from dentist to dentist in different regions. Remember that this is a major commitment you are making, so make note of where every dollar you are spending is going towards.
The All-On-4 and All-On-6 dental implant concepts come with my similarities and a few differences. Ultimately, a custom treatment plan needs to be brought forth by an experienced dentist for your particular case. However, if the procedures are performed properly, the results can certainly change your life for the better.