Dental implants are an excellent treatment for missing or damaged teeth. These dental prosthetics replace your original teeth and are more functional and comfortable than traditional bridges or dentures.
An All on 4 Dental Implant replaces an entire arch of teeth in the upper or lower jaw. The artificial teeth are attached to a denture plate secured to your jaw with four biocompatible metal screws embedded into your jawbone.
All on 4 dental implants require a surgical procedure and can take up to a year to fully install. Many patients are concerned about how long do All on 4 implants last and whether other implants or restorative dentistry treatments might offer a longer-lasting solution.
All on 4 tooth implants are the only permanent way to restore your smile’s appearance and function. A dentist that offers consultations near you can provide in-depth information about All on 4 dental implants and assess your oral health to determine if you are a good candidate.
Understanding All on 4 Tooth Implants
Before the development of All on 4 dental implants, patients needed to wear dentures to replace an entire arch of teeth. These plates can be uncomfortable, slip when speaking or laughing, limit the food they ate, and would slowly degrade the existing gum tissue and jawbone.
All on 4 tooth implants replace the dentures with a fixed arch of teeth but also don’t require an implant for every single tooth, replacing 10-14 implants with just four that support the full arch of teeth. The procedure gives you a brand new smile with minimally invasive surgery and at a more affordable cost.
The Parts of All on 4 Dental Implants
All on 4 dental implants are made up of three parts: the implant posts, the abutments, and the arch of prosthetic teeth. The implants are metal posts that look similar to screws. They can be made from several types of surgical-grade metals, but titanium and zirconium are the most common.
These screws are placed into the jawbone and allowed to osseointegrate (fuse) with the surrounding bone. Abutments are attached to the top of each post, which will become the connection point between the arch of teeth and the implant.
The artificial dental arch is made from a mould or 3D scan of your mouth and gives you a perfect set of teeth for your jaw. The base is affixed to the implant abutment, and they are permanently connected. The teeth on the arch are made of high-quality composite materials and are custom-made to give you a perfect smile.
How Long Do All on 4 Implants Last: All on 4 Dental Implant Longevity Studies
All on 4 tooth implants were developed in 1998, making them relatively new technology. However, numerous studies indicate that All on 4 implants are a highly successful procedure for replacing teeth.
A 2011 longitudinal study included data from 245 patients and looked at 980 total implants. All patients had four titanium implants placed in their jaws, with a full arch of prosthetic teeth. They were assessed on how well the All on 4 tooth implants held up over 10 years.
Of the 245 patients, only 13 reported any issues over the 10-year period. Of the 13 participants, only one or two implants were problematic, with a total of 21 impacted implants. This results in a 94.8% implant survival rate at 5 years for each individual implant and a 98.1% survival rate for the All on 4 dental implants as a whole at the 5-year mark.
After 10 years, 93.8% of implants were still perfect, and 94.8% of All on 4 tooth implants were in excellent condition. Throughout the decade, the prosthetic teeth had a 99.2% survival rate, meaning the artificial teeth looked great and functioned normally even after 10 years of constant use.
A 2012 clinical report looked at patients over a 5-year period, checking the implants every 6 months. The study included data examining wider jaw health to understand better how long the All on 4 dental implants lasted and how they affected the mouth. This study included 242 patients with a combined 968 individual implants.
Over the 5-year period, 17 people lost one or more implants, but only 19 implants were lost in total. That gives All on 4 dental implants an 98% 5-year survival rate. Interestingly, the study found that the survival rate for prosthetic teeth was 100%.
The jawbone examinations revealed an added benefit to All on 4 tooth implants. Regular dentures wear down jawbone material over time; however, All on 4 dental implants do not.
The distance between the top of the gum line where the implant abutment is located and the base of the bone is usually around 1.43mm immediately after implant surgery, but after 3 years, it had only increased to 1.52mm, and only 1.95mm after 5 years, which is on par with normal changes in the jawbone.
Issues That Affect All on 4 Tooth Implants Longevity
Despite the high success rate, some issues and problems affect how long All on 4 dental implants last. Complications are rare, only affecting 6.2% of patients, but some of the following issues can occur.
Peri-implantitis is a condition where the tissue around the dental implant becomes inflamed, resulting in a loss of connective tissue and bone density. It usually happens shortly after the implant procedure and is caused by the formation of harmful bacteria around the implant site.
It typically occurs in patients who smoke, have diabetes, or have poor oral hygiene.
Implants must fuse with the jawbone to be successful. This process is called osseointegration, and in rare circumstances, complications can occur in this process.
Osseointegration usually takes between three and six months to complete. But sometimes, the dental implant and the bone do not properly fuse. This is generally due to insufficient bone density and can result in the implant coming loose or needing replacement.
Any time something foreign is placed in a human body, there is a chance of an allergic reaction. This is exceedingly rare, but some patients’ bodies attack and reject the dental implant after the placement procedure. This is often due to the titanium alloy used for the implant post. Titanium can be mixed with metals like nickel or beryllium, which can cause oral mucosa inflammation.
Incorrect arch fit
For the permanent prosthetic arch of teeth to last, it must fit as precisely as possible. If there are gaps between the arch and the jaw, harmful bacteria and food particles can find their way into causing gum disease and infection.
While a new arch of teeth will take some getting used to, particularly because you will not have any feeling or sensation in the prosthetic teeth, it is essential to get a consultation at your local dental clinic if you feel discomfort.
Implant positioning issues
For the All on 4 dental implant system to be successful, the four implants need to be placed in the right location from the start; otherwise, the risk for implant failure is elevated.
Tips to Make All on 4 Dental Implants Last Longer
If you decide to get All on 4 tooth implants, you can take steps to prolong your implant’s life and keep them healthy for decades.
Choose durable prosthetic materials
There are different materials you can choose from for the prosthetic teeth. Choosing a durable material like zirconium ensures that the artificial teeth last for at least a decade or more.
Maintain good oral hygiene
Even though prosthetic teeth can’t get cavities, it is still important to maintain good oral hygiene.
Care for your prosthetics like normal teeth, brush and floss twice a day as you regularly would, and schedule a visit to the dentist every six months to ensure there aren’t any issues with your All on 4 dental implants.
Treat teeth grinding
It is important to treat any teeth grinding habits before getting your prosthetic arch installed. Grinding places excessive pressure on the prosthesis, causing premature wear and tear, cracks, or breakage.
Improve your diet and avoid tobacco and alcohol
Diet is one of the most important factors in All on 4 tooth implant longevity. Small changes like avoiding sugary foods, reducing alcohol consumption, and quitting tobacco use increase the lifespan of your implants.
To prolong your new smile, you should also avoid using your teeth as tools to open packaging like crisp bags.
All on 4 Tooth Implants Compared to Traditional Implants: Which is Better?
All on 4 dental implants require fewer dental visits, have a faster recovery period, and are more cost-effective than a full-arch dental restoration. However, studies have shown no difference in how long dental implants last; both individual implants and All on 4 are excellent solutions and will last roughly the same amount of time.
Rebuild Your Smile Today
If you have missing or severely damaged teeth and require a full arch restoration, schedule a dental consultation near you to learn more about the All on 4 dental implant solution. Call us on (07) 4801 7035 today.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
A longitudinal study of the survival of All-on-4 implants in the mandible with up to 10 years of follow-up
“All-on-4” immediate-function concept for completely edentulous maxillae: a clinical report on the medium (3 years) and long-term (5 years) outcomes
Marginal bone level changes in association with different vertical implant positions: a 3-year retrospective study
Factors Affecting the Survival Rate of Dental Implants: A Retrospective Study
Longevity and marginal bone loss of narrow-diameter implants supporting single crowns: A systematic review