The term all on 4 or all on 6, is referring to an anchoring system of dental implants to fix a prosthetic device to replace your teeth. A dental device, or denture is permanently screwed on to the dental implants. When we cay permanently fixed, better to say, a device that is not removable by the patient, but can be removed by the dentist. No more denture cream, or leaving your dentures in a glass, soaking through the night. Also, gone are the days of false teeth jumping up and down when you talk. You can eat normally and smile with full confidence.
All on 4 or all on 6? The more implants present, the more stable is the system for holding a dental device. For a full arch of teeth, (replacing 14 teeth), a minimum of 6 implants is needed. If a patient only wants to place 4 implants, he must understand that he can only replace 10 teeth. If the dental device does not have enough implants, bone loss will occur around the implants, and they will fail. To replace all your teeth with a fixed dental device, a patient must have 6 or more implants placed.
Snap on denture vs fixed dental device? A snap on denture is a specially made denture that has receiver cups placed in it to snap on to locators placed on the top of the dental implants. The pro is, it is less expensive, and holds the denture firmly, without any dental adhesive. The denture is made more open over the pallet, and so the taste of food is not as effected, and it feels much less intrusive as a traditional denture. The negative is, the act of taking it out of your mouth, every night to clean it, can cause the implants to eventually fail, if the bone is not very solid, or if bone loss develops.
With and all on 6, the device, screws go through the device, right into the top of the implants. The device doesn’t go over the sides of the gums like a denture, but on top of the gum. The device is tightly pressed against the gum, making it feel like a part of your mouth, much more natural than a denture. The dental device is sometimes made of acrylic, with a metal bar on the inside, or sometimes made of zirconium. The material used will effect to cost, but also certain materials are better than others in certain applications. In other words, a hybrid device of acrylic is lighter, and maybe necessary because of the bone density or way the implants are placed. Although a patient would rather go with the more expensive zirconium, it may not be advisable, because it is heavier, and could cause the implants to fail. What can or can not be used, is not necessarily determined on what a patient wants, nor how much budget, but is sometimes determined on physical factors and limitations.
If a person has had the misfortune to lose their teeth and hates the idea of dentures. There is hope. A fixed dental device is available, using dental implants, if they are candidates.