The Pros And Cons Of All-on-4 Implants

Your teeth and gums age as you do, so even with the best dental care, you could still end up needing replacements for missing teeth. There are many options available, including dental implants and dentures. An additional option that your dentist might discuss with you is an implant technique known as All-on-4. Before having this procedure, know the pros and cons.

What Is All-on-4?

Traditional implants involve implanting a single root in your jawbone for each tooth that is missing. For instance, if you have 10 teeth missing, the oral surgeon will implant 10 roots in which to place the implants. With the All-on-4 procedure, the surgeon would implant only four roots, or implants, into the jawbone where it is at its most dense. Additional teeth that you would need would be affixed to the implant. So, no matter whether you need 10 or 12 teeth, you would only have four implants in your jawbone. 

There are many advantages and disadvantages to this procedure. 

What Are the Advantages?

One of the biggest advantages of the All-on-4 procedure is that it is often less expensive than getting single implants. Instead of paying for each individual implant, you pay for only four. The amount that you could potentially save depends on several factors, including the surgeon's fees, the number of teeth that are missing, and your geographical location. There are additional advantages, including: 

  • Immediate implants. The procedure does not take months like traditional dental implants.
  • Bone grafting is not necessary. With traditional implants, bone grafting is sometimes necessary if the jawbone is not strong enough to support the implants.
  • Implants usually do not move. Traditional implants can sometimes slide as time passes due to changes with your gums as you age, but not so with All-on-4 implants.

What Are the Disadvantages?

Even though there are some great pros to this dental procedure, there are some cons. Those disadvantages include:

  • Less durable. The teeth that are added to the four implants are akin to dentures. It is possible that they can break and need to be replaced at a later time. 
  • Only four implants. Even though having only four implants is a pro, it can be a con. The implants are charged with holding up to 14 other teeth. To combat this issue, they have to be properly manufactured. 
  • No implants in certain areas. This procedure does not allow for implants in your molar area. As a result, your bites might be reduced, which can have an impact on which foods you can eat. 

The best way to determine if you should get All-on-4 implants is to talk to your dentist. He or she can decide if they would be a good fit and can help you determine whether it is the most cost effective option for you.