All-on-4 vs. All-on-6 Dental Implants
What are the All-on-Four and All-on-Six Dental Implant Techniques?
“All-on-4” or “All-on-6” refer to placing 4 or 6 dental implants on a single jaw (upper or low) and using those implants to support a fixed prosthesis, such as a hybrid prosthesis. The “All-on” refers to “all” of the teeth being supported by the number of implants placed, which can be 4, 6 or another number depending on the specifics of the case. These techniques are beneficial for patients presenting any one of the following problems:
- Missing a significant number of adjacent teeth on the same jaw
- Lack adequate bone for a greater number of implants
- Remaining teeth have a poor prognosis
Video showing full mouth implants steps from initial consultation to diagnostic imaging, surgery, and final rehabilitation with hybrid prosthesis.
Advantages of All-on-Four Dental Implants
The All-on-4 dental implant technique, when compared with the other popular full mouth implants technique, all-on-6, has the principal advantage of lower cost, due to the lower number of implants. Four dental implants, when compared with a lower number of implants such as two in the case of some removable prostheses, allow the denture to sit above the gums, creating more comfort and stability while functioning. Additionally, the All-on-4 technique also allows patients that lack sufficient bone quality or quantity for a greater number of implants to nevertheless use a fixed prosthesis.
Advantages of All-on-Six Dental Implants
The more dental implants placed, the more likely the prosthesis can be screwed into place, rest minimally on soft tissues, be reliably stable in function, and provide soft tissue / facial support. Please see the 2016 study cited in the US National Center for Biotechnology Information indicating “the all-on-six approach and framework stiffer materials showed the most favorable biomechanical behavior (when compared to all-on-4).” This means greater comfort and function for the patient, when translates directly into a greater probability for the long-term success of the treatment.
A greater number of implants can also help arrest bone loss, as the load placed on the bone helps the bone retain strength and density. (Also known as the “use it or lose it” principal, whereby much like muscles atrophy when not used, bone deteriorates when not loaded). For these reasons, Smiles Peru generally recommends at least six implants whenever feasible.
Conclusion: All-on-4 vs. All-on-6, which is the better option?
All-on-4 and All-on-6 are revolutionary options to restore function and aesthetics for patients unable to rehabilitate existing teeth. Four implants on a single arch should be considered a minimum in order to use a fixed prosthesis that is not removed at night. More than four implants provide better comfort and functional benefits, however, four implants are enough to restore patients to a high level of function and aesthetics.
If you are interested in the all-on-4 or all-on-6 dental implants techniques, please see our case studies and testimonials.
For more information about the procedures, please see our full mouth dental implants webpage.