The All-on-four treatment replaces missing teeth in the upper or lower jaw with a complete dental bridge that is supported by not more than four dental implants, as indicated in the name.
As a restorative procedure, this treatment is covered under dental insurance plans. But at a typical cost of about $24,000 with permanent teeth and about $30,000 with zirconia teeth, most plans will only cover a fraction of the total cost depending on your maximum limit.
All on four dental implants
When it comes to the replacement of multiple teeth, there are several options available, including dental bridge, implants, and dentures. Each option has its pros and cons. While dentures are easy to wear, they do not stimulate the underlying bone tissue, causing bone resorption and subsequent changes in the jaw structure that affects how dentures fit.
On the other hand, replacing each individual tooth with a dental implant is quite costly and has long recovery times. Moreover, dental implants can only be used on patients with sufficient bone volume, which means that they may have to undergo the time-consuming bone grafting procedure before placing the dental implants.
All-on-four dental implants address the concerns of the other two procedures, allowing patients of all ages to replace their entire lower or upper teeth using only four implants that are placed on the lower or upper jaw respectively, and permanently attached to an arch of prosthetic teeth.
All on four procedure
The all-in-four tooth restoration comprises three parts: denture-like crown, abutment, and titanium screw. The dental implant is in the form of a tiny titanium screw that is surgically placed inside the jawbone to function as a replacement for the root-section of the lost tooth. This procedure requires four implants to be strategically placed along the entire arc, in order to support one crown that extends a full arch of 12 or 14 teeth.
This reduces the number of implants needed to replace all your teeth in an entire arch, as well as the need for multiple crowns in your mouth. This solution is also practical for people with low bone density because the support implants will only be placed in areas with sufficient bone density.
Prior to the procedure, the patient may have to visit the dentist’s office for the restorative dentist and oral surgeon to collect necessary information to create a treatment plan. Data collection may involve X-rays, CAT scan, photos, and impressions.
Titanium is used to make dental implants because it is capable of fusing to living bone, and even functioning as part of it. Even when you do not have any teeth, you only need four implants per jaw to provide your teeth with the needed support for this procedure.
The All-in-four procedure eliminates any health issues associated with missing or failing teeth. This is because the technique creates a healthier mouth and body by minimizing the likelihood of periodontal disease, inflammatory disease, and a bacterially induced chronic infection.
All on 4 dental implants Benefits
The treatment employs sedation dentistry, so the whole process takes place while the patient is asleep, which ensures a painless and comfortable experience.
Other benefits of the all-on-four solution include:
- Cost savings – this technique is about half the cost of alternative solutions, because a whole arch of dentures is supported by only 4 implants, and you don’t have to pay for more implants.
- Can be used by patients with insufficient bone for implants without the need for the costly, invasive, and uncomfortable bone grafting, or other auxiliary procedures like sinus augmentation
- Has a success rate of 98 percent, which is considerably higher than for conventional implant techniques
- The procedure takes a short time: 1-2 hours for total oral rehabilitation
- The entire process, including surgery and placement of fixed teeth, takes only one day – no healing time is necessary between the surgical procedure and tooth replacement because the replacement arch is fixed to the implant right after insertion.
- Can be performed in patients with osteoporosis, diabetes, and other health conditions that are considered contraindications for bone grafts.
- Very hygienic, since they are easy to clean and maintain
- Can be used for both the upper and lower jaws
- Relieves the frustrations of removable appliances
- Painless and requires minimal recovery time
- The new teeth look, function, and feel similar to natural teeth in 1- 3 days
- You get a long-lasting smile and improved appearance
All on four implants cost
All-on-four dental implants can cost anywhere between $24,000 and $35,000 per arc of teeth, and double (about $48,000 – $70,000) for full mouth restoration – both the upper (maxillary) and lower (mandibular) jaws.
The cost largely depends on the type of material used for your crown as follows:
- Standard acrylic or composite denture crown on titanium frame – $20,000 to $26,000
- Porcelain crown on zirconia, titanium, or crco base bar – $26,000 to $28,000
- Individual porcelain crowns on metal frame – $30,000 to $35,000
Other factors that may affect the cost include:
- The number of X-rays and CT scans done in treatment planning
- Additional procedures, such as tooth extraction and bone grafting, etc.
- Number of professionals involved in your treatment – dentist, oral surgeon, periodontist
- Whether you opt for zygomatic dental implants, which are more intensive
- Type of sedation used
All on 4 dental implants cost with insurance
Most dental insurance plans don’t cover all-on-four treatment because it’s classified as a cosmetic procedure, but they cover parts of the treatment such as tooth extraction and restoring the upper or lower arc of teeth to restore your mouth to its normal functions. That said, your insurance may only pay between $1,500 and $2,500, which is the annual reimbursement limit for most insurance companies. This might help to cover the cost of one implant, forcing you to pay the rest out-of-pocket.
Financial plans for all-on-four implants
Considering the high cost of all-on-4 restoration, you should talk to your preferred dental practice about the financing options available. Each clinic has unique financial plans, but it’s quite common to have a plan that allows patients to make monthly installments over a specific number of months. That said, you may have to make a 50% down payment at the start of treatment. But you can at least restore the normal function of your mouth.