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All on 4 dental implants

All-on-4 dental implants are a cost-effective solution for replacing all missing teeth in the mouth. They need fewer implant posts in the jaw than traditional implants. This dental implant is a same-day implant, also known as teeth in a day.

What is an All-on-4 dental implant?

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The All-on-4 technique is a registered trademark of Nobel Biocare. It is a cost-efficient method for replacing teeth that uses fewer dental implants than the traditional methods. The teeth replacement, which is usually a fixed bridge, is attached to the implant and isn't removable like traditional dentures.

The all-on-4 dental implant technique has the following characteristics.

  • As few as four implant posts per jaw

While the traditional full-mouth implants need 8 – 10 implants per jaw, the All-on-4 technique uses only four implants, sometimes five or six on the upper jaw, due to lower bone density.

  • Angled rear implants for maximum strength

Instead of a vertical insertion, the dentist will place the rear implant at a 30 – 45-degree angle. This means even patients who have suffered bone loss can get the All-on-4 without a bone graft procedure that incurs more expenses.

  • Same-day implant and fitting
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All-on-4 implants can be fitted in a day, giving them the nickname same-day teeth, smile in a day or teeth in a day. This is a significant improvement on the traditional implant procedure that takes about six months or more to complete, and each step needs a long recovery period.

The All-on-4 implant isn't the only option for those needing immediate full arc restoration, but the most common. Other options include the Straumann Pro Arch System, with similar benefits.

Who can get an All-on-4 implant?

Suitable candidates for All-on-4 dental implants may have several missing teeth or only sufficient jawbone to support the implant but insufficient to support the traditional dental implants. People who have neglected their teeth for long or teeth that can't be restored can get All-on-4 implants.

The person must be in good overall health with healthy gums. However, you can only know if All-on-4 dental implants are the right choice when you consult an oral and maxillofacial surgeon or a dental implant professional. The dental professional will evaluate your case to determine if you are a suitable candidate for All-on-4 dental implants

Every case is different, and it is best to visit your dentist. If all or most of your teeth are missing, and you need a cheaper option for traditional dental implants, you may ask for all-on-4 implants.

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All-on-4 implant fitting procedure

Initial consultation

The first step for All-on-4 implants is a consultation with the dentist. The dentist will examine your mouth during your consultation and perform a CBCT scan.

This scan allows the dentist to determine your suitability for dental implants. The dentist can check your jawbone density to determine where to insert the implants. Your dentist will discuss your alternatives to this treatment before you commit to All-on-4 implants.

If you are a good candidate for the treatment and commit to it, the next step is taking dental impressions. The dentist will send your dental impressions to the lab to make your new dental restoration fit and look like your natural teeth.

Some dentists use mouth scanning technology that lets them take digital images of your existing teeth without using putty impressions. You may also have X-rays to help plan your treatment.

All-on-4 implant surgery

If teeth extraction is necessary before getting the implants, you can do it on the same day. The dental professional may administer a sedative to help you relax during the procedure, then anaesthesia to prevent any pain.

If you prefer general anaesthesia for All-on-4 dental implant procedure, you can ask about it during your consultation.

After extracting any remaining teeth, the dental professional will thoroughly clean your mouth to remove bacteria and damaged tissue. The dentist will drill two or more holes in front of the jaw to hold your front implants. Two holes would be at the rear, one on each side, angled for optimum support to the back of the bridge.

After placing the implants, they will clean your mouth again and stitch up any incisions. The dentist may use dissolvable stitches that disappear after 1 – 2 weeks.

On the same day or the next, you will get your new set of teeth. This will be a temporary overdenture which you will replace after a few months. The temporary restoration is often from resin, a lighter but lesser durable material which places less pressure on the implants during healing.

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All-on-4 dental implants aftercare

Patients may experience swelling, bruising and general discomfort a few days after the procedure. You will need a few days off work to recover and adjust to your new teeth.

In the first few months, your diet may consist of very soft food so you do not interrupt the implant fusing with your bone. Your dentist may also advise you to avoid heavy exercise and smoking for a while.

You will clean the implants like your natural teeth by brushing them twice daily. Your dentist will also show you how to floss using special tools. You may want to get a water flosser with special attachments to clean around your implants.

Final checks and fitting

You can get the permanent overdenture in 6 – 9 months after your dental implant surgery. This dental restoration is made from porcelain or other high-quality, durable material. If you care for your new teeth properly, they should last ten years or more.

You need regular dental checks and maintenance to keep your mouth healthy and the implants in good condition. Ensure you check that these visits are part of your treatment cost, or you will pay separately.

Where are All-on-4 dental implants available in the UK?

You can get UK all-on-4 dental implants from a dental implant professional or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

In rare cases, patients are eligible for full-mouth dental implants on the public health service. This may be the case if you meet the following conditions

  • Prosthetic teeth are medically necessary, for example, if you have lost all of your teeth through cancer or trauma
  • You cannot wear traditional dentures for some reason
  • Your local public healthcare trust provides All-on-4 funding
  • Your dentist provides All-on-4 implants

However, the chances of getting All-on-4 implants in the public healthcare service are slim. In most cases of people who need a full set of replacement teeth, dentures are available for them.

The alternative is finding a dentist offering All-on-4 implants privately. You may need to check a couple of dentists because some dentists are not trained to fit implants, and not all dentists trained in implantology offer All-on-4.

After you choose a dentist, they will discuss your All-on-4 implant treatment plan. If you need another treatment, your dentist will recommend other alternatives.

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How much are All-on-4 dental implants UK?

All-on-4 dental implant cost in the UK varies, depending on the provider's experience, location and additional procedures. You need a personalised quote for your dentist to know the exact cost of your treatment.

How much are full-mouth dental implants on the public healthcare service?

If you are eligible for denture implants on the public healthcare service, which is highly unlikely, you will pay the Band 3 charge, which is £282.80. This cost covers the entire treatment.

If you are eligible for free NHS dental care, you will get full-mouth dental implants at no cost, but only a few people are eligible for free treatment.

You will likely need to pay for private treatment at your chosen dentist.

How much are private all-on-4 implants?

All-on-4 dental implants cost between £7000 - £14000 per jaw in the UK. This price depends on the number of implants needed and the material for the permanent All-on-4 dentures.

Like any private dental treatment, shopping around and getting quotes from different All-on-4 clinics in your area is good because the prices may vary significantly.

However, getting dental implants from a dentist shouldn't depend only on price. Consider getting a trained professional with experience in carrying out the procedure.

How can I save on All-on-4 implant costs?

You may consider dental work abroad if you can't afford All-on-4 implants in the UK. Many people travel overseas yearly to save money on dental work and enjoy holidays abroad.

The cheapest countries offer implants at about 70% lower than the UK. For example, you can get All-on-4 dental implants in the UK for about £4000 - £5000 per jaw and enjoy the Istanbul culture or visit a coastal town like Izmir.

Hungary is widely known for experienced dentists offering high-quality care at excellent value. Another common travel destination for dental treatment is Spain.

If you want dental treatment abroad, including All-on-4 dental implants, ensure you get a quote first.

Alternatives for replacing a full set of teeth

If you need to replace missing teeth in a jaw or both jaws, you have two other options besides All-on-4 implants – conventional full-jaw dental implants and dentures.

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All-on-4 vs dentures

The traditional option for replacing a full jaw of teeth is the removable denture known as false teeth. They consist of a gum-coloured acrylic base and teeth made from porcelain or resin.

Dentures fit over the gums and remain in place with a dental adhesive or suction. Well-fitting dentures shouldn't need adhesive.

However, the jawbone shrinks over time because it isn't supporting ant teeth which changes the shape of the mouth, causing the dentures to become loose. This results in replacing your denture regularly to prevent discomfort and problems with eating.

Removable dentures are custom-made to fit your mouth. The upper denture covers the roof of the mouth, and the lower denture has a horseshoe shape to create room for the tongue. You much remove them to allow your gums to rest and clean the dentures, usually overnight.

All-on-4 implants, on the other hand, are fixed permanently in place and look and function like natural teeth. Implants have no risk of slipping out while eating or talking.

Although the prosthetic teeth are on artificial gum, it covers only a small part of the real gum than dentures. The joining point is far behind the lips, so they aren't visible even when you smile.

Dentures are less expensive than any dental implant but need replacement every five years.

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All-on-4 vs regular dental implants

The traditional option for replacing a full jaw of teeth with dental implants is combining single-tooth implants and implant-supported bridges. The bridges allow several teeth to get support from an implant at each end instead of one for each tooth. This technique requires 8 – 10 implants per jaw for a full set of new teeth.

Although regular and All-on-4 implants involve drilling sockets in the jawbone, All-on-4 implants need fewer implants. This makes the implant procedure faster, easier and more comfortable. It can lower the cost of a full-mouth teeth replacement due to less material and reduced time. If your bone mass or dentist is low, mini dental implants may be the only option.

Besides the lower cost, the reduced treatment time is a big advantage for getting All-on-4 implants. You can fix dentures immediately after placing the implants instead of waiting six months or more to heal like in traditional implants.

In most cases, temporary denture placement is on the day of surgery, and the permanent prosthesis is a few months later.

Below is a summary of the main difference between All-on-4, regular implants and dentures.

  All-on-4 Regular implants Dentures
Placement Attached to 4 – 6 implants in the jawbone Attached to 8 – 10 implants in the jaw bone Rest on the gums and may need adhesive
Eligibility For people with bone loss A bone graft may be necessary Suitable for most people
Eating Permanently fixed, act like natural teeth and has fewer eating restriction after it heals Fixed in place, act like natural teeth and have few eating restrictions after it heals May move around when chewing, and some food restrictions apply
Longevity Over ten years 10 – 15 years Need replacement every five years as the gum's shape changes
Bone loss Implant help maintain the bone Implant help maintain the bone Continued bone loss, causing the denture to loosen
Coverage in the mouth Artificial gums with minimal contact Crowns attached directly to the gums Acrylic plate cover most of the mouth roof and gums
Appearance As the natural teeth and the gum joining is behind the lips Like natural teeth and no artificial gum As with natural teeth but a loss of bone may occur and can cause the face to sag
Cleaning Like natural teeth Like natural teeth Need removal for cleaning (usually overnight)
Cost per jaw £7000 - £14000 £10000 - £21000 Usually available on the NHS, £400 - £2500
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Advantages of All-on-4

All-on-4 dental implants have several benefits over removable dentures and traditional implants. These include:

  • Implants placed on the same day as teeth extraction
  • Shorter treatment and recovery time
  • Fixed in place – no need for removing to clean
  • Do not fall or slip out
  • Suitable for people with jaw bone loss
  • Saves cost on the full dental implant with the traditional techniques

Disadvantages of All-on-4

Like any other dental treatment, All-on-4 has its downsides

  • Some dentists consider it a shortcut for replacing teeth
  • Some people report problems with hissing or splitting while speaking
  • The result may not be as good as traditional implants
  • Not usually available in the public healthcare service, but dentures are
  • The prosthetic gum bridge may feel off in your mouth
  • This solution isn't fully customised

Ensure you consider these when choosing the best teeth replacement option.

Possible problems from All-on-4 implants 

Every case is unique, so a consultation with the dentist is necessary for the most suitable treatment plan. The dentist must understand the patient's unique case, including factors that may cause complications.

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Possible complications from All-on-4 implants include:

  • Parafunction

Certain habits like teeth clenching, grinding and irregular chewing may affect treatment decisions. When you replace all-natural teeth, teeth sensation reduces, making patients less aware when their teeth are under pressure. In patients with parafunction, getting bar-supported overdenture may be the best option.

  • Speech issues

Adjusting to the bulky dental prosthesis in your mouth may take a while. Most people need to relearn speech after a few weeks, but this problem may linger for others.

  • Infection

Even with no natural teeth in your mouth, food can become stuck under your denture, resulting in gum disease and infection, so a good oral cleaning routine is important.

  • Implant failure

Any implant can fail for different reasons, like poor management of a system disease such as diabetes. Proper aftercare and oral hygiene can reduce the risk, so follow the dentist's instructions.

You can get All-on-4 implants at McKennell Dental Practice for a full teeth replacement in one or both jaws. Visit us at 21 Churton Street London SW1V 2LY or call on 020 7834 8802 to arrange an appointment with our dental professional.

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Frequently asked questions

Teeth in a day is also same-day teeth implants. Their name is because you can fit temporary dentures over your implants on the same day you fit the implants.

However, after a few months, you still need to replace the temporary dentures with permanent overdentures.

The cost of All-on-4 implants and other dental implants varies, depending on the treatment needed. All-on-4 dental implants can cost up to £12000.

In theory, yes, but this is highly unlikely due to the criteria you must meet for the implants. You may need to investigate other options for making your treatment more affordable.

You can save on All-on-4 implants by getting the implants overseas. All-on-4 costs only a few thousand pounds in some countries, unlike in the UK.

The first step is to speak to your dentist. If your teeth are in bad condition, the best option is to have them removed and replaced, and All-on-4 may be the right option.