All-On-4®: Titanium vs metal-reinforced acrylic bridges
Posted on: May 3, 2023
5 minute read
If you’re considering replacing all of your teeth, or looking for a more permanent alternative to dentures, All-On-4 dental implants are the dental industry’s gold standard for full mouth restoration. This revolutionary system allows dentists to attach a complete arch of replacement teeth using just four implants per jaw in less than five days and is backed by clinically-proven studies and a high success rate.*
The material your new teeth are made of will contribute to the total cost of your All-On-4 treatment. While a cheaper acrylic bridge can save you money initially, it needs to be replaced much sooner than a metal-reinforced bridge.
At Perth Dental Implant Centre, we place a titanium-reinforced bridge that may last for several years before needing to be replaced and can prove the most cost-effective solution in the long term.
Read this comparison of titanium vs metal-reinforced bridges to find out more about your options for restoring your smile with All-On-4 implants. If you want to know more about All-On-4 and whether it might be right for you, contact Perth Dental Implant Centre to book a consultation at our locations in Kelmscott or East Victoria Park.
All-On-4 bridge options
Genuine All-On-4 dental implants are manufactured by Nobel BioCare from high-grade titanium. They can last a lifetime, provided they are placed by a qualified and experienced dentist and that you take good care of your implants and your oral health.
When it comes to the teeth attached to the implants, their quality and longevity depends on the materials they are made from. This varies by dental clinic and depends the expertise of their lab technicians and their access to milling technology.
There are generally three options for an initial All-On-4 implant bridge. Keep in mind that all All-On-4® bridges do not last forever and will need to be replaced eventually
- Temporary – 100% acrylic bridge (lasts 3 to 6 months on average)
- Temporary – Metal-reinforced acrylic bridge (lasts 6 to 12 months on average)
- Final Immediate – Titanium-reinforced acrylic bridge (lasts 2 to 5 years with good care)
After the healing process is complete (the initial 3 to 6 months), other materials such as zirconia and porcelain may be used for replacement bridges. However, as these teeth take longer to custom manufacture, they are not suitable for an initial bridge that needs to be placed within days of surgery.
When choosing a dentist for All-On-4 implants, be sure to check what bridge options they offer, as this will impact on the overall cost and how long the bridge will last before it needs to be replaced.
100% acrylic temporary bridge
The cheapest option for replacing teeth is a full acrylic bridge. Less durable and more prone to damage, these bridges are intended as temporary replacement teeth to support the mouth as it heals and adjusts after implant surgery.
After the mouth has healed (usually within 3 to 6 months), the temporary bridge will be replaced with a more permanent option such as a zirconia bridge. This two-stage approach involves more appointments and typically involves more cost overall.
The stronger the first bridge is, the less likely it is to break and put unnecessary pressure on healing implants.
Metal-reinforced acrylic bridge
A stronger alternative to a 100% acrylic bridge, a metal-reinforced acrylic bridge incorporates a chrome cast metal frame that is welded to temporary abutments. This enables the bridge to stand up to greater biting forces and to last longer, but the metal is still prone to fracturing and this temporary bridge will still generally need to be replaced within 6 to 12 months.
Titanium-reinforced acrylic bridge
Thanks to advances in titanium milling technology, our dental technician in Perth can offer a stronger type of All-On-4 bridge incorporating a titanium bar. This allows All-On-4 teeth replacement to be a single-stage rather than two-stage treatment. The passive fit of a titanium-reinforced acrylic bridge also puts less pressure on healing implants than a metal-reinforced bridge, which can aid the healing process.
A titanium bridge can last between 2 and 5 years or even longer when you take good care of your bridge and your oral health. This avoids the need to replace the bridge in the short term and helps to spread the treatment cost over a longer period.
Titanium-acrylic bridges are also easier to repair and replace than their counterparts. If your titanium-acrylic bridge becomes damaged or the acrylic wears out, it’s possible to remodel the existing bridge by stripping back the worn acrylic and processing new acrylic over the original titanium bar. This is often the most affordable bridge replacement option available.
A monolithic zirconia bridge is a stronger alternative to a reinforced acrylic bridge. Milled from a single block of zirconia and incorporating a titanium frame for extra strength, zirconia bridges are more resistant to damage and stains and are much longer lasting, with a typical lifespan of 10 to 15 years.
Our dentists in Perth offer zirconia bridges as an option when replacing your first bridge, but they cannot be fitted as your first bridge within days of surgery. This is because a custom zirconia bridge can take several weeks to manufacture, compared to a few days for a titanium-acrylic bridge. The bridge needs to be fitted within 7 days of All-On-4 treatment, before the jaw starts to soften and begins the healing process.
Porcelain-layered zirconia bridge
Another option we offer for a replacement bridge is zirconia overlaid with porcelain. This combines the strength and longevity of a titanium-reinforced zirconia bridge with the natural appearance and translucent quality of porcelain, which is a closer match to real teeth enamel and can offer better aesthetic results.
Our single-stage approach to All-On-4 treatment in Perth
The type of bridge you choose will make the difference between teeth replacement being a single-stage or two-stage process. Which approach your All-On-4 dentist follows will depend on the lab technology and expertise they have access to.
A conventional acrylic or metal-reinforced acrylic bridge is a temporary set of teeth that will need to be replaced after 3 to 12 months. This two-stage approach can involve paying for two sets of teeth in a short space of time and attending several more appointments for design, try-in and final fitting of the bridges.
A two-stage approach to All-On-4 dental implant treatment typically starts from $27,000 (this varies between clinics).
A higher-quality titanium-reinforced bridge may last between 2 to 5 years or longer before it needs replacing. This single-stage approach enables the initial bridge to last much longer and aids better healing of your dental implants.
At Perth Dental Implant Centre, we can provide a custom titanium-reinforced acrylic bridge within just 1 to 2 days of surgery made by experienced dental technician Patrick Barrett-Lennard using the latest titanium milling technology.
Our dentist Dr Norcross will explain the pros and cons of each bridge option and their suitability for you so you can make a fully informed decision about your All-On-4 treatment.
Our single-stage approach to All-On-4 dental implant treatment starts from $21,000*.
When does an All-On-4 bridge need to be replaced?
The teeth attached to All-On-4 dental implants can last anywhere from a few months to 15 years or longer. This depends on the material they are made from, how well they are cared for and your biting forces. Poor oral health or habits such as teeth grinding can also cause a bridge to wear down faster.
The first set of teeth that dentists place after All-On-4 surgery is typically made from acrylic. This less durable material is prone to damage and normal wear and tear, but when reinforced by a titanium frame it becomes stronger and can last longer.
- A full acrylic bridge with no reinforcement can last 3 to 6 months
- A metal-reinforced acrylic bridge can last 6 to 12 months
- A titanium-reinforced acrylic bridge can last 2 to 5 years or longer with proper care
After the mouth has healed and All-On-4 implants have integrated with the jaw bone, stronger bridge materials may be used. When your initial bridge needs replacing, your dentist can fit new acrylic teeth over the existing titanium bar or replace the bridge with a different material such as zirconia or porcelain-layered zirconia.
- A new titanium-reinforced acrylic bridge can last between 2 and 5 years on average
- A titanium-reinforced zirconia bridge can last between 10 and 15 years on average
- A titanium-reinforced porcelain-layered zirconia bridge can last between 10 and 15 years on average
Looking after your bridge
All-On-4 implants and bridges are low maintenance compared to the alternative of dentures, but it’s still important to keep your replacement teeth clean and free from bacteria and to maintain good oral hygiene.
If you have All-On-4 treatment at Perth Dental Implant Centre, Dr Norcross will schedule a follow-up appointment after 4 weeks to check your progress. A professional check-up, clean and polish with a dentist is recommended every 6 months for All-On-4 teeth, just as for natural teeth.
In the first 12 weeks after surgery, your dentist will advise you to follow a soft diet to avoid unnecessary strain on dental implants while they heal. After this initial healing period, there are no food restrictions for All-On-4 bridges. You’ll be provided with a bite splint to avoid damage from teeth grinding or clenching at night, as well as a water flosser to clean underneath your bridge.
Whether you want to replace one tooth, several teeth or an entire arch of teeth with dental implants, our team has the skills, technology and experience to help you smile again. We provide high-quality All-On-4® dental implants using a clinically proven, single-stage approach that helps patients save time and money. We’re also an accredited All-On-4® Centre of Excellence, one of only a handful in Australia.
Book a consultation
Discover whether you’re suitable for All-On-4 dental implants and your options for replacing teeth, contact Perth Dental Implant Centre to arrange a consultation with our experienced dentist Dr David Norcross.
The total cost of All-On-4 dental implants includes the cost of four implants, four abutments, a titanium-reinforced acrylic bridge, implant surgery and diagnostics. There will also be ongoing maintenance costs such as professional cleaning and bridge repairs and replacements when needed. How often your All-On-4 bridge needs to be replaced depends on the type of bridge you choose, your oral hygiene, biting forces and lifestyle factors.
- Malo P, de Araújo Nobre M, Lopes A, Moss SM, Molina GJ. A longitudinal study of the survival of All-on-4® implants in the mandible with up to 10 years of follow-up. J Am Dent Assoc 2011;142:310-204