Which Is Best for Tooth Loss: Dentures, Dental Implants, or All-on-4? By Yamen Akhras on June 28, 2024

Elderly man about to bite into an apple

Advancements in dentistry mean patients have more choices than ever when it comes to tooth replacement options. For patients missing all of their teeth along a dental arch, restorative options include dentures, dental implants, and All-on-4®.

There are several similarities and differences between the three options, and patients often ask which is the best choice. At Premier Dental and Implant Center in Orland Park, IL, I can help you explore your options and find out which tooth loss treatment may be best for your situation.

 

Traditional Dentures

Dentures are designed to help patients missing most of their natural teeth. There are several types of dentures depending on your level of tooth loss and your needs:

Traditional dentures are removable and rely on denture adhesive to remain in place along your dental arch. They are designed to look just like your natural teeth and are perhaps one of the most well-known tooth replacement options. Depending on your level of tooth loss, I will recommend full dentures or partial dentures.

Full dentures replace an entire dental arch of missing teeth. Partial dentures are designed for patients missing several teeth in a row or teeth in multiple locations. Both full and partial traditional dentures rest on the gums and are removable.

Benefits of Traditional Dentures

  • Low Cost Tooth Replacement — Traditional dentures are often more affordable than implant-supported dentures, as less time and material are needed to complete treatment.
  • No Surgery Required — Unless you require tooth extraction or bone grafting, no surgery is needed for traditional dentures.
  • Faster Treatment Option — Traditional denture treatment is often faster than implant-supported dentures.
  • Restored Function and Appearance — Dentures are designed to look like natural teeth and allow you to eat and speak properly once more.

Cons of Traditional Dentures

  • Less Stability — Traditional dentures rely on messy denture adhesive to remain in place. That means there is a risk of slippage when you eat or speak.
  • Extra Maintenance — Traditional dentures require a few extra steps to care for and maintain them. You must remove, brush, and soak them every day, as well as clean your gums and tongue.
  • Lack of Bone Support —Traditional dentures do not provide support to the jawbone, meaning the bone can deteriorate over time.
  • Food Limitations — Because traditional dentures rely on denture adhesive, there may be foods that you find difficult to eat.

 

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Implant-Supported Dentures

Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically inserted into the jaw. These implants act as artificial tooth roots, providing support to the jawbone and your restoration.

Implant-supported dentures are secured directly to dental implants. Implant-supported dentures are not removable and do not require denture adhesive. They look, feel, and function just like natural teeth.

Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures

  • Exceptional Stability — Implants provide superior stability for your restoration. Your dentures are secured directly to the implant posts, so there is no risk of slippage when you eat or speak.
  • No Diet Limitations — Because implant-supported dentures offer superior stability, you can eat the foods you love.
  • Supports Bone Health — Dental implants are the only restorative dentistry procedure that stops and prevents jawbone atrophy.
  • Low Maintenance — Maintaining your implant-supported dentures is easy. Treat them just as you would your natural teeth.

Cons of Implant-Supported Dentures

  • Higher Cost — Implant-supported dentures cost more than traditional dentures as more time and materials are needed. Dental implants are often not covered by dental insurance, but your insurance may cover the denture itself.
  • Oral Surgery Required — Dental implant placement is a surgical procedure and requires about three to six months of healing. You may also require preparatory treatment if you have existing jawbone atrophy.

 

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All-on-4 Dental Implants

All-on-4 dental implants are simply another method of dental implant placement. This method involves using four implant posts instead of six to eight on one dental arch.

Two of those implants are placed at a strategic angle to maximize existing bone material, allowing patients with mild-to-moderate jawbone atrophy to enjoy the benefits of dental implants without bone grafting.

Benefits of All-on-4 Dentures

  • Same Benefits of Dental Implants — All-on-4 dentures provide the same great benefits as implant-supported dentures.
  • Fewer Implants Required — Only four dental implants are needed, meaning a quicker recovery.
  • No Preparatory Treatment — Because of the angle used for placement, many patients can forgo preparatory bone grafting, saving them time and money.

Cons of All-on-4 Dentures

  • Higher Cost — As with implant-supported dentures, they are more expensive than traditional dentures, and the implants are often not covered by dental insurance.
  • The Need for Oral Surgery — All-on-4 dental implants still require a surgical procedure for placement.

 

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How Do I Know Which Tooth Loss Treatment Is Right for Me?

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 17.3% of seniors 65 years and older have no remaining teeth. I want to help these patients. During your initial consultation at my Orland Park dental office, I will look at various factors to help you determine the best treatment for you. I will look at factors such as:

  • Jawbone Health — You must have sufficient bone material for any type of denture, but the level of existing bone material will determine if you require bone grafting or if you can undergo All-on-4 treatment instead.
  • Level of Tooth Loss — If you are only missing one or two teeth, dentures may not be the best treatment option for you. However, I provide comprehensive restorative options for any level of tooth loss and can provide alternative treatments to restore your smile.
  • Overall Oral Health — If you have extensive oral health issues such as periodontal disease or tooth decay, these must be addressed first before you can receive any type of denture.
  • Your Current Budget — I understand that budget is a major factor when deciding on treatment. I do not want patients to forgo the benefits of dental implants due to financial barriers, and I offer in-house financing plans and accept CareCredit® to help make implant-supported dentures more affordable.

Still Not Sure Which Is Right For You?

We understand that tooth replacement options can be overwhelming, and I am here to guide you every step of the way on your smile restoration journey. Get started by requesting an initial consultation at my dental practice in Orland Park. I can help you understand your options, explore financing, and answer any questions you have about treatment. I want you to feel empowered and confident in your oral health treatment.

Contact my practice today to request a consultation and get started.

 


 

Dr. Yamen AkhrasAbout Yamen Akhras, DDS
Dr. Yamen Akhras completed training in dental implants from the Misch Institute and the Urban Regeneration Institute. He specializes in treating gum disease, placing implants, and bone and gum grafting.

Read Dr. Akhras's Full Bio | All Posts by Dr. Akhras

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Premier Dental & Implant Center

Premier Dental & Implant Center

At Premier Dental & Implant Center, we provide high-quality dental care for your entire family. Periodontist and implant specialist Yamen Akhras, DDS, MS and our team offer a full range of dental services. We are also proud to be affiliated with:

  • American Academy of Periodontology
  • American Dental Association
  • Chicago Dental Associations
  • International Congress of Oral Implantologists

For more information about our services, contact our office online or call (708) 873-9709 today.

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