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Medically Reviewed By Periodontal & Implant Surgeons of Houston
30 October 2023
Home » All-on-4 » What Is the Difference Between All-on-4® Dental Implants and Implant-Supported Dentures?

While researching options for stabilizing an arch of replacement teeth with dental implants, you will find several choices, including All-on-4® dental implants. You may wonder how the All-on-4® technique compares with traditional implant-supported dentures since either option prevents a denture from lifting or rocking when you talk or chew. There are distinctions between implant-supported dentures and the All-on-4® treatment concept, and those distinctions matter in finding the right full-arch restoration option for you.

How Do All-on-4® Dental Implants and Implant-Supported Dentures Differ?

All-on-4® implants are fixed implant-supported replacement teeth. However, the prosthesis type, number of dental implants used, and technique differ from traditional implant-supported dentures. Keep reading as we explain their differences.

Type of Replacement Teeth

All-on-4® dental implants use a thin-profile, full-arch implant bridge for replacing all your upper or lower teeth. An implant-supported denture is still a denture, with a thicker base than the All-on-4® treatment concept to support the new teeth.

Number of Dental Implants

The difference in size creates a difference in the number of dental implants required to support your new teeth. As few as four dental implants support the thin prosthesis in the All-on-4® technique because it is lighter than a standard implant denture. However, six or eight dental implants are often required to stabilize an implant-supported denture.

Surgical Technique

Another reason the All-on-4® technique can use fewer implants than traditional implant-supported dentures is that the All-on-4® treatment concept places the two rear implants at an angle of up to 45 degrees. Tilting the implants increases their bone contact, minimizing the need for bone grafting in edentulous (all teeth are missing) patients. Many patients who thought jawbone loss would prevent them from getting dental implants have benefited from All-on-4®. In contrast, your jawbone may require bone grafting in order to place the multiple implants needed to support an implant-supported denture.

Transition from Removable Dentures

Patients who have experienced bone loss and may benefit from fewer implants may prefer the All-on-4® technique and its thinner prosthesis. However, patients who already wear traditional dentures may like the sturdier build of an implant-supported denture.
Of course, the only way to know which approach would best serve your needs would be to ask someone experienced in dental implant placement. Consult a provider like the periodontists at Periodontal and Implant Surgeons of Houston to determine whether you can benefit from All-on-4® implants versus an implant-supported denture.

Which Implant-Supported Option Is Right for You?

All-on-4® dental implants or a traditional implant-supported denture will stabilize your replacement teeth, improving their function and appearance. However, All-on-4® dental implants use four implants with a thinner prosthesis, while a sturdier, implant-supported denture uses four to eight implants. A periodontist can explain your options and the results you can expect. Get an overview of the procedure on our All-on-4® implants page.