Because of the popularity of the All-on-4 treatment (a non-removable denture fixed to 4 or more implants replacing all the teeth in one jaw), patients rarely hear of alternatives. There are two implant alternatives to the All-on-4 concept: Fixed Bridges on Implants and Removable Implant Dentures.
If we include the All-on-4 option, there are four total options for patients to replace all the teeth in one jaw. Many dental implant practices propose the extraction of all the teeth to make room for implants, even if there are several perfectly good teeth remaining in an arch. At the Brickell Dental Care we believe that ALL patients should receive ALL viable options. We also believe that good teeth are often still worth keeping. For those patients with no teeth or no good teeth, the four options described below can be considered.
Option 1 – Zirconium Crowns on Implants
This is the very best option any dentist can offer. This results in 2, 3 or 4 fixed/non-removable bridges attached directly to the implants. Advantages over All-on-4:
- -Requires much less bone removal (often no bone removal)
- -Look, feel and function like natural teeth
- -Very little, if any speech changes
- -Does not cover any part of the palate
- -Can be cleaned just like bridges on teeth
- -Have no unnatural contours or areas that cannot be cleaned
- -Require no special abutments (All-on-4 protocol requires angle correction abutments which are not bone or gum tissue friendly)
- -Usually do not need pink porcelain at the gumline (because aggressive bone removal is not necessary).
Option 2 – All-on-4 Hybrid
The technical names for this prosthesis are “hybrid” or “fixed-detachable”. It can be removed by an implant dentist when/if needed, but not by the patient. The popular names are “All-On-4” or “Teeth-in-a-Day”. These are sometimes done with 5 or 6 implants, depending on varying factors in a given patient’s anatomy. This is wildly popular, worldwide. Because of its popularity and potential profit margin there are many under-qualified dentists attempting it. These treatments result in a denture-type prosthesis that attaches (is screwed on) to multiple implants. It can be made of titanium/acrylic or zirconium. Tooth breakage is common if the material choice is wrong or if the patient has a strong bite, clenches or grinds. It is a very good option when done properly with the correct combination of materials. The final result is highly aesthetic, functional and comfortable.