Dental implants are one of the best ways to replace your missing teeth. Especially when it comes to traditional full mouth reconstruction. The structural integrity of dental implants means you can benefit from a permanent prosthesis that looks, feels, and functions like real teeth.
For people who need to replace all of their missing teeth at once, All-on-4 and All-on-6 are great permanent solutions to consider. There are no removable dentures, and the implants help to prevent the sunken appearance we commonly see with tooth loss. But if you are researching dental implants as an option for replacing missing teeth, we explain the differences between 4 dental implants and 6 dental implants in more detail below.
All-on-4 vs. 6 Dental Implants
Most people are familiar with “All-on-4” dental implants, which replace all of your upper or lower natural teeth at one time. But you likely haven’t heard of the same procedure using six dental implants. Essentially, it’s an “All-on-6” procedure, where two additional dental implants are used instead of just four total.
While four dental implants are fine for securing a prosthetic arch of teeth, using additional dental implants adds further stability, especially for someone who previously wore a removable prosthetic dental arch (dentures) or wants to avoid bone grafting with an oral surgeon.
This dental procedure takes All-on-4 treatment, adds an additional two dental implants, and provides a secure, permanent solution for people with missing teeth. Having just two additional dental implants significantly strengthens the overall integrity of the hybrid, permanent dentures.
Can fewer implants still be used? Absolutely. All-on-4 is still safe and effective for replacing missing teeth. But the patient’s individual dental health must meet certain restrictions. Dr. Gordon frequently recommends both types of implant designs. But deciding between All-on-4 vs. All-on-6 implants should be made on a case-by-case basis. Effective solutions for one patient with bone loss may be quite different than what’s best for someone who only just had multiple teeth extracted.
Does All-on-6 Look Different Than All-on-4?
If you’re smiling, no one will ever be able to know how many dental implants you have. Both All-on-4 and All-on-6 implant systems have the actual implants tucked out of plain sight. All people will see is your new smile. Only your Kansas City implant dentist will know the difference. In either situation, your fixed prosthesis will be crafted to your individual aesthetic requests.
Day to Day Differences
Having two extra dental implants won’t make all that much difference in your day-to-day maintenance. The only thing you’ll notice is that you’ll need to clean around two extra implant roots. But if you’re using an electric toothbrush and water flosser, the difference will be practically non-existent.
Nothing is removable, so you won’t have to worry about taking your “teeth” out at night. Fixed implants are just as beneficial for your self-esteem as they are for your overall quality of life!
Why Use Additional Implants?
When we’re talking about fixed implant dental bridges, the retention is different than snap-on removable dentures that clip onto two or four dental implants. You need enough stability to support the biting pressure of a full arch of teeth. An All-on-4 implant system is the bare minimum when it comes to a firm enough foundation for everyday biting and chewing. But for someone with extensive bone and tooth loss, sunken jaw anatomy, or who was already wearing temporary dentures, extra implants may be needed.
Adding two additional implants (for a total of six implants) provides significant reinforcement for the full-arch prosthesis. Since the weight is distributed across more implants, there is added stability throughout the entire prosthesis. Even if you have a healthy jaw, stable bone, and good gum tissue, placing two extra implants in the jaw helps reinforce the overall system.
Remember, you’re replacing 14 teeth at a time. Having six implants maximizes your bone strength for a more natural feeling, longer-lasting smile. You won’t have to worry about extra weight pressing onto only four implants, with two more helping to stabilize the overall function of your arch. Since each implant integrates with your jaw bone, it’s as if you’ve essentially replaced almost half of your teeth with a fixed, biocompatible restoration.
The extra reinforcement means you won’t have to worry about eating your favorite foods or any risk of something shifting because of bone resorption. It’s a safe investment for the long-term success of your full arch mouth reconstruction.
If it Sounds too Good to be True, It Probably Is
As you go about researching dental implants in your area, make sure your dental implant provider is skilled in a wide range of dental implant procedures and techniques. Every dental implant case is unique, whether you have half of your remaining teeth or only one missing tooth. Promising fast treatments like “teeth in a day” or only replacing your missing teeth with two or four implants may not necessarily be the best solution. Without proper integration with your jaw, rushed implant therapy can completely fail.
One of the major differences in our implant dentist is the significant amount of training, experience, and credentials we have to offer our patients. Dr. Gordon will carefully review your particular case and recommend the best procedure or choice of options for a healthy, comfortable smile. It may be that 6 dental implants will provide more coverage (good news for anyone with bone loss), and we will discuss those specifics during your full consultation.
As a highly experienced implant dentist, we’re able to facilitate comprehensive oral health services with in-house general anesthesia/sedation options for maximum comfort. Everything is completed under one roof for your safety and convenience. It’s just one of the key differences that set our facility and team apart from other dental implant offices in the Kansas and Missouri area.
Do You Need 4 Dental Implants or 6?
Reserve a consultation to discuss tooth replacement with a permanent set of dental implants. We’ll thoroughly evaluate your oral anatomy and tissue health to decide if four or six dental implants are right for your smile. Plus, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have.
Do you wear dentures or partials? Contact Gordon Dental in Leawood today to schedule your first appointment. Flexible payment options are available, and we will work hard to maximize any insurance benefits you may have that apply to the implants process.