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Implants: All On 4 vs All On 6

May 11, 2022
by: Dr. Ammons

You may have heard of all-on-4 dental implants or all-on-6 implants, without actually understanding what's involved in either of these two procedures. First of all, it will be necessary to have an understanding of what a dental implant consists of. Typically, dental implants are made of titanium, because that's a material which is highly biocompatible, meaning it will fuse very well with the natural material of your jaw bone.

It's necessary to implant this titanium post into the jaw bone to provide the most solid foundation possible for the tooth replacement device which will be installed over the top of it. Dental implants also serve a secondary purpose in that they stimulate the jaw bone, so that no further bone loss takes place there. Anytime you lose a tooth and allow the gap to remain there without replacing the tooth, it's possible that resorption will take place, which means the jaw bone will gradually diminish, because it receives no stimulation from the tooth.

Dental implants are used as an option for patients who have lost one or more teeth due to tooth decay, or to some type of physical damage which has occurred. Most dentists will only perform tooth extraction as a last resort, when the tooth simply cannot be saved. This is because whenever a tooth is missing from your mouth, teeth will naturally tend to shift toward the gap left by the missing tooth, and as previously mentioned, resorption can occur to make your jaw bone diminish.

All-on-4 dental implants

An all-on-4 dental implant is a fairly simple concept. Instead of installing a titanium post for each missing tooth you have, your dentist will install just four titanium posts either on your upper or lower arch, and replace all 14 that were once there. This is an important point, because otherwise it would be necessary to install one implant per missing tooth, and that could make for a very crowded mouth indeed. It might also be cost-prohibitive, given the fact that fourteen separate implants would have to be installed. Here are some of the benefits which accrue to any patient who has all-on-4 implants installed:

  • it prevents jaw bone loss, which is almost an inevitable consequence of tooth loss
  • it stimulates bone growth where empty tooth sockets exist
  • they're thought to be one of the very best options for tooth replacement, since they last basically forever and do not require any more than normal dental hygiene
  • if cared for conscientiously, they can last throughout the patient's lifetime
  • they look and function just like your original teeth did
  • you can perform all eating and speaking functions normally, just as you could with your original teeth.

What to expect during the all-on-4 implant procedure

If you're thinking about having all-on-4 dental implants installed, here are some things you should know about what happens during the procedure, so you can prepare yourself. First of all, your dental practitioner will thoroughly examine your mouth and your jaw bone structure, to determine whether or not you have sufficient jaw bone mass to undergo implant surgery. Assuming that you do, your dentist will then schedule a surgery to remove any decayed teeth or remnants from already missing teeth.

The implants, which are small titanium screws, will then be installed into the jaw bone. This will generally happen under some kind of anesthesia, so that the patient feels no pain during the procedure. Once the necessary implants have been installed, you will have to wait between three and six months for full osseointegration to take place. This is the process by which the titanium post will actually fuse with the jaw bone and become part of it.

After this has completed, you will have the absolute most solid foundation possible for the installation of replacement teeth. Once the implants have fully fused with your jaw bone and all healing has occurred, your dentist will arrange for a session where some kind of dental appliance can be installed over your all-on-4 implants. At this session, any necessary adjustments will be made, so that you can have a perfectly comfortable bite, and so your speech sounds normal.

All-on-6 dental implants

The obvious difference between this procedure and the all-on-4 implant procedure is that this option requires the installation of six dental implants rather than just four. This is generally necessary for patients who lack adequate jaw bone mass to receive the necessary support from just four implants. Once the all-on-6 implants are installed, they can be just as effective as the all-on-4, and will be just as reliable and solid. Some of the worthwhile benefits from all-on-6 dental implants include the following:

  • recovery time tends to be quicker with all-on-6 implants as opposed to all-on-4s
  • the results will always be long-lasting, generally throughout the remainder of the patient's life
  • bone grafting is less likely to be needed when all-on-6 implants are installed
  • you won't need any kind of removable dentures, because your new set of dentures will be both durable and permanent
  • your replacement teeth will function just like your original teeth did
  • you'll look younger and healthier with your undetectable implants installed.

What to expect during an all-on-6 implant procedure

p>Many of the procedural steps involved with all-on-6 dental implants are similar to those which occur during all-on-4 implants. The first thing that will happen is your dentist will conduct a review and analysis of your mouth and jaw bone structure, to determine whether this procedure will be safe for you. The six implants will then be installed in your jaw bone, and will be left in place to fuse with the jaw bone over the succeeding months.

While you're waiting for osseointegration to take place, your dentist may install a temporary prosthesis over your implants. Once the implants have fully merged with your jaw bone, the permanent dentures will be installed, and you can begin using your brand new set of replacement teeth. These two options for tooth replacement are both extremely solid and reliable, and are currently the best possible option for tooth replacement.

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Multiple Convenient Dental Locations Near Charleston

Ammons Dental By Design has four locations so you can find the most convenient office for your family.
1015 Fair St.
Camden, SC 29020
Monday – Thursday:
8am – 5pm
P: (803) 969-0365
F: (803) 432-2625
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14 Lockwood Dr,
Charleston, SC 29401
(Suite A on the exterior of the Ashley House Building, across from the marina)
Monday – Thursday:
7am - 4pm
P: (843) 380-2734
F: (843) 577-4464
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1739-B Maybank Hwy.
Charleston, SC 29412
Tuesday – Friday:
7am - 4pm
P: (843) 380-8889
F: (843) 990-9504
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1710 Old Trolley., Ste.B
Summerville, SC 29485
Tuesday – Thursday: 8am – 5pm
Monday & Friday*: 8am – 5pm
*Rotating schedule
P: (843) 380-8904
F: (843) 871-0617
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