All-On-6 is a permanent dental prosthetics procedure that allows the full rehabilitation of your dental arch. The treatment results in a full set of teeth (placed on the upper and lower jawbones) which are supported by six dental implants.
All-on-6 implants are designed as a replacement for dentures, and allow for six implants to be placed in your upper and lower jaws. Typically, 4 implants are placed in the anterior part of the jaw, and 2 in the posterior. These consist of a gum-coloured acrylic base to resemble gum tissues, while crowns can be made of resin, zirconia or porcelain. Implants are fitted at a slightly tilted angle of 30 to 45-degree angle which increases the strength of the implant. It also allows individuals with jaw bone loss to have implants fitted without the need for expensive and time-consuming bone grafts.
Here’s all the steps you’ll need for achieving that perfect smile:
1. Initial consultation, CT scans and X-rays
The dentist will assess the overall condition of your mouth and jaw and take the necessary CT scans or X-rays. Following this, if you decide to go ahead with the procedure the dentist will take impressions of your mouth. These will then be sent to the lab for the creation of customised prostheses - the jaw and tooth sections or bridges that will be attached to the implants.
Before your surgery, you will receive a local anaesthetic so the entire process is painless. Following this, your mouth is thoroughly cleaned to remove bacteria and damaged tissue.
3. Implant placement
Four holes are drilled at the anterior of the jaw and two at the posterior end. Your implants are then placed at a 30 to 45-degree angle. In most cases, your new teeth are attached to the implants within a day.
You may initially receive temporary implants which last six to nine months. This is a precautionary measure to avoid bruising and to ensure that less pressure is put on your implants as they heal. Once your mouth is fully healed, the dentist will affix your permanent implants.
There are two viable alternatives to All-On-6 implants: dentures, conventional dental implants and All-on-4.
Dentures consist of an acrylic base, which is pink and covers your gums. The upper part of the denture consists of the teeth, which are made from porcelain or resin and covers the roof of your mouth. Over time, your gums change naturally and your dentures may need to be remodelled or relined. A full replacement every 5-8 years is recommended.
Dental implants can be chosen when one or more teeth need to be replaced. Dental implants require a 4-6 month healing period for the implant to fuse to the jaw bone, before the crown and abutment are fixed. In certain cases, people may require lengthy bone grafts before the implant can be fitted. Dental implants are expensive and a bone graft can add to the final cost. The duration of the procedure as well as the healing time, are much longer than All-on-6 implants.
All-on-4 implants work in the exact same way as All-on-6 implants. The only major difference is that in the former you receive four implants to support the dental arch and in the latter, six. All-on-4 is recommended for patients who do not have as much bone strength as those who are eligible for All-on-6.
The procedure lasts anywhere from between 1-2 hours, and you will receive local or general anaesthesia through the length of your surgery.
Your dental team will ensure that you are comfortable, and will answer any questions before starting the procedure. As mentioned earlier, any necessary extractions will be done, and your mouth will be thoroughly cleaned before fitting the implant.
After the procedure, you mouth may feel a little swollen and painful for the next few days, and this can usually be managed with over-the-counter painkillers. Recovery time is usually minimum: patients go back to their regular routine a couple of days after surgery and in some cases, they are able to eat solid food right after the procedure.