Implant Dentures vs All on 4 Implants vs Bridges
Both implant dentures and all on 4 are full mouth implant options. The biggest difference is dentures with implants like conventional dentures are removable. All on 4 are permanently placed into the mouth and are completely supported by implants. There are other differences such as the cost and specific materials and function of the two complete mouth implant options that we discuss here.
Do All on 4 implants require more implants than dentures with implants?
Yes. Implant supported dentures need only two to four implants for support as the denture flanges provide additional support.
On the other hand, dental bridges need at least 4-6 dental implants when complete arch bridge is planned for replacement of your missing natural teeth.
What are all-on-4 dental implants?
The all-on-4 dental implants treatment concept for replacing missing natural teeth is basically a concept which aims to replace all missing teeth by the placement of only 4 dental implants in an arch. All-on-4 dental implants are optimum fixed replacement prosthesis. It can support approximately 12-14 teeth. The prosthesis is placed on the same day following surgery. All-on-4 concept is most frequently used for teeth replacement in the upper front teeth area (anterior maxilla). Anterior maxilla is considered to be the ideal location for placement of dental implants due to,
- Higher bone quantity in anterior maxillary region,
- The arch form is determined by anterior maxilla,
- Stability is easier to achieve in this region.
The whole procedure involves two main stages. The surgical phase of all-on-4 dental implants involves the preoperative radiographic assessment with the help of radiographs and CT scan. Thorough assessment of bone quality and volume is important. These 4 dental implants are placed in each arch by skilled dental professionals under profound local anesthesia for minimizing pain and discomfort.
Special care must be taken for accurate positioning, alignment, parallelism, angulations and inclination of dental implants for achieving best outcomes. Immediate implant loading of prefabricated prosthetic dentures is done after surgery in this concept. Dentures can be modified afterwards as needed. Final seating of denture is performed on the same day. You will be called after a week for routine checkup and assessment.
Why all-on-4 dental implants are considered superior over conventional dental implants in certain situations?
The all-on-4 dental implants with immediate denture loading have been considered beneficial due to the following characteristics,
- These can achieve stability and retention in minimum bone volume, density and height,
- Socket bone loss is not considered to be a contraindication for all-on-4 dental implants placement,
- No need to perform bone grafting,
- Immediate dental implant loading can save time and money,
- Only four dental implants are sufficient for placing 12-14 artificial teeth,
- Good clinical outcomes.
Should we opt for acrylic teeth or zirconia teeth for our all-on-4 dental implant prosthesis?
When considering denture framework and teeth for all-on-4 dental implants, following must be kept in mind.
- Fit and function of framework,
Acrylic teeth are the conventional option used previously. Acrylic teeth,
- Can get discolored,
- Color match is not exact,
- Does not withstand chewing and biting forces,
- Can fracture easily,
- Can transfer stresses to implant causing implant fracture.
Solid zirconia all on 4 teeth are far more superior and better as compared to acrylic which can only be used as temporary restoration. Zirconia teeth are,
- Much stronger and durable,
- Best color match,
- Lifelike and natural looking,
- Do not get stained and discolored due to non-porous nature,
- Resistant against plaque formation and bacterial accumulation,
- Does not gets chipped off or cracked like acrylic,
- Permanent solution,
- Fabricated with CAD/CAM technology.
What will be the difference between cost of removable and fixed tooth replacement option?
Removable prosthetics is always cheaper when we compare it with fixed artificial teeth. Dental bridges and dental implants are expensive and their cost becomes almost double when compared with their removable counterparts.
However, dental bridges and dental implants are considered cost-effective keeping in consideration their pros and cons.
what are the different replacement options for the restoration of lost natural teeth?
- Removable partial dentures
- Removable complete dentures
- Fixed partial dentures
- All on 4 dental implants
What is the difference between removable and fixed replacements for lost natural teeth? Which option is better?
Removable dentures are most commonly provided to those patients who have lost multiple or all teeth and cannot afford dental implants. These dentures can be easily removed and cleaned at home. You will need to place these dentures in a bowl containing clean water outside the mouth during sleep. Conventional removable partial and complete dentures are considered to be optimum replacement restorations for your missing or lost natural teeth. These dentures are,
- Relatively economical and cheap,
- Serve well for a limited period of time,
- Can restore chewing and eating on interim basis.
However conventional removable dentures have many limitations which make them unsuitable for permanent restoration of structure and function of lost natural teeth.
removable dentures need to be,
- Removed regularly at night before going to sleep,
- Placed in a water jar otherwise permanent size changes can occur,
- Removed before sleeping in order to avoid the disaster of accidental swallowing,
- Conventional dentures are prone to cause continuous bone loss resulting in change of facial dimensions, loosening of dentures with time and compromised appearance.
- Mobility can occur in lower dentures,
- Dentures may come out of mouth during speaking and laughing if become loose with time,
- Can cause irritation and discomfort in soft tissues and gums.
Fixed prosthetics aims at providing dental bridges or dental implants which do not need to be removed at night. Fixed restorations provide a feeling of completeness and people regain their lost confidence. However, when dental bridges are the fixed option,
Bridges on natural teeth:
- These require removal of sound tooth structure from adjacent teeth for support,
- There may be need to perform root canals of teeth acting as support,
- Expensive as compared to removable dentures.
Dental implants do not need removal of healthy tooth structure or the involvement of adjacent teeth. Dental implants act as replacement of natural tooth’s roots and make a strong connection with socket bone. When we compare all above options, these have their own benefits and drawbacks. When old age, bone loss and economical conditions are considered, you may opt for removable prosthetics. However, affordability, young age, healthy bone and better oral hygiene maintenance will always vote in favor of fixed restorative options in the form of dental implants or dental bridges.
Implant supported dentures vs conventional dentures gum tissue supported?
Conventional complete dentures are the tissue supported dentures which are fabricated when people lose all teeth and need replacement for restoration of structure and function. Keeping in view various limitations and drawbacks of conventional removable dentures, advanced dentistry offers dental implants incorporated within the design of dentures for increased retention, support and stability purpose. These are known as implant supported dentures or locator dentures or implant over-dentures.
An implant retained or implant supported denture is basically a partial or complete denture attached or connected to an Osseo-integrated dental implant. Also called implant denture or dentures with implants. This dental implant is placed within the socket bone and gums similarly as the root of a natural tooth does. Implant supported dentures,
- Provides a stable, fixed and retentive foundation to the denture attached over it containing artificial teeth,
- Ensured stability when you speak, eat, chew, laugh, drink and yawn,
- Enhances your self-esteem and confidence in daily life activities,
- Providing comfort and ease,
- Gives you a life-like feeling.
Usually two to four dental implants are considered sufficient to provide support to complete denture prosthesis in an arch
What are the limitations of getting an Implant supported denture for replacing lost natural teeth?
Dental implants are considered to be the best fixed prosthesis for all age groups. However, certain factors which may dictate the feasibility of placing this prosthesis in your mouth should be kept in mind.
- Patients should not be suffering from any systemic illness such as uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension or immunosuppressive disorder,
- Another major requirement for dental implants placement is the amount, width and height of healthy alveolar bone. If you have sufficient alveolar bone, you are a good candidate for implant supported dentures,
- When replacement of missing teeth in upper arch is considered, your implant dentist will also evaluate position and distance of sinus before placing dental implant in this area.
However, modern dental procedures have developed for bone grafting in areas with compromised socket bone. You can benefit from latest artificial bone grafting methods before placement of dental implants in your mouth.