All On 4 Dental Implants: What They Are, Procedure & Cost

When you have lost all your teeth, the impact of missing teeth is most pronounced. You may have difficulty speaking and chewing, and significant deterioration of the jawbone can result in facial collapse. One solution for those who’re missing all their teeth is all on 4 dental implants. 

Although the name suggests that it’s a set of 4 implants, sometimes 6 can also be used. They’re similar to traditional implants in their functioning, but there are still some differences in terms of the procedure. 

What Are All On 4 Dental Implants?

The all on 4 dental implant system was developed for patients with edentulous jaws (no remaining teeth), while the bone itself was deteriorating because of a lack of stimulation. In this, a full-arch prosthesis is permanently fixed on 4 implants placed in one jaw. This procedure can be performed on the upper and lower jaw. 

Other than stopping bone loss from occurring, many patients choose this treatment to replace removable dentures. Although dentures are less expensive than implants and don’t require an invasive procedure, not everyone finds them comfortable to wear. 

Over time, your dentures can loosen and move when you eat or talk. All on 4 dental implants essentially take these dentures, make a few modifications to their structure and fits them on the 4 implants. 

What Are the Different Types of All On 4 Dental Implants?

There are two main types of all on 4 implants, both of which contain a titanium screw. However, it is the denture that is either made of: 

  • Acrylic – It is a type of plastic that is used in many dental restorations. While the front of the dentures has a natural appearance, with the gummy pick plastic on top, this type of denture also comes with a titanium base on top that supports the implants. This option is the cheapest, but it may not look the most natural. 
  • Porcelain – Because of the different properties of the material, for instance, the way that it reflects light, porcelain looks like natural teeth. It is also stronger than acrylic but also more expensive.

What Is the Procedure of All on 4 Dental Implants?

There are some variations in the way that this procedure is performed by different dentists. Regardless, the first step is the physical examination of the mouth and an X-ray. 

If you still have a few teeth remaining, it is possible that the surgeon begins by extracting all of them. If that happens, you’d have to wait for 2-3 months before getting the all on 4 dental implants. That’s because the tissue needs to heal. However, it is followed by this: 

  1. Once you come in to get your implants, the surgeon will take a few measurements and check the distance between the upper and lower jaw. 
  2. They will assess the bone ridge. In some cases, dentists make a cut through the whole ridge and pull apart the flaps to reduce the underlying bone. This is done to improve the final outcome of the procedure. 
  3. This alveolar reduction is not always needed. In that case, the dental surgeon will make small incisions into the gums and drill holes into the bone for the placement of the titanium screw of the implants. 
  4. To adequately support the prosthesis, the posterior two implants are placed at an angle of 45-degrees, and the anterior ones are at a 90-degree angle. 
  5. After the placement of the implant, the abutment is placed on top. The temporary prosthesis is then drilled with holes at the points where it touches the abutments. It is then fitted into the mouth to see if it fits well. 
  6. If everything’s good, the holes are filled, and the patient has to wait for 3-6 months for the osseointegration process to take place. This is when the bone fuses with the titanium screw. You’ll have to come in for a second appointment, where the impression of your teeth will be taken, and a final prosthesis will be fitted afterwards.

What To Expect After All On Four Surgery?

While some patients can get back to their normal routine even a day after the surgery, it is recommended that you rest for 3-4 days. That’s because you will have post-op swelling, tenderness, bruising, pain, and slight bleeding. You might also have stitches in your mouth. Whether or not they’re dissolvable, they’ll be in your mouth for a few weeks, so you have to be very careful. 

Your dentist might recommend only eating soft foods for a few days and avoiding drinking or smoking to allow the surgical wound to heal. In addition to painkillers, you might also have to take antibiotics to manage the side effects. However, with time, you should start to get better. If that’s not the case, you should immediately get in touch with your dentist.

Do All On 4 Implants Hurt?

The surgery takes place under local anaesthesia, so you should not feel any pain while you’re getting all on 4 dental implants. However, once the effects of the anaesthesia wear off, you’re likely to have pain, swelling and soreness. Your doctor might prescribe painkillers to you to relieve the pain. 

How Long Do All On 4 Implants Last?

All on 4 dental implants are permanent. If you take good care of your oral hygiene, your implants should last a lifetime. However, it is possible to remove them in case a problem arises, although that is not that common. 

What Is All On 4 Dental Implants UK Price?

All on 4 dental implants can cost as much as £12,000 or even more for one arch on the upper or lower jaw. If you’re looking for a full mouth dental restoration, that would end up costing you £24,000. Keep in mind that some patients need 5 or 6 implants, so that would add to the total cost of the procedure.

And if you need additional surgeries like bone ridge reduction, bone grafting, or gum contouring, the overall expense of this procedure can be prohibitive. Because of this, some clinics offer different financing options so that you make the payment over a few months or a year. However, it can be still quite expensive. 

And because of that, many people inquire about all on 4 dental implants Turkey price. Because of the low cost of living and the Turkish economy, dental services are more affordable for foreigners. There, you can get the same treatment for as much as £4,000 per jaw. However, the prices can vary depending on the material from which the arch is made. 

Are All On 4 Implants Worth It?

Compared to removable dentures, implants are certainly more durable. You can easily bite down on hard, chewy foods with them. And they’re permanent. An added benefit of this procedure is that because of the angling of 4 implants, a full set of teeth can be supported. 

Sometimes, it also makes it possible to perform the surgery without a need for bone grafting. Less number of implants make the procedure less costly and recovery less difficult. All on 4 dental implants look like natural teeth when performed properly by an experienced dental professional. 

Is All On 4 Implants Failure Possible? 

There’s a very small risk of all on 4 implant failure. This happens when the titanium screw doesn’t integrate with the jawbone. This could be because you didn’t receive a needed bone graft. It can also occur due to an infection or problems with the procedure, such as the improper placement of implants. 

A rare allergic reaction to the titanium screw is also possible. Other than that, an underlying health condition or damage to nerves can also cause this problem. However, it is possible for you to get another implant if something like this happens. 

If you’re having difficulty talking and eating food, you’re not feeling well or notice a discharge from the surgical wound, get in touch with your dentist. Keep in mind that it’s possible to minimise the risk of an implant failure if you choose to get this surgery from a board-certified dental surgeon. 

Concluding Remarks 

All on 4 implants are being used to restore the function and aesthetics of the mouth. It has the unique advantage of restoring teeth in one arch by supporting the entire denture on 4 implants only. This is possible because of the angles in which they’re placed. However, in some cases, patients may require 5 or 6 implants. Since this procedure can be quite expensive, many patients choose to travel to Turkey because of its more affordable dental care. 

Here, you should also keep in mind that you may need additional surgeries along with dental implants like bone grafting or ridge reduction. These may be needed to better support the implant and the denture that goes over it. The results of this treatment are permanent. However, very rarely do patients experience dental implant failure. Even in that case, it is possible to get another set of implants. However, in any case, you should make sure to consult a dentist about it.

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