Are All-On-4® Dental Implants Permanent
Posted on: January 1, 2024
5 minute read
All-On-4® dental implants are a long-term solution for replacing a full arch of missing or damaged teeth and can last for much longer than removable dentures. Implants themselves are made from strong titanium, and can last a lifetime when given proper care, but the teeth attached to implants will need to be replaced after a number of years.
All-On-4® teeth can last anywhere from a few months for a temporary acrylic bridge to 15 years or more for a high-quality ceramic bridge. How long your All-On-4® bridge will last depends on the type and quality of material it’s made from and other factors.
To find out whether you’re eligible for teeth replacement with All-On-4 dental implants and to learn more about what the treatment involves, contact Perth Dental Implant Centre to book a consultation at your nearest clinic in metropolitan Perth.
How long do All-On-4® implants last?
Dental implants are metal posts that are fixed in the jaw bone to replace natural teeth. All-On-4® implants and abutments are made from high-grade, biocompatible titanium that fuses with the jaw bone to provide a stable foundation for replacement teeth. Titanium has been used successfully in dental implant treatments since 1965.
There have been many clinical studies on the long-term effectiveness and survival rates of All-On-4® dental implants. A 2019 study of 471 All-On-4 patients found that 98.8% of implants were still functioning after 10–18 years. Getting dental implants is a permanent procedure that is intended to last a lifetime.
The risk of implant failure can be minimised when the procedure is performed by a qualified and experienced dentist and by following a good daily oral hygiene routine. Lifestyle factors such as smoking, heavy drinking and drug use affect the survival rates of dental implants.
How long do All-On-4® teeth last?
Once your dentist has placed All-On-4® implants in your jaw, your fixed bridge of replacement teeth can be attached within five days. A titanium-acrylic bridge is designed to support the mouth during the healing period and will normally need to be replaced after a few years due to normal wear and tear or damage. The replacement bridge can be made from stronger materials and may last up to 15 years or longer with good care.
How long an All-On-4® bridge lasts will depend on several factors:
Quality of materials
Different dentists may offer different options for your All-On-4® bridge. Some may provide a full acrylic bridge or cast metal-reinforced acrylic bridge to wear temporarily while your mouth is healing. These initial bridges can last 3–12 months before they will need to be replaced with a permanent bridge. At Perth Dental Implant Centre, we provide a milled titanium-reinforced acrylic bridge that can last 2–5 years or longer.
Your replacement bridge will typically last much longer than the one placed immediately after surgery, but this also depends on the material. A replacement titanium-acrylic bridge can last 3–5 years or longer, while a titanium-reinforced zirconia bridge can last 10–15 years or more, depending on other factors.
Replacement teeth need daily care like natural teeth, as oral health problems such as gum disease (peri-implantitis) can increase the risk of dental implants failing.
You can keep your bridge clean and your gums healthy with twice-daily brushing and daily flossing, a healthy diet and regular check-up and hygiene appointments recommended every six months.
Biting forces can vary from person to person. Your dentist will assess your biting force and recommend the most suitable bridge option, as less durable materials may be prone to wear and damage. A titanium-reinforced zirconia bridge offers superior strength to a titanium-acrylic bridge.
While dental implants don’t limit the foods you can eat, your dentist will advise avoiding very hard foods during the first three to six months after surgery while your mouth is healing.
Teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism) is a habit that affects many people, and which can subject your dental bridge and implants to excess pressure and wear. If you have bruxism, your dentist will discuss treatment or management options. This may involve wearing a night guard to protect your bridge during sleep.
Our single-stage approach to All-On-4® treatment
Some dental clinics follow a two-stage approach to full teeth replacement, in which the initial bridge is made from lower-quality materials and is intended to be replaced shortly after the healing period. This can mean having to pay for two sets of replacement teeth within the same year, increasing your short-term treatment costs.
All-On-4® treatment at Perth Dental Implant Centre follows a single-stage approach to replacing teeth. This means that the bridge you are fitted with after surgery is designed to last for several years before it needs to be replaced, helping you to avoid the cost and hassle of further treatments within a short period.
Book a consultation with our highly-accredited dentist Dr Norcross to learn more about All-On-4® treatment and whether it might be an option for you.
First bridge: 2–5 years
Your first All-On-4® bridge will be fitted within five days of the implants being placed. It will be custom made by our experienced dental technician based on impressions of your mouth. Your dentist will check that you’re happy with how it looks and feels before attaching it to the implants.
All-On-4® teeth at Perth Dental Implant Centre are made from acrylic reinforced with titanium. A digitally-milled titanium bar is hidden inside the bridge to give it enhanced strength and longevity. This initial bridge is also known as an immediate final bridge, as it can last between 2 and 5 years before it needs replacing, or longer with proper care.
In comparison, a non-reinforced acrylic bridge may only last for 3 to 6 months before it needs to be replaced with a final bridge. An acrylic bridge reinforced with cast metal such as chrome rather than titanium may only last 6 to 12 months. In both cases, the initial bridge may last less than a year, making a titanium-reinforced bridge a longer-term option.
Replacement bridge: 3–15 years or longer
Your initial bridge will support your mouth and jaw as they heal from implant surgery. Even with proper care, this bridge will naturally wear down over time, and may need to be replaced within five years. At Perth Dental Implant Centre, we offer three options for a replacement bridge:
- A new or remodelled titanium-reinforced acrylic bridge that can last 3–5 years
- A titanium-reinforced zirconia bridge that can last 10–15 years
- A titanium-reinforced porcelain-layered zirconia bridge that can last 5–10 years
Remodelling a titanium-acrylic bridge involves manufacturing new acrylic teeth around the existing titanium frame, and is generally the most affordable option. Upgrading from acrylic to a zirconia bridge or porcelain-layered zirconia bridge can offer extra strength, less maintenance and a more natural appearance. These bridges are milled from a single block of zirconia and are also reinforced with a titanium frame.
While some dentists may call a replacement bridge a “permanent bridge,” it’s important to note that it is not actually “permanent,” as it will need to be replaced after a number of years as the teeth naturally wear down. No prosthetic teeth are permanent.
How long do dentures last?
If you’re considering dentures for teeth replacement, these may have a similar lifespan to an All-On-4® bridge. However, they don’t support the jawbone in the same way as dental implants do, won’t feel as natural and chewing function may be up to 50 – 80% weaker.
Suction dentures may become loose or uncomfortable over time as the gums and jaw shrink, which can require regular adjustment or relining to extend their lifespan. Implant-retained dentures can avoid many of these problems, as they are supported by dental implants.
Whether they’re made from acrylic or metal, dentures generally last around 6–14 years, depending on how well they’re cared for. A systematic review found that complete dentures lasted an average of 10 years.
Why choose us for All-On-4® in Perth?
At Perth Dental Implant Centre, our principal dentist Dr David Norcross is highly accredited and experienced at providing genuine Nobel Biocare All-On-4® dental implants. Dr Norcross will explain what the procedure involves and will make sure you understand all of your options for replacing teeth.
All-On-4 Centre® of Excellence
We are one of only a few dental clinics in Australia to be recognised by Nobel Biocare as an All-On-4® Centre of Excellence. This means we are a trusted provider of full arch implants using the All-On-4® treatment protocol.
Advanced surgical techniques
Placing dental implants requires a skilled practitioner. Dr Norcross has completed training in a wide range of All On 4® treatment options, including advanced techniques such as providing pterygoid dental implants for patients with substantial upper jaw bone loss.
Precision milling technology
Our experienced lab technician Patrick Barrett-Lennard uses the latest technologies to design and manufacture high-quality custom bridges that can be fitted within five days of implant surgery.
Book an initial consultation for All-On-4® in Perth
Find out whether you’re suitable for All-On-4® dental implants and what your options are for replacing teeth by arranging a consultation with Dr Norcross today. Book online or call our Kelmscott clinic on (08) 9495 7999 or our East Victoria Park clinic on (08) 9470 3944. You can also contact Dr Norcross for more information.
The total cost of All-On-4® dental implants includes the cost of the implants and implant surgery, first and subsequent bridges of replacement teeth, diagnostics and any other services involved, such as dental sedation. There will also be ongoing maintenance costs, including professional cleaning and repairing a bridge when needed.
How often your All-On-4® bridge will need replacing depends on the type of bridge you choose and on your oral hygiene, biting forces and lifestyle factors.
- Malo P, de Araujo Nobre M, Lopes A, et al. The All-on-4 treatment concept for the rehabilitation of the completely edentulous mandible: A longitudinal study with 10 to 18 years of follow-up. Clin Implant Dent Relat Res 2019;21(4):565-577.
- Taylor M, Masood M, Mnatzaganian G. Longevity of complete dentures: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Prosthet Dent. 2021 Apr;125(4):611-619. doi: 10.1016/j.prosdent.2020.02.019. Epub 2020 Apr 28. PMID: 32359852.
- van der Bilt A. Human oral function: a review. Braz J Oral Sci. 2002;1(1):7–18.