Full Arch Restoration Options – Which is right for me?

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What is an All-on-X dental implant treatment?

The All-on-4, All-on-5, and All-on-6 treatments are different methods of restoring a full arch, or the teeth on either your upper or lower jaw. The term “all” indicates that all of the teeth on the arch will be replaced, and the number indicates how many implants will be used on each arch. This is a fixed treatment that cannot be removed by the patient which give the feeling and function most like our natural teeth compared to any other tooth replacement in dentistry.

Deciding which of these methods to use for your treatment requires a lot of thought on the part of your doctor. It is vital that your new smile is not only beautiful, but long-lasting and durable. Some of the factors that the doctor might take into consideration include the quality and quantity of the jawbone available, as well as the size of your jaw.

3D representation of dental implants

Jawbone Quality and Quantity

Often, the quality of the jawbone is dictated by which arch will be treated. The upper jaw, or the maxilla, has a softer, spongier bone than the lower jaw, or mandible. Depending on the tightness of the implant’s placement in the bone, more than four implants (All-on-4) may need to be placed in order for the patient to receive a temporary bridge of teeth on the day of your visit.

However, if we cannot place additional implants, the patient may need to wear a traditional denture throughout the healing period, which generally lasts three to six months.

The amount of bone available to place implants also plays a major role when deciding how many implants will be placed. If you have had teeth missing for a significant period of time, the absence of a root creates a vacuum in your gums. Without stimulation, the jawbone may be subject to resorption. This limits the amount of bone available to place implants. If the mouth is overcrowded or implants that are too short are used, both of which combat the absence of jawbone, the solution will be only temporary: both of these resolutions may lead to further bone loss and implant failure.

Dental Arch Size

If an All-on-X treatment candidate has a very large arch, placing four implants may result in the implants being too far apart, which would mean that the doctor may choose to use an All-on-5 or All-on-6 treatment rather than an All-on-4.

Implants should have no more than twenty millimeters between them. Implants placed further apart than this may compromise the temporary bridge which will be placed on top of the implants, and so it is better practice to use extra implants and lessen the risk of fracture to the prosthesis.

What is an All-on-X dental implant treatment?

Some of the numerous benefits of an All-on-X treatment are:

  • Eliminate the need for a removable denture, which can be difficult to care for and uncomfortable;
  • Provide a full-mouth restoration which is both natural in appearance and durable;
  • Allow the patient to regain full mouth functionality, including freedom to eat all their favorite foods again and speak clearly and with confidence;
  • Increase stimulation of the jawbone and prevent resorption;
  • Easy to care for.

3D representation of all on 4 dental implants

What is a 3 or 6 dental implant treatment?

A 3-on-6-dental implant treatment involves the placement of six dental implants in the jawbone, with three bridges with multiple teeth per bridge being anchored to them. This treatment allows the gums to remain as your natural gumline rather than the replacement gumline used by the All-on-x treatment when there has been moderate to severe bone loss. These bridges are attached to the implants, which provide a stable foundation for the prostheses. This treatment option is a more stable and functional option than a traditional or snap-on denture and may be a better solution than the All-on-x treatment for younger patients or patients who have minimal bone resorption.

The final decision will be determined by what is the best long-term solution is that will give you a functional, great looking smile that you will feel excited to share with others.

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