Thinking about All on 4 dental implants? Before you can make a fair price comparison there are important things you need to know.
You’ve decided that false teeth are not for you.
You've researched and decided that dental implants are the best option for your needs.
You’ve discovered All on 4 dental implants as a possibility.
You shortlist a few All on Four clinics for a consultation.
You get a second opinion and of course you’re researching costs to get your financial ‘ducks in a row’.
Let’s face it, like most complex treatments All on 4 is an investment, and the financials are important.
But in our experience, this is where it gets a little confusing for patients researching like yourself.
You see costs varying from $20,000 to over $30,000.
There is no ‘standard’ way to quote for All on 4 because there are so many different variables from clinic to clinic.
You thought “all on four” is the same wherever you go – it’s four dental implants to hold a full set of fixed teeth, so why are there such differences in prices?
Main reasons include:
- How your initial teeth are made, and the quality quoted
- The experience of the clinician & prosthetist (denture specialist) performing your treatment
- The type and quality of implants placed
- Type of final teeth you choose.
In this multi-part series, we’ll cover these points to help you make an informed decision on your treatment and All on 4 clinic.
Before we start, we need to highlight that All on 4 treatment has three treatment phases:
- There’s the surgical part which includes placing the implants
- There’s the placement of your first set of teeth (usually within three days) and
- Finally, there’s the final teeth placed after complete healing.
How quickly you’ll need to replace your initial teeth will depend on the how these teeth are made. Some are less robust than others and need replacing sooner.
Why do you need ‘initial’ teeth and ‘final’ teeth anyway?
Why not just place the final ones and be done with it?
There’s good reason why this isn’t possible:
- Up to 12 months after treatment your gums will change. The pink gum part of your new teeth needs relining (have material added to it). This is a completely normal part of the healing process. At the time of implant placement there is no way to know how your gums will change.
- If you had dentures or loose teeth before treatment, chances are that you trained your lips, tongue and jaw muscles to accommodate the way you speak and eat. After getting fixed teeth again you’ll need to retrain your muscles (don’t worry it’s generally a quick process). That’s why it’s not always possible to get your ‘bite’ 100% with the first teeth as over the next months it may change.
These reasons are beyond your and your dentist's control, as they relate to how the human body adapts and heals after surgery, that’s why it’s not possible to create final teeth straight after surgery.
Different Types of All on 4 Initial Teeth
It’s critical to get your first teeth as close to perfect as possible, as you'll wear and use these teeth while your bone is growing around the implants.
You want to make sure these teeth are strong as too much flex and bend of the teeth (if they are not adequately reinforced) can lead to compromised healing of bone around the implants.
There are different methods to make All on 4 teeth. Some are cheap, quick and easy to make but aren’t as strong and durable. Others cost more and take more time to make as they’re tailored to fit you, these customised methods end up stronger, last longer and are easier to clean.
How much time spent getting your bite right impacts the cost of All on 4. This is important in preventing issues down the track including headaches, sore jaws, teeth popping off, or feeling your teeth are uncomfortable are too ‘bulky.’
Getting your bite right may take a few appointments and works best when you’re no longer numb from the anaesthetic. This is why some clinics don’t insert your teeth on the day the implants are placed. Instead, this is done on the third day after doing a ‘try-in’ on day two to make sure the teeth made are fit you well.
When it comes to how the first teeth are made, it’ll depend on the treatment philosophy of the clinician and what has worked for them in their clinic.
What’s important to remember is that depending on how your first teeth are made, some will last longer than others due to strength and fit. It’s possible to get a cheaper All on 4 quotes but you may find yourself having to pay for the second teeth as early as 6 months after your implant placement.
That concludes the first part of our All on 4 series.
In the second part of our series, we’ll look at the importance of experience in your treatment team and the questions to ask your All on 4 dentist before treatment.