This article will tell you everything you need to know about All on 4 dental implants cost.
Dental implants are considered the next best thing to real teeth. They look, feel, and work like real teeth, giving people who have them that confident smile. All-on-4 dental implants, for example, replace a full arch of teeth, whether lower, upper, or both arches. The bridges are made with zirconia porcelain, which has incredible strength, looks, and feels like natural teeth. While the titanium post provides a solid foundation as strong as real bone. However, the steep price tag for such dental work is no secret. Also, the thought of drilling metal into the jawbone doesn’t sound too exciting for some people.
So are dental implants really a viable solution? What makes all on 4 dental implants cost worth it? Here’s everything you need to know about all four dental implants.
Despite the advancements in dental technology and oral health, millions of people all over the country still suffer tooth loss. While injury and periodontal disease are common, tooth decay is still the primary reason. For decades, the only solutions for missing teeth are bridges and dentures. In the past couple of decades, however, people have come to realize the advantage of dental implants. But what are they actually? Is it a one-size-fits-all solution or are there different options for everyone?
What are dental implants?
Before you dive deeper into the 4 dental implants, it is best to understand what dental implants actually are and how they work. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know.
A dental implant on its simplest explanation is a replacement for tooth roots. It is basically an artificial tooth root implanted into the jawbone to look, feel, and work as a real tooth. The implant is made of titanium, the most biocompatible metal on the planet. It is resistant to corrosion from bodily fluids, has a high fatigue limit, and has low electrical conductivity.
How dental implant structure works
The implant resembles the shape of a screw and bonds with the natural bone in the jaw. This creates a strong base to support the dental crowns, also known as artificial teeth. Crowns are usually made up of porcelain, a tooth-colored material that matches the color and shape of the natural tooth. Zirconia is also used; it has superior strength and durability and can withstand wear and tear without chipping. It is of course, more expensive.
The supporting tooth, an abutment is placed between the implant and the crown, connecting the two pieces together to resemble a natural tooth. The abutment can also connect to dental bridges, partial, and removable dentures.
Since it replaces a missing tooth, dental implants are meant to last a long time. Early versions of the implants (those made in the 1980s) lasted around 15 years. Newer versions of implants are designed to last a lifetime.
Two different forms of implants
This is the most common type of implant today, made with titanium, small screw, and alloplastic material (artificial tissue graft). This form of dental implant is surgically inserted into the jawbone, and over time, bonds with the natural bone.
This rare form of dental implant is used for patients who don’t have sufficient natural jawbone to support the endosteal implant. It is not surgically implanted; rather it is placed under the gums or above the jawbone.
Four types of dental implants
There are also different types of implants; each is specifically designed for the needs and preferences of the patient.
As its name suggests, the single-tooth implant is used to fill the gap of the missing tooth. It requires one dental correct that connects to an implant screw. The cost for a single-tooth implant procedure is usually around $3,000 to $4,000.
This type is commonly used for people with several missing teeth. The implant works as an anchor for the bridge, instead of a natural tooth. The fixed dental bridge is meant to restore function by keeping other teeth from moving. Subsequently, it also improves the speaking and chewing functions of the mouth.
Depending on the work needed, the cost for this varies widely from $5,000 and $16,000.
All-on-4 dental implants
This type offers the most secured solution for multiple missing teeth and restores the strength and power of the upper and/or lower jaw or arches. It provides a permanent restoration solution, but the overdenture can be removed for dental exams or cleaning.
All-on-4 dental implants cost usually starts from $15,000 up to $20,000 per arch.
3-on-6 dental implants
This type is an alternative to implant-retained dentures. It is made up of three individual dental bridges attached to 6 dental implants, hence the name. This type is a little less expensive than the previous one, as it typically ranges from $10,000 to $15,000 per arch.
All-on-four dental implants, everything you need to know
All-on-four dental implant is regarded as the best choice for anyone needing more than one tooth replacement. While the initial cost for this type of implant can be pricey, the cost for dental implants for entire mouth restoration can be extremely expensive. This is because compared to traditional methods; all-on-4 implants require fewer implants to the jaw. Here’s a deeper dive on all-on-4 dental implants.
The term all-on-4 dental implant is actually a registered trademark of Nobel Biocare. The technique was created by Dr. Paulo Malo in 1998, and it aims to provide affordable and superior tooth replacement for people missing multiple or most of their teeth. The method follows three traits:
• Four implants per jaw – A traditional full mouth implant method requires 8 to 10 implants per jaw. All-on-four dental implant techniques, on the other hand, need only as few as four implants per jaw. Some patients will require more (six), but these are patients with lower bone density, and usually for the upper jaw.
• Optimum strength – Thanks to the angled rear implants technique, this type of dental implant reduces the need for bone augmentation. Rather than inserting the implants vertically, the implants are set at a 30 to a 45-degree angle. This means patients who have suffered significant bone loss can still benefit from this type of technique, all without the need for the costly, tedious, and painful process of bone grafting.
• Quick and easy fix – Depending on your case, the all-on-four implant can be implanted and fitted in as fast as one day. This means you don’t have to wait for weeks, if not months without teeth or visiting your orthodontist’s dental office multiple times for the whole procedure. More importantly, this also means a faster recovery time.
Pros and Cons of All-on-4 Implants
- Shorter and faster recovery time
- Same day tooth extraction and dental implant
- Stable, comfortable, and sturdy support for bridges and crowns
- Will never slip or fall out
- Fixed in place, no removal needed for cleaning
- Suitable for everyone, even for patients with jawbone loss
- More affordable than traditional methods that require more implants
- Not a fully customizable solution for everyone
- A failed single implant can cause problem to the entire jaw
- Implant gum bridge may feel bulky in the mouth
- Some may have problems with hissing or spitting while speaking
- May not be as good as traditional implant
Who should get all on 4 dental implants?
All-on-4 dental implants are an excellent treatment for patients who have neglected their teeth for quite some time, and those who have teeth that cannot be restored. More importantly, it’s an incredible oral treatment procedure for anyone looking to get a much-needed boost in self-esteem, especially those who are self-conscious of how their teeth (and smile) look with dentures.
Generally, anyone with un-restorable teeth who visits a dental clinic for all-on-4 implant treatments walks out from the clinic with a brand new set of teeth and an incredible smile.
Are you a good candidate for the procedure?
The best candidates for this dental procedure include:
• Those in good oral health
• Those with strong and healthy immune system and have not had a chronic health concern
• Those with missing lower and/or upper teeth arch
• Those with healthy gums and ample amount of jawbone structure
• Non-smoker patients
• Those who didn’t qualify for traditional plants
• Those who are looking to avoid grafting
To find out whether you are a good candidate for this procedure or not, an orthodontist will assess your bone structure by performing a series of x-rays and scans. The orthodontist will also review the cost involved for procedural steps with the patient, addressing all concerns that may arise.
The only challenge in all-on-4 is maintaining oral hygiene. Obviously, having 4 to 6 implants in your haw with a fixed prosthesis is not easy.
How much do all on 4 dental implants actually cost?
There is no fixed price for this dental procedure, as the price can differ from one oral health care provider, geography, the severity of the condition, etc. Generally, though, you can expect to pay somewhere around $20,000 and $40,000 for a whole set of arch. The price range may seem quite big, but it is important to note that there are many variables involved that affect the cost of the treatment.
What might affect the all on 4 dental implant cost?
There are many factors that could affect all-on-4 dental implant costs. A standard all-on-implant cost is made with acrylic and composite fabricated on a titanium frame. Dental implants are attached to the frame. There are, of course, other ways to customize or “upgrade” the implants. For one, you can choose porcelain for the teeth. Porcelain can go as high as $5,000 per arch. It is, of course, a lot more durable and aesthetically pleasing.
Also, porcelain is easy to repair. Should you bite down on something hard, and the false tooth chips or breaks, fixing it is as simple as replacing the individual tooth. This could cost around $2,000 or less.
Subsequently, if anything breaks, you can still use a temporary denture while your all-on-four is being fixed back to the lab.
What are the different financing options for all on 4 dental implants?
Since most dental insurance has a maximum that will pay per year, they may not be enough to cover the entire all on 4 dental implant cost. You can, however, get the most out of your insurance by simply stretching the treatment for two calendar years. A good way to do this is to get your implant by the end of the year. You will then have around six months of healing time. After which, you can have your denture made and set for the next benefit year.
Also, many dental care providers offer in-house financing for their services, especially for the specialized, and often expensive ones. You can ask your oral care provider about their financing options or ways where you can spread out your payments. Subsequently, many oral health providers work with third-party financing companies and offer dental loans.
Indeed, all on 4 dental implants is an expensive procedure. But just like veneers and composite bonding, the better option that can last longer will give you a better bang for your buck in the long run than their inexpensive counterparts. A traditional removable denture will last a fraction of a time for dental implants, especially all-on-four implants. This means you could be spending just as much in the long run.
Dentures versus All-on-4s
People often confuse all-on-4 implants as ‘all-on-4 dentures’. This is possible because the traditional way of replacing a full jaw of teeth is via removable dentures, which are made up of a gum-colored acrylic base and artificial teeth made from resin or porcelain. However, dentures fit over the gums. They are worn on top of the gums and stay in place either with suction or using a dental adhesive. Properly fitting dentures, however, will not require any adhesive.
Removable dentures are custom-made to fit the patient’s mouth perfectly. Upper dentures come with a cover for the roof of the mouth, while lower dentures are shaped like a horseshoe to give room for the tongue.
The challenge with dentures however is that, since the fake teeth simply sit on top of the gums, it doesn’t stimulate the gums. Thus, they don’t feel like real teeth when you bite and chew food. Also, since it doesn’t stimulate the gums underneath, the jawbones that used to hold and support the real teeth start to shrink. Over time, the shrinking will change the shape of the gums, causing the denture to become loose. This is why people with dentures need to regularly replace their dentures after a couple of years to avoid discomfort and fitting problems with their dentures.
Also, dentures must be removed overnight and needs thorough cleaning; hence the term ‘false teeth in a glass on the nightstand’.
All-on-four dental implants, on the other hand, are mounted, implanted, and fixed into place. Thus, it should look, feel, and work like natural teeth. It functions like real teeth, which means you can bite and chew with it as you normally would. It will have no risk of slipping out of its place while you are talking or eating. Although prosthetic teeth are still fixed to synthetic gum, it covers a significantly smaller area of the real gum than dentures. The join is well hidden behind the lips, making it look natural and real, even when you make a big smile.
While dentures have the clear advantage when it comes to cost over any form and type of dental implant, the latter doesn’t need to be replaced every few years (five years on average). As a matter of fact, most dental replacement procedures today are designed to last at least a couple of decades up to a lifetime.
All on 4 dental implants versus other implants
The earlier version of dental implants requires a combination of single-tooth implant and implant-supported dental bridges for replacing the full jaw of teeth.
Bridges allow support of multiple teeth in one implant at each end, instead of one implant per tooth. This technique, however, requires 8 to 10 implants per jaw to replace the entire set of teeth.
While all dental implant techniques require drilling sockets to the jaw bone, all-on-4 needs significantly less number of implants. This makes all-on-4 the faster, easier, and more comfortable option among all dental implant procedures. At the same time, it could also be considerably cheaper, since there is less time and materials needed for the procedure.
Subsequently, bridges or dentures can be affixed as soon as the implants are in place. No need to wait for months for gums to heal, as is the case with traditional implants.
Temporary dentures are usually used after the surgery, while permanent ones are added a couple of months later.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison between all-on-4 and traditional dental implant procedures:
Traditional Dental Implants vs All-on-4
- Bone graft may be required (Traditional Dental Implants)
- Suitable even for patients with significant bone loss (All-on-4)
- 10-15 years (Traditional Dental Implants)
- 20 years or longer (All-on-4)
- 8 – 10 titanium implants attached in the jawbone (Traditional Dental Implants)
- 4 – 6 titanium implants attached in the jawbone (All-on-4)
- Crowns attached straight to the existing gums (Traditional Dental Implants)
- Uses artificial gums with minimal contact (All-on-4)
- Fixed in place, works like a natural teeth, no restrictions once healed (Traditional Dental Implants)
- Fixed in place, works like a natural teeth, no restrictions once healed (All-on-4)
- Implants help keep the bone (Traditional Dental Implants)
- Implants help keep the bone (All-on-4)
- No artificial gum, looks like natural teeth (Traditional Dental Implants)
- Artificial gum, minimal contact (All-on-4)
- Cleaned like a normal teeth (Traditional Dental Implants)
- Cleaned like a normal teeth (All-on-4)
Cost (per jaw)
- $20,000 – $45,000 (Traditional Dental Implants)
- $12,000 – $25,000 (All-on-4)
Here’s how dental implants are fitted
As with other dental procedures, the dental implant process starts with a consultation with the dentist specialist of your choice. The consultation includes a dental exam and CT scan for your mouth.
The scan helps the dentist assess the suitability of the implants. They will examine the density of the jawbone and determine where to insert the implants. Depending on your case, your dentist may also request a panoramic x-ray to better plan the treatment.
It is also in the consultation where the dentist can discuss alternative treatment options, such as mini implants, a technique specially designed for people with low bone density.
If the consultation determines you are a suitable candidate, and you decide to move forward with the procedure, the next step will be taking your dental impressions. Your dentist will then send the impressions to the lab to get the precise fittings for your new dental bridge.
This is also the stage where you and your dentist can discuss the all on 4 dental implants cost, care, maintenance, etc. All fees will be discussed before the surgery. Generally, the cost for an all-on-four dental implant procedure is between $18,000 and $24,000. Price, of course, varies depending on different factors, such as the number of implants and placement of bone grafting needed.
Depending on your case, you may have some of your teeth extracted before the titanium implants can be exerted. This can be done on the same day as the implant insertion.
Your dental specialize will sedate you (use anesthesia) so you don’t feel anything. Some people prefer general anesthesia for all-on-4 treatment. If you want this kind of sedation, make sure you tell your dentist about it during your initial consultation.
After extracting the teeth that need to be extracted, your mouth will be cleaned thoroughly to remove bacteria and damaged tissues.
To make room for the implants, the dentist will drill two (or more) holes at the front of your jaw and two more at the rear. One on each side will be an angle to offer stronger support for the rear part of the bridge.
After securing the implants in their respective spots, the dentist will then clean your mouth once again and stitch up all the incisions. They will use dissolvable stitches, which will disappear naturally after a couple of weeks.
The surgery takes around four hours per arch.
Your new teeth will be fitted either on the same day or the following day. Some dentists use temporary overdenture, which will be replaced after a couple of months. This is usually made up of resin, a lighter but less durable material, but doesn’t put a lot of stress on the implants. This is important as the wounds are still healing.
There will be bruising, swelling, and general discomfort in the following days after the surgery. You will be advised to take a couple of days off to recover fully and get used to your new set of teeth. Your dentist will also advise you to eat soft food for a few weeks and avoid certain foods for a couple of months after the surgical procedure. You will also be advised to stay away from heavy exercise and smoking for a little while. This is so you don’t disrupt your body’s natural healing process.
You may experience minor pain after surgery. Your dentist will prescribe an over-the-counter pain reliever to alleviate the discomfort. Pain should diminish after a few days. But it can take up to six months for the wound to fully heal.
You will be cleaning your implants as you normally would with natural teeth, by brushing. However, so as not to disrupt the healing wounds, you will be asked to brush your teeth gently and just once daily for a few days. You will be also allowed to floss using special tools.
The best thing you can use to clean your teeth is with a water flosser that comes with a special attachment. This thing is specifically designed to clean around implants.
Fitting and final checks
Your implants should be ready to function like natural teeth 6 to 9 months after the surgery. The artificial teeth are usually made from porcelain or some more durable material like zirconia.
If you take good care of your new teeth, they can last for up to 20 years, or even longer.
You will have to visit your dentist for checkups and maintenance. Depending on your dental care provider, the payments for the follow-up checkups could be included or separate from your treatment.
Common problems with all-on-4 implants
There is no such thing as a perfect dental procedure. Though this procedure has tons of advantages, it also has its set of common problems. Thus, before you decide on getting this treatment done for your mouth, it is best to understand all possible complications and risks with your dental care provider. Here are some common problems with all-on-4 dental implant treatment.
• Infection – even when there are no natural teeth remaining, food particles can still get stuck underneath the denture. This can lead to infection and gum disease. Thus, it is extremely important to have a stringent cleaning routine for overall oral health.
• Parafunction – mannerisms like bruxism (jaw clenching, teeth grinding) and irregular chewing may influence treatment decisions. This is because when all of the natural teeth are removed and replaced, you will feel less sensation. Thus, you will be less than aware when your teeth are under pressure with these mannerisms. For patients with parafunction, the dentist may use bar-supported overdentures.
• Speech problems – as you learn to adapt to your new set of teeth and bulky prosthesis inside your mouth, you may encounter some speech problems. While most patients can retain their normal speech functions after a few weeks, some may have it longer or may become a recurring problem.
• Implant failure – Any dental implant can fail for different reasons, from systemic disease like diabetes, or due to poor management. Thus, it is extremely important to maintain good oral hygiene and proper aftercare to minimize the chance of this problem from happening.
All-on-four dental implant is not only innovative and less expensive. With an incredibly high success rate, improved facial and bone features, and the ability to look, feel, and function as a real set of teeth, you will reap the most important benefits-improved self-confidence and self-esteem. Thus, anywhere you look at it, the all on 4 dental implants cost will always be worth it.