What are the differences? Why do the all-on-4 dental implants have so many options, and how are they different? What’s the best option for me?
If you’ve asked yourself these questions, this video clearly explains the differences and benefits between all of these devices. If you still have questions, then you may need a consultation! These consultations are free and include a free 3D CT Scan. Give us a call at # to book you free consultation today!
Script of video below.
Hi, I’m Dr. Hendriks. Thank you so much for being here with me today. We take an immense amount of time trying to help patients understand why one device might be better for them, why one device might be more expensive, and why some devices just aren’t good options. I’m going to try to go through each one of them and why one device might be better.
Starting off here, if we compare to a bicycle or a denture, a denture is something that is very, very popular in United States. Well, let me tell you why a denture may not be your best solution. A denture completely blocks the inside of the roof of the mouth. The biggest problem with that is that you’re not going to be able to taste the food that you want. It literally is blocking all the taste buds, not all of them, but a majority of them so that most people feel like they just can’t get any enjoyment out of food.
The second thing is that it is really bulky and it has to go into all the corners of your mouth, and so it really can be uncomfortable. For some patients, this makes the whole profile change too. The other reason why I don’t like dentures, to keep the denture fitting well, you have to realign it often, meaning that you have to add material into it. The second that you take your teeth out, you start to lose bone. You never stop losing bone unless you have a healthy tooth or a healthy implant.
When I was doing dentures, they did look beautiful, but the problem is patients would come back and be really frustrated they had to pay for realigns, and the denture was always rocking and moving on them. They couldn’t taste their food. When you go into a denture, you lose two thirds of the menu that you can eat, meaning that you’re only able to generate 30% of the bite that you could generate when you had natural teeth.
The one time I think a denture would be appropriate would be if you don’t have any teeth, all your teeth have been extracted, you don’t have the finances to be able to afford implants at that time. Then if that’s all that you can do, then a denture is better than nothing, but don’t go on a denture just because you want it to look better, because the rest of your life you’re going to struggle with your face falling in. You know, you’ve seen this, right? We’ve all seen it. The person that takes out the denture, and literally their face caves in and they don’t look like the same person. So, don’t let a doctor convince you that a denture is the best option unless you truly have exhausted every resource possible.
Okay, now let’s move on to the next one. An overdenture basically has at least two but oftentimes four implants that are connecting it so that when you put it in, it kind of snaps in like buttons on a shirt, like this. It helps keep it in when you’re talking. As you start to chew and eat, though, oftentimes a denture will dislodge because the reality is that underneath here you see these little black rings. So, when that goes in and out, in and out, what happens is that it’s going to move and it’s going to wear.
So, the biggest reason I don’t like this device is patients typically complain that they’re so frustrated that it costs so much to maintain it. It could be upward of $400 to $500 every time you come in on top of a cleaning fee, on top of a realign fee. This is like a printer, in a sense. You can buy it cheaper than everything else, but it’s the ink that costs you the money. The ink is basically the realigns. It’s these inserts. I would say well over 60% of my patients have upgraded into a different type of device because of these maintenance costs.
So, overdenture is still better than a regular denture, but if you’re going to spend this type of money, then I think it’s best to talk about All-on-4 bridges. The concept is basically putting four implants in the right position and supporting one continuous bridge. So, there’s really two different options. You have a titanium bridge that has acrylic around the titanium bar, and then you have denture teeth that go on top of it. Okay, that’s option one. Here’s an example of just the bar that’s inside there, okay? Option two is what we call a zirconia device. A zirconia device, unlike this one, is built completely all in one piece, okay? So, you don’t have three pieces. You don’t have titanium, acrylic, and then denture teeth. You have one continuous piece, and that piece is super, super strong. So, strength-wise, that’s the biggest difference between the two, okay?
We can customize these into really different colors. You’ll notice that each one of these is different. The gums can be different. The shade, for example. This is super white. I’m not a big fan of really, really white teeth unless the patient wants them, but we can customize. You’ll see there’s no two devices that are made the same. Here’s another example of some teeth.
So, okay, let’s get back. Now that I’ve done an overview of these, let’s get into specifics. Okay, so the titanium device, okay, as you look here, this is kind of cross-section. So, the device would normally look just like this, okay? But to help you understand, I’ve removed acrylic around this so you can see how the bar comes completely around. So, it’s supported 100% by a titanium bar. That titanium is the same titanium grade that the shuttles are made out of, super strong.
But the biggest problem is when you combine those three things, the titanium bar with acrylic and then a denture tooth, what often happens is you have a patient that isn’t doing anything wrong. They’re just living life, and they bite down the wrong way, and a tooth pops off or breaks off. That can be really frustrating for patients. With all the money they paid, that can be super frustrating. So, here’s the thing, if you’re not one of those people who likes to be inconvenienced with a tooth breaking or wearing down over time, then you shouldn’t get a titanium bar, okay? They look beautiful. They’re gorgeous. I mean, I’ve done thousands of these, and I’m very passionate that they are a good option. They’re just not the best option.
Over time, they do wear. These denture teeth, even if they’re the best quality, they’re going to wear much faster than other materials. It’s really important if you have this made by any doctor that it’s made hygienic, meaning that it’s made so it’s super, super smooth and rounded. I see devices that look good, the teeth look good, but here’s the problem is that the what’s underneath, what’s up against the gums and how if … It’s called a ridge lap. If it comes up over, it makes it difficult for you to be able to clean it. It’s not going to last long-term, okay? So, that’s why you have to have a doctor that builds it super hygienic. That’s one drawback to the titanium, is that acrylic does absorb saliva, and so it, consequently, it can be harder to clean because the surface won’t be as smooth, unlike the zirconia, okay?
So, the zirconia, unlike the titanium, is built out of one material. It’s the strongest material known in dentistry. They call it monolithic. It literally can take so much more pressure and strength, and so we don’t have to worry about a tooth breaking off or a tooth wearing down. This is a device, I call it a … It’s a Mercedes tank, in a sense. This is something that when you feel the difference and you come into my office, you feel a difference. This feels about 10 times heavier, okay, because it is much, much stronger than this. Although it’s heavier and it’s stronger, it’s still super gorgeous. This one here takes a lot more time to do, and that’s why it is a little bit more expensive; but at the end of the day, the cost that you would pay in maintenance with the titanium, you will make that difference up in the zirconia.
Like I talked to you about the hygiene being a problem with the acrylic, the zirconia is a ceramic. It’s like a glass, and so underneath where the surface is actually touching the gums, you actually … It’ll be a lot more hygienic. It’s like glass, so food doesn’t get caught in there as well. What I love about it is it’s fully customizable unlike the titanium where we’re using denture teeth that are stock teeth. They’re still gorgeous teeth, don’t get me wrong, but they are teeth that we pick out of a catalog, okay? With the zirconia, literally we build them in our computer, and we design them there, and we mill them. You will only have those teeth. You’re the only person that will have the teeth that you choose, and I think that’s kind of cool.
Fully customizable, meaning not just the size and shape of the teeth. We’re talking about the shade of the teeth, the way that they’re inclined, the way that they kind of pop. If you want teeth that are super bright and white and you want that Hollywood look, we can do that. But if you want to have some textures in it to make it so it looks like people don’t know that you had your teeth taken out, that’s really easy to do with zirconia. We can customize the gums as well, which is a big deal for some people. These shades can go from … I mean, if you look at this alone, if you look at these three, all three different, or all four different devices here have a different shade. So, I’m super passionate about all of this.
So, I’ve covered a lot of information here. The hard thing is that each one of these work for certain people, and I really need to know you to know what’s best for you. Please come into my office, and we’ll sit down and talk personally about what you want in your new smile and what’s most important to you. Then we can find the device that fits your needs and your wants. I promise you this: If you come to Dream Dental, the time that you spend with me or with one of my doctors will be well worth it. We truly change more than smiles. We change lives, and we would love to change your life. So, please don’t hesitate to fill out the form below and give us your information so one of my awesome staff members can reach out to you and start the process of changing your life. Look forward to seeing you.