Difference Between All-On-4® and Implant Supported Dentures
If you are missing teeth, you have some different options. Years ago, the only option was dentures. These fake teeth were cemented into the mouth using a temporary paste and removed at the end of each day. They had to be cleaned and often soaked overnight. Bits of food could get up under them, causing pain and discomfort. They could accidentally come loose or fall out, leading to incredibly embarrassing situations. However, these traditional dentures are no longer the only option. Today, many people make use of implant-supported dentures or All-On-4® replacement teeth.
Today’s implant-supported dentures don’t have these issues, but they do still limit what foods you can eat. They require some dental surgeries, too.
There are two types of implant-supported dentures: bar-retained and ball-retained. Bar-retained dentures use a small metal bar placed along the jaw. This bar is attached to implants in the jawbone. There can be anywhere from six to ten of these implants. The dentures, bar, or both have small clips that hold them together. With ball-retained dentures, the implants each have a small ball-like attachment on the end that connects to the receptacle on the denture. This holds the dentures in place.
These implants are placed in the front part of the mouth where there’s more bone. There are also fewer nerves in this part of the mouth. In most cases, it takes around five months to have implants installed in the lower jaw and around seven months for the upper jaw. However, if bone grafting is required, it can take as long as a year or longer.
All-On-4® implants are similar in that they use the same type of implants and dentures. However, while implant-supported dentures may need some implants to securely anchor your new teeth, All-On-4® only need four implants in the top and the bottom of your mouth. That does mean getting eight implants, but that’s much less than what you might need using other methods. These implants are also usually spaced farther apart than traditional implants are. This means there’s less of a possibility of complications.
All-On-4® does have some other benefits, too. Because there are fewer posts implanted in the jaw, the recovery time is typically shorter. There’s less pain, too. Another reason why there’s less recovery time is that the implants on each jaw can be done at the same time. This means patients only need two surgeries, one for the top and one for the bottom. With fewer posts, there’s also less bone grafting that may need to be done.
In fact, All-On-4® typically does not require any bone grafting. Because of the location of the implants, we can usually locate four areas with enough bone to support the teeth. This can save you a lot of time, money, and discomfort.
Which Is Right for You?
While All-On-4® may sound like the better option, there are some cases where patients cannot make use of it. If you are considering dental implants, call us today at (844) 281-6446 to schedule a consultation. We will look over your dental records and your current dental health and discuss your options.