If you’re considering all on 4 dental implants, costs can vary depending on a variety of factors. So, before you part with your hard-earned cash, it’s important to find out more about whom they are suited to, how they can benefit you, exactly what you’re paying for, and of course, the procedure involved. So sit back and make yourself comfortable while we tell you everything you need to know.
A decade ago, many patients weren’t even aware that all on 4 dental implants existed. Yet now, due to greater access to information, not only are people aware of them but many are specifically asking for this kind of treatment to replace missing teeth. The concept itself was firstly introduced back in 1998 by a leading implant company, Nobel Biocare, as a way of restoring multiple missing teeth, particularly full arches. As the name suggests, all teeth are supported by just 4 dental implants – usually 2 at the front and 2 at the back of the mouth. Prior to this, if a patient needed multiple teeth replaced, their only real options were conventional dentures, bridges, or individual dental implants. The first two options are for many reasons far from ideal while the latter isn’t really a cost-effective option nor a practical one.
The All-on-4 Solution
The all on 4 treatment concept is the best solution to date for replacing an entire arch of missing teeth because it offers patients a cost-efficient and permanent way of restoring a full arch of teeth – on the day of surgery. This means that your dentist will…
- Prepare your mouth for implants – this may mean removing any teeth which are failing
- Anchor the implants in position and,
- Attach new teeth, all in one sitting.
For this reason, you’ll also often hear this procedure referred to as ‘teeth in a day’ or the more technical term of ‘full-arch fixed implant bridges‘. In addition, the all on 4 system can replace one entire arch or both arches, so it’s ideal for those patients, who for whatever reason, have no teeth at all.
All on 4 dental implants – Who are they suited to?
The good news is that the all on 4 procedure suits a wide variety of patients. Those patients who have lost most or all of their teeth, for example, may be good candidates. Alternatively, those who need to have multiple teeth removed may also benefit from all on 4; and don’t forget people who currently wear conventional dentures and would like a permanent, hassle-free replacement. Finally, patients who have experienced high levels of bone loss may also benefit from all on 4 simply because implants can in most cases be tilted to best utilise the remaining bone. As a result, bone grafting isn’t necessary for these instances.
All On 4 Cost – Let’s get down to business!
So now we know what they are and who they are suited to, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about the all on 4 dental implants cost!
As already mentioned, the cost of all on 4 dental implants can vary dramatically. This depends upon a number of factors including:
- The type of material used – Acrylic, porcelain etc
- The number of teeth needed – replacing full mouth or full arch
- The location of the dental practice
So, typically in Australia, costs can vary from $15,000 – $35,000 and anywhere in between. Acrylic or composite dentures, for example, are the standard fitting and will normally set you back somewhere between $15,000 and $25,000. Conversely, porcelain dentures are usually more lifelike and are more durable. As a result, they can last longer than acrylic dentures although naturally, these come at a premium, usually $5000 more. As a result, the whole procedure plus porcelain dentures may end up costing around $25,000 -$35,000.
While that initial cost may appear eye-wateringly expensive, it’s worth considering how much is all on 4 dental implants worth to you. After all, it’s a one-time procedure that gives you back the ability to eat, smile, and speak normally again. It also means no more problem teeth or embarrassing denture slippage and no more special cleaning solutions other than toothpaste and a toothbrush. If you look at it in this context, then what price would you place on being able to live the life you really want to?
Another factor regarding all on 4 cost is that while Medicare and hospital cover doesn’t include most types of dental work, you can get ‘extras’ cover on your existing medical insurance. In some cases, this may be able to cover part of the procedure particularly when it comes to tooth extractions. However, you’ll still have to make up the balance. That said, it might be an avenue worth exploring especially if you’re considering this procedure but are otherwise concerned with the all on 4 dental implants cost.
What about financing?
In addition, a wide number of dental practices also offer financing options utilising trusted third-party financing partners. This allows patients to spread the cost of all on 4 dental implants over an agreed period of time. For this reason, it’s well worth asking your dentist what financing options they offer.
What is the all on 4 dental implants procedure and what does it involve?
Let’s face it, the thought of undergoing a dental implants procedure is probably enough to put even the most ardent of dental-goers off. However, much of the fear stems from the uncertainty of it all and in reality, the actual procedure itself is far less scary than the thought of it. In fact, the all on 4 procedure is both meticulously planned with minimal plain. So, with this in mind, let’s take a closer look at a step-by-step guide to how the concept works.
Step 1 – The consultation
As with all dental procedures, the all on 4 treatment starts with a consultation. During this time the dental team will take a look at your current oral situation and decide whether you’re a good candidate for the treatment. They’ll then explain the treatment to you and what you can expect. But in addition, they are on hand to answer any important questions or concerns that you might have. Once you’re happy to proceed, the team will look to develop a personalised treatment plan.
Step 2 – All on 4 dental implants – The surgery
The next step is naturally the part that everyone worries about, but with modern-day dentistry and the technology that goes alongside, even procedures like this are pretty much pain-free. First, the dentist will ensure that you are as comfortable and relaxed as you can be. They’ll also give you the opportunity to ask any further questions or voice any concerns you may have. Then they’ll administer an anaesthetic – this might be either a local anaesthetic or a conscious sedation.
The subsequent step is to prepare your mouth for receiving the implants. This may involve removing any existing teeth which are failing and/or any diseased or infected tissue from your gums and jaw.
Next, your implants are placed into position. This involves anchoring titanium screws through the gum and securing them directly into the jawbone. In the case of all on 4 implants, 2 implants are usually secured at the front of the mouth and 2 implants are placed at the back. This is so that when any biting or chewing forces are applied, the bite pressure will be evenly distributed, thus preserving the life of your new teeth and the supporting implants.
In many cases, modern-day dental implants are placed using computer-guided, flapless surgical methods. This means that the implant is placed ‘keyhole style, through the gum and into the bone. Doing it this way means that the gum doesn’t have to be cut open to expose the bone beneath and therefore no sutures are necessary. In addition, healing time is much quicker too!
Straight after the implants have been placed, impressions are taken. In many cases, this is done digitally so that the team can get to work on your temporary teeth. Shortly after, your temporaries are ready to be fitted. Once in position, you’re good to go with a great looking smile.
Step 3 – Osseointegration
As with all dental implants, a process known as osseointegration needs to occur before final crowns and/or dentures are fitted. This is where the remaining bone tissue grows around and fuses with the implant over time. This creates stability and provides a solid platform in order to attach the final crown or denture. Usually, you’ll need to wait several months for this to occur, but during this time you can lead a normal life- although you might want to avoid eating very hard or particularly chewy foods until your permanent teeth are in place.
Step 4 – Final placement
Once your dental implants have been checked for stability, you’ll be asked back to the clinic in order to receive your permanent and final teeth. This is a relatively quick process whereby your temporary teeth are removed, and your final teeth are fastened into position. Once they’ve been tested for comfort and fit, you’re done. What’s more, you’ll have a great looking, permanent smile with full dentition.
All on 4 dental implants – Post-op recovery.
So you’ve undergone the worst part. Your implants have been placed and you have your new (albeit temporary) teeth. So what now? What can you expect? Let’s take a closer look…
First 24 hours
For the first few days at least, patients can expect a certain degree of tenderness around the implant sites. However, it’s important not to disturb the site, especially in the first 24 hours. Any pain felt is usually controlled using over-the-counter painkillers. As you shouldn’t be brushing – not for the first 24 hours anyway – you’ll need to keep the area bacteria free. While your dentist may have prescribed a medical rinse, you can also mix 1 part salt to 8 parts water and rinse gently remembering that it’s important not to spit, but instead to allow the water to drip from your mouth into the sink. Finally, minimal movement is preferred so avoid bending or stooping. Also when moving from a lying to standing position, it’s best to do it slowly.
As for foods? Liquids should be your preferred choice. Not only are they easy to digest but they’re also soft on your mouth. Avoid extremes of temperature such as hot liquids or ice-cold beverages particularly for the first few hours at least, but remember it’s important to stay hydrated so sipping plenty of water is always a good idea.
24 hours to 1 week after
After your all on 4 dental implants procedure has passed that critical 24-hour point, you can start to brush around the implant site. However, it’s important to use a soft toothbrush with gentle movements. This can be accompanied with gentle rinsing. Remember, avoid gargling or spitting. Just let gravity remove any water from your mouth.
After 24 hours, you may start to see some swelling around the facial area. This is natural and can be brought under control using hot and cold compresses. For the first few days use ice to minimise the swelling, switching to a warm compress on the third day. This will speed up any healing while also soothing the jaw.
Also after the first 24 hours, you may want to begin introducing soft foods such as soup, yoghurt, or lightly scrambled eggs; and in addition, you may feel a little more mobile, so gentle exercise such as walking is okay. However, avoid anything more strenuous. This includes bending over and lifting heavy objects.
The most important things to remember during these first few days are rest, hydration, and maintaining oral health.
One week and beyond
After the first week, you should be feeling a little less tender and any swelling should be greatly reduced. As you see fit, you might want to consider introducing more foods. Things like fish, pasta, and mashed potatoes are good, alongside smoothies and/or protein shakes to give you the vitamins and minerals you need to promote a speedy recovery. However, you should still avoid harder foods like crisp apples, toffee, and chewy meat, for obvious reasons.
Exercise can be increased slightly, little by little until you feel well enough to return to normal, but you may want to think about avoiding contact sports a little longer – in some cases until you have your permanent dental implants fitted.
All-on-4 dental implants – In conclusion
The all on 4 procedure is a welcome relief for many people who have limited or zero dentition or are currently unhappy with their dentures. And while the all on 4 implants treatment doesn’t come cheap, it can permanently restore a smile, allowing people to live a normal and healthy life, allowing them to eat what they want, rather than only what they can. For this reason and despite the expense, hundreds of thousands of people have benefited from this tried and tested method of missing teeth replacement.
Because both implants and teeth are placed the same day, this process delivers a rapid improvement in the quality of life and avoids the need for extensive bone grafting procedures. Therefore, shorting treatment time by many months in the process.
The all on 4 system is suited to a wide variety of patients, particularly those who have lost or are in the process of losing multiple teeth. It’s also ideally suited to those partially or fully edentulous patients who are currently not happy with their conventional dentures. Naturally, the benefits speak for themselves, yet with such a lot riding on it, it’s important to find the right dentist.
DDII – Cutting edge all on 4 implant dentistry
At the Digital Dental Implants Institute, we’re at the cutting edge of dentistry here in Sydney, Australia. As an experienced team who have placed hundreds of dental implants, we use the very latest technology and techniques to perform computer-guided implant placement. For the patient, this means flapless keyhole surgery that is accurate to within a fraction of a millimetre. This makes placement more reliable, quicker, and more efficient than conventional implant methods. What’s more, because there’s no cutting involved, there’s also little or no bleeding and therefore no need for sutures. As such, recovery time is faster, so patients can get back to normal, quicker.
While the teeth in a day procedure might not be suitable for everyone, if you’d like to find out whether you’re a good candidate and want to see how the procedure may benefit you, then we invite you to book a consultation with our experienced team. To book yours, contact our Gosford dentist on 02 8294 8656. Remember, patients can trust that they’re in safe and knowledgeable hands, so we invite you to take the first steps towards a healthier happier smile you can be proud of by getting in touch with our friendly, patient-centred Sydney team.