At Dental West on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, we work with patients in all stages of adult dentition whose needs range from preventing the first cavity to full-mouth rehabilitations. All-on-4, All-on-6, All-on-x, and zygomatic implants are revolutionary procedures available to the latter group—patients with a majority of missing or damaged teeth on one or both arches (top and bottom). These types of treatments are sometimes called permanent dentures, or implant dentures.
There was a time when traditional dentures were the only choice for patients who needed a full arch of new teeth. Most of us can remember a grandparent or other family member who wore dentures that clicked as they talked or ate. Implants have revolutionized dentistry by allowing us to live a better quality of life. They give us a third set of teeth!
Implant Dentures vs Traditional Dentures
Traditional dentures are still available and may be a great choice for some patients. A drawback to traditional dentures, however, is that they are not sturdy and move around on the soft tissue. Aside from potentially “popping out” from time to time, they cause further bone loss. They don’t place the right kind of pressure on the jawbone to keep it stimulated and hold resorption at bay. For this reason, traditional dentures will need to be remade every few years to accommodate the new jawbone profile.
Implant dentures, or overdentures, on the other hand, are secured in the mouth by surgically placed titanium implants. Overdentures click into these implants, minimizing the movement seen with traditional dentures. It also leaves the palate open so the denture wearer can feel the warmth of a cup of coffee or the crust of a ciabatta bread. And, this treatment also preserves facial structure by preventing the bone loss that causes the sunken-cheek appearance associated with toothlessness.
What is All-on-4?
All-on-4 refers to a teeth replacement supported by four dental implants on the bottom. When patients are missing their lower teeth, or their remaining lower teeth are severely compromised, an All-on-4 is the go-to implant procedure for them. For these patients, after the implants are placed and healed, we fit them with a full-arch teeth replacement, or prosthesis. If bone structure has been lost, gum-colored material will fill in those missing areas. This serves to make the bite functional again, create a natural-looking smile, and restore facial structure.
What is All-on-6?
All-on-6 is very similar to All-on-4, except it’s on the top. The maxilla, or top jawbone, is not merely an upside-down mandible (lower jawbone). Although they both hold teeth and implants, the bone structure and the blood supply are very different. As such, the top jaw needs more implants than the bottom jaw to maintain stability. But the procedure is the same and the outcome is the same: fake teeth that look and act like your natural teeth!
What is All-on-X?
All-on-x is the same procedure as described for All-on-4 and All-on-6, but the ‘x’ represents any number of implants. You may receive 7, 8, 9, or another number, based on what our doctors determine will be helpful, necessary, and possible.
What are Zygomatic Implants?
When patients are missing so much bone that they can’t get implants on the top, zygomatic implants are an option. Zygomatic implants are implants placed in the zygoma, or cheek bone, as opposed to the maxilla, or top jaw. The zygoma bone is a tough bone which doesn’t resorb the way jaw bone can, making this the final frontier for those who want fixed treatment. Yes, bone grafting is an alternative, but it takes longer and has greater morbidity. With zygomatic implants, you leave on the day of surgery with a full new set of
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