All on 4 Dental Implants
All-On-4 Dental Implants
When you find out you need dental implants, the news can feel truly overwhelming at first. There are so many different kinds of implants and it is your big job to choose the best type of procedure to meet your health needs and appearance goals.
One of the most popular of the newer types of dental implants is a technique called “All on 4” implants. Sometimes written as simply all-on-4 or Ao4, this type of dental implant is a newer method of securing dentures in place.
The all-on-4 dental implant method uses a set of eight screws, eight implants and eight fake teeth. Why eight, you might be wondering? You need eight total since four will be used on top and four on the bottom. If you only need a denture on the top or on the bottom, you will only need four screws, implants and fake teeth.
Pretty neat, right? This way, you avoid the cost of having an implant for every tooth. You also get secure, comfortable, optimally fitted dentures you can really rely on.
So now let’s dig in and explore everything you need to know to be sure all on four dental implants are the right choice for your needs.
All on 4 Dental Implants: What Do They Cost?
Calculating the cost of your all on 4 dental implants is a little more complicated than it might first appear.
Reason being, you have options when it comes to the types of materials used in your procedure. Also, different dental insurance plans may choose to cover one material type and not another. For this reason, it is very important to talk with your insurer first before starting the research process.
All on 4 dental implants made with acrylic (composite) material.
The choice most people make is to have acrylic (often called simply “composite”) all-on-4 dental implants. This is because composite implants are the more affordable choice. They are also the option more dental insurance providers are more likely to cover.
The screws are usually titanium. All together, you can expect to pay between $20,000 and $30,000 for a full set of all-on-4 dental implants with acrylic materials.
This cost is just for the implants materials – it does not include the cost of visiting a dental specialist.
All on 4 dental implants made with porcelain material.
Porcelain is another type of material that is sometimes used to make all-on-4 dental implants. But the majority of patients don’t choose this material because it is much more expensive. For this reason, fewer dental insurers are willing to cover porcelain all-on-4 implants.
You can safely add on an additional $5,000 per set – so $10,000 if you are having both the upper and the lower dentures installed.
Porcelain is more realistic looking than acrylic/composite, but it is also more fragile. If your porcelain implant fractures or breaks, you can expect to spend around $15,000 to repair or replace it.
Because Ao4 (all-on-4) dental implants can make a big dent in your budget, you always want to ask about insurance options first.
If your dental insurance provider will not cover this procedure, ask your dentist if they provide any discounts for cash pay. Another option is to ask about dental financing. Some dentists will make financing options available to patients, either in-house or through a third-party financier.
Yet another possible choice is G4 implants, which are quite similar to Ao4 but may be cheaper. The cost reduction comes from how the G4 procedure is performed – typically it can all be done in one day.
All-On-4 Dental Implants: How Is the Procedure Done?
Just the word “implants” sometimes sounds scary. It is normal to feel anxious or even afraid of having dental implants put in. This is true even though dental implants are done more and more frequently today.
So let’s walk through a typical procedure just so you know what to expect. Your dentist may give you specific instructions for how to prepare as well.
1. You will receive numbing.
Your dentist will give you some local anesthetic at the treatment site(s). You may also be given general anesthetic. You can talk with your dentist about what is best for your needs.
2. Your dentist will prep your mouth and teeth for the surgery.
This part can vary depending on your needs and the state of your teeth and tissues. Your dentist may need to remove one or more weak or dead teeth or tissues that won’t be able to support your new ao4 implants.
Once your mouth is ready, you will receive your new titanium implant screws and implants. The typical placement is two near the front of your bite and two near the back. This way, you will have an even foundation to anchor your dentures in place.
After your new screws and implants have been placed, your dentist will suture up the implant sites. If you have had general anesthesia you will then be able to rest and wake up so you can go back home.
All-On-4 Dental Implants: What Is Recovery Like?
This is one of the most common questions new implant patients tend to have. What is recovery like? How long does it take to recover? Is there any pain?
The all-on-4 implants procedure has become very popular because it reduces the time you have to spend recovering. Also, once you have had your implants placed, they are permanent.
While you are recovering, your implants are literally fusing to your jawbone. This ensures long-term stability for your dentures.
So now let’s take a look at what the recovery process is typically like.
First 24 hours after your all-on-4 procedure.
You will wake up from anesthesia with some soft gauze packs covering each implant area. This is to keep the area safe and clean. You may see some bleeding, which is normal after sutures have been placed.
If you go home with gauze still in place, your dentist will probably ask you to change the pads every 45 minutes or so. You will be given specific instructions for how to do this.
It is important to follow your dental surgeon’s instructions for at-home surgical site care to the letter. Do not touch the surgical sites. If your dentist gives you pain medication or instructions for rinsing and flushing the area, be sure to follow these exactly. Medicated rinses are especially important to sanitize the surgical sites.
Salt water rinses can also help your tissues stay clean and sanitized and heal more quickly. Mix one TBSP salt with eight ounces warm (not hot) water. Gargle and then let the salt water flow out of your mouth (do not spit). Do this up to three times per day or as your dentist instructs.
Your dentist will probably ask you not to smoke for a period of time after your implants have been placed. This is to allow your tissues to heal more quickly.
After the first 24 hours of your Ao4 procedure.
You should make arrangements to rest as much as possible in the first several days after your all-on-4 dental implants procedure. The less you move about, the more your tissues will be able to easily knit together and begin to heal.
Especially avoid all of the following: strenuous exercise or activities, lifting heavy things, bending over.
Your dental surgeon may ask you to sleep in a special elevated position to help ease any swelling and avoid putting pressure on the surgical sites. This will also help ease any light-headedness from getting up too quickly.
It is also very important to take all prescribed medications, including anti-inflammatories, pain medications or antibiotics exactly as your dentist has prescribed them. If you have any questions, be sure to contact your dentist immediately.
You should follow a special diet of only soft warm foods until your dentist tells you otherwise.
All-On-4 Dental Implants: Are There Any Side Effects?
Sometimes no matter how careful you are after your procedure, you may experience some temporary side effects. In this section, learn what may occur and what to do.
Bleeding that won’t stop.
Recurring bleeding at or near the surgical sites can happen for a number of reasons. If you are biting down too hard on the soft gauze covering the incisions, this may cause bleeding.
If the gauze slips off and you bite down directly on the surgical site itself, this can also cause bleeding.
To minimize bleeding, sit upright, stay calm and quiet and use ice packs to reduce inflammation. Always place a towel between the ice pack and your jaw to avoid discomfort.
Call your dentist if the bleeding persists.
Mild swelling and inflammation.
Swelling and mild inflammation is a normal temporary side effect after any invasive (surgical) procedure. Usually the majority of swelling tends to wear off within three days after your implants procedure.
The sooner you start using an ice pack, the less severe your swelling is likely to be. Your dentist may also give you medication specifically to reduce inflammation.
Pain or discomfort.
Different people have different degrees of pain tolerance. However, most patients experience at least mild discomfort for a day or two after their Ao4 implants are placed.
Your dentist will give you pain medication instructions. Don’t wait to take your pain medication until you are in pain. A proactive approach is best to minimize discomfort.
You may feel hungry after the anesthetic wears off and you can go home to rest. Your dental surgeon may give you specific dietary restrictions for the first 24 to 36 hours or so after your procedure.
Choosing soft, bland foods will protect your surgical sites and also avoid any stomach upset. Some of your medications may need to be taken with food so be sure to follow the instructions your dentist gives you there.
Try to avoid any hot, cold or spicy foods and any very hard or sticky foods as these may cause discomfort.
Nausea and/or vomiting.
Sometimes anesthetic or other medications can cause people to feel nauseated or even to vomit. Usually this passes. Always call your dentist if it doesn’t pass quickly.
Discoloration or bruising.
If you see any discoloration or bruising (usually in blue, black, brown and/or yellow shades) at or near the surgical areas, this is pretty common. It indicates your tissues are beginning to heal.
Sometimes the bone left behind after teeth are removed can stick up above the gum line. If this is uncomfortable or concerning, talk with your dentist.
Dry or chapped lips.
Use chapstick or vaseline to moisten your lips as needed.
While you probably weren’t aware of it, your mouth was open for a long time during your implants procedure. This can cause a temporary sore throat. Try gently swishing with salt water or lemon water if it gets too uncomfortable.
Stiff or sore jaw muscles
Your jaw muscles had to remain open for a long time while your implants were placed. You may find your jaw feels stiff or sore because of this. Try a warm heating pad to ease any discomfort.
All-On-4 Dental Implants: Are There Any Complications?
While the all-on-four procedure is very common and safe today, there can sometimes be complications.
- Incision issues: Any invasive procedure can cause complications. The most common of these include infection, bleeding, scarring and failure to heal.
- Poor bone integration: Smoking after your procedure is one of the leading causes of poor bone integration, which can prevent the implant from securing to your existing jaw bone. Nutritional imbalance and weak bones can also play a part.
- Implant failure: If an implant fails, it is often due to periodontal disease.
Do You Need a Dental Vacation?
If you find that the high cost of local Ao4 dental implants doesn’t work with your budget, you may want to consider dental tourism. In this way, you can combine your procedure with a restful vacation and return looking and feeling your best. Scottsdale Arizona the location of our office is the perfect destination to enjoy the benefits of new teeth and a great get-a-away. Call us today for more information about Scottsdale dental implants with Total Freedom Dental Implant Center.
Dental Implant Statistics
- Titanium is used in 92.45% of all American dental implants.
- At Total Freedom Dental Implants, we ONLY use surgical grade titanium.
- Implants have the highest success rate of any comparable procedure.
- Implants have a 98% success rate.
- 156-plus million Americans are missing at least one tooth.
- Dental implants are growing more popular than ever before.
- Threaded dental implants outperform their smooth counterparts, research shows.
- General practitioners are placing more dental implants in America.
- Implants are much stronger than removable dentures.
1. Titanium Is the Most Popular Material Used in Modern Dental Implants
Dental implants – the implants themselves, also called posts or bodies, not the crowns, dentures, or bridges – are all made of metal. Currently, according to contemporary statistics, the vast majority of dental implants, some 92.45% of them here in the United States, are made of titanium. This doesn’t mean that this share of implants is made of pure titanium, necessarily, as they commonly are made up of titanium alloys. If you aren’t already familiar with them, alloys are mixtures of at least two different metals.
2. Dental Implants Are Resoundingly Successful
Crowns and implants are both popular choices to replace cracked, chipped, or broken teeth. Crowns fit over existing teeth, whereas implants are directly rooted in the jaw. Although crowns might be less invasive than dental implants, they are significantly less successful over the long haul, according to an article in the Journal of Oral Implantology. Over a 10-year period, crowns only end up successfully lasting between 50% to 80% of the time, whereas dental implants have been reported as working as often as 98% of the time.
3. Tons of Americans Are Missing Teeth
Even people who take care of their teeth well by practicing fully-fledged oral hygiene are prone to tooth loss. Despite the great standard of healthcare in the United States, a whopping 36 million Americans have no teeth and over 120 million others have at least a single missing tooth. People are eligible for dental implants if they have at least one missing tooth, meaning that just under one-half of the U.S. population is eligible for dental implants. This number is slated to grow steadily for at least the next 20 years, trusted forecasts say, meaning the dental implant industry has great potential here in the United States.
4. The American Dental Implant Market Is Doing Well
Although healthcare, which includes dental care, is more expensive in the United States than in most other nations, the standard of care in the American market is virtually the highest in the world. Dental implants, which aren’t the easiest tooth replacement option to install, do better in the United States than most other places. Further, the U.S. is often the first country to have access to the latest developments in dental technology. These market factors have contributed to the modern American dental implant market, as of 2019, which is worth $1.1 billion. This figure is sure to increase over the years, just as it has done for longer than a decade.
5. Dental Implants Are More Prevalent Than Ever Before in the United States
Dental and healthcare professionals often rely on market projections in order to make crucial business decisions. As such, lots of money is spent by economic research firms across the United States to ensure the accuracy of demand forecasts and other market predictions. According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the prevalence of dental implants in the United States grew 5.7% from 2015 to 2016, up from a measly 0.7% increase from 1999 to 2000.
6. Threaded Dental Implants Are the Way to Go
Dental implants start off by anchoring a metal rod in patients’ jaws. This metal rod can either be threaded or smooth. A recent study in animals found that the long-term survival rate of threaded titanium dental implants to be 95.5%, compared to the 75.4% survival rate of just 75.4%. Just as mentioned above, research has a major impact on the progression of the world of dentistry. As such, it’s safe to say that this research will result in an increase in long-term success rates of dental implants.
7. Dental Implants Are Increasingly Offered by General Dental Practitioners Rather Than Specialists
About 33%, or one-third, of all dental implants placed are placed by a general dentist with a good success rate. However, recent articles suggest the success rate is higher by specialist and that the experience of the specialist is the most important factor of all. This experience is missing when you are treated by a general dentist because they do not focus on dental implants.
8. Comparing the Strength of Removable Dentures and Dental Implants
Removable dentures have long been the go-to in tooth replacements across the United States, although they’ve been reserved for people who are missing either most or all teeth in at least one row of teeth. Removable dentures typically only provide one-half, or 50%, of the bite power that teeth have. This makes it difficult for people who have removable dentures to eat the same foods that they always have, usually resulting in a lower quality of life. Dental implants provide the same – 100%, in other terms – level of power that teeth offer. This is one of the many factors that makes dental implants so wildly popular among modern American dental patients.
Footnote: All stats have reference links to the source material within the paragraph about each bullet point. Titanium statistic: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/dental-implants-market