Are All-On-4® Dental Implants Worth the Cost?
Posted on: July 28, 2023
5 minute read
If you’re thinking about replacing all your upper and/or lower teeth and you have struggled with dentures in the past, your dentist might offer All-On-4 dental implants. As the name suggests, this revolutionary concept can support a full fixed bridge of natural-looking replacement teeth on just four implants within days of surgery.
The term ‘All-On-4’ refers to the trademarked surgical protocol co-founded by Professor Paulo Malo and global implant manufacturer Nobel Biocare. Genuine Nobel implants are placed using this technique.
All-On-4 teeth look, feel and function more natural than dentures and don’t require a special care routine, but the treatment is also more expensive upfront. The cost of All-On-4 treatment depends on how many implants you need and the type of bridge that is placed after surgery.
If you’re considering full teeth replacement in Perth with All-On-4 or other solutions, our dentists at Perth Dental Implant Centre will explain all your options and the costs involved to help you make an informed decision. Call our dentists in East Vic Park or Kelmscott to book a consultation today.
Who is suitable for All-On-4 treatment?
Most people with missing or failing teeth are candidates for All-On-4 dental implants. This treatment may be offered if you’ve already lost all of your teeth or if many of your teeth are badly damaged or decayed, in which case having them removed and replaced can restore the function and appearance of your smile.
When you visit an implant dentist to discuss tooth replacement, they will examine your mouth, take a 3D bone scan and check your medical history and lifestyle factors to assess your suitability for All-On-4 treatment. Some conditions that may affect eligibility are:
- advanced gum disease
- certain medical conditions or medications
- heavy smoking, heavy drinking or drug abuse, which can affect healing and increase the risk of implant failure
You may be a candidate for All-On-4 treatment even if you’re not suitable for other implant procedures, due to the unique way the implants are positioned in the jaw. Even if you have gone without teeth for some time and have experienced severe bone loss, your dentist may be able to place additional implants or longer implants (known as zygomatic or pterygoid implants) if there isn’t enough bone in the maxilla to support a bridge.
What are the benefits of All-On-4 treatment?
Missing and failed teeth can present a number of difficulties in daily life. If many or all teeth are lost (what dentists call edentulism), this may lead to difficulties with speech, chewing and subsequently digestion. Without the support of teeth, the jawbone and other facial structures begin to deteriorate, which can lead to a prematurely aged appearance.
The sooner teeth are replaced, the greater the likelihood of preserving your jaw bone. Prosthetic teeth supported by dental implants are the closest match to natural teeth in look, feel and function and can help to restore a smile. Unlike removable dentures which rely on suction to stay in place, dental implants support jawbone health and carry less oral health risks.
All-On-4 implants offer a stable, permanent alternative to dentures and a shorter and less invasive treatment compared to conventional implants, with a 98% clinically proven success rate using the Malo protocol.* The All-On-4 procedure can usually be completed in a single day with your new bridge ready after 1 to 3 days.
What are the alternatives to All-On-4 for replacing teeth?
All-On-4 is considered the gold standard of teeth replacement but isn’t the only treatment for replacing a full set of teeth. We’ll make sure you know all of your options, which may include:
- Removable suction dentures
- Removable implant-retained dentures
All-On-4 vs dentures
Removable dentures are the most common and affordable option for full teeth replacement, but they pose limitations. One of the biggest challenges with suction dentures is the impact on chewing.
Chewing food inefficiently can negatively impact the body’s ability to digest food and extract the necessary nutrients that sustain overall health. The above chart shows the variations in chewing efficiency using a number of teeth replacement solutions, with All-On-4 fixed implant bridges retaining the greatest chewing efficiency.
Wearing dentures can be difficult to tolerate but perhaps the biggest disadvantage is that the unsupported jaw continues to shrink away with time. Teeth rely on stimulation from chewing to keep the jawbone healthy and to prevent resorption. Dental implants mimic the function of tooth roots and support the jawbone. Many of the problems associated with dentures can be avoided when you choose dental implants.
In comparison with dentures, All-On-4 implant bridges:
- Support jawbone health
- Offer stronger biting forces and the ability to chew food
- Better chewing aids healthier digestion
- Don’t restrict your diet
- Don’t affect speech in the way dentures can
- Won’t change shape or fall out over time
- Won’t cause gum irritation, mouth sores
- Don’t need to be taken out, cleaned and stored at night
- Don’t need to be glued in
- Won’t get lost or misplaced
- Don’t need to be periodically relined
- Have several options for tooth materials
- May help prevent gum disease and recession
- Are longer lasting
An acrylic denture generally lasts 4 to 8 years before they need replacing and may cost from $1800 to $4000 depending on their quality. Dentures also require ongoing maintenance including professional cleaning, dentures relines and repairs.
All-On-4 implants are made of high-grade titanium and can last a lifetime while the teeth attached to implants need to be replaced after a number of years, depending on the bridge materials they are made of, your biting forces and how well they are cared for.
An alternative to standard dentures and fixed implant bridges is implant-retained dentures. This involves placing two or more implants in the lower jaw or four or more implants in the upper jaw with abutments for removable acrylic dentures to clip on and off. This offers more stability and support than suction dentures but involves a longer treatment process and will normally wear out faster than a fixed ceramic bridge.
Implant-retained dentures can be a suitable upgrade option for existing denture wearers requiring more lip support. Like suction dentures, they need to be left out overnight.
For a full comparison, read our blog ‘Dentures Vs Implant-Retained Dentures Vs Full Mouth Implant Bridges’.
All-On-4 vs other dental implants
Before All-On-4, replacing a full arch of teeth with conventional dental implants was a more expensive and complex procedure that involved placing multiple implants often with bone grafting (a more invasive surgery with higher clinical risks) and then waiting 3 to 6 months for the implants to bond with the jaw. Once the implants had healed, the teeth could then be fitted. All-On-4 avoids this waiting period, with unwanted teeth removed, implants placed and new teeth fitted within just 5 days.
Since the development of the All-On-4 protocol, many dentists have adapted their own techniques using cheaper dental implant systems. However, there are unique advantages to choosing a dentist who places genuine Nobel Biocare implants using the All-On-4 protocol over the alternatives.
- The All-On-4 treatment protocol trademarked by Nobel Biocare involves positioning the back implants at a 45 degree angle to maximise the use of available jawbone. This avoids the need for bone grafting that may be required for other implant procedures.
- The All-On-4 protocol has a clinically-proven 98% success rate and is the only implant system backed by hundreds of research studies demonstrating its long-term effectiveness, which are not available for lesser-known or more recent brands.*
- All-On-4 treatment at Perth Dental Implant Centre carries a warranty on dental implants and the titanium bar of five years and a two-year warranty on acrylic teeth.
At Perth Dental Implant Centre, our experienced dentists provide genuine Nobel Biocare dental implants using the All-on-4 treatment protocol.
How much do All-On-4 implants cost?
The cost of All-On-4 treatment at Perth Dental Implant Centre starts from $21,000 per arch or from $40,000 for both arches. This price includes:
- 4 x Nobel Biocare dental implants
- 4 x titanium abutments
- Fixed titanium-reinforced high-impact acrylic bridge
- Oral surgery using the All-On-4® trademark protocol
- Clinical radiographs (excludes CBCT scan)
- 6 months of follow-up appointments
- 5-year warranty on dental implants and titanium frame; 2-year warranty on acrylic teeth*
**Warranty is subject to attending implant reviews, six-monthly check-ups and hygiene maintenance appointments.
Please note: Hospital and anaesthetist fess are not included and subject to individual circumstances and private health cover.
The cost of your treatment may vary if you require:
- Additional implants
- Longer implants (zygomatic implants or pterygoid implants)
- Dental sedation or general anaesthesia
- Extractions, bone grafting or prior gum treatment
Most patients choose to have All-On-4 treatment performed under general anaesthesia in hospital or under IV sedation at the clinic so they can sleep through the whole procedure.
How much does a replacement bridge cost?
All-On-4 bridges do not last forever and eventually need to be replaced. It’s important to consider both upfront treatment costs and ongoing maintenance costs including bridge replacements to help you understand the overall costs of All-On-4 and decide whether it’s right for you.
The main factor that affects the cost of All-On-4 treatment is the type of bridge that is attached to implants after surgery. Some bridges are made of cheaper materials and are intended to be worn temporarily before being replaced with a longer-lasting ceramic bridge, and this increases the cost overall. This is known as a two-bridge or two-stage approach.
Some implant clinics use a two-stage approach, placing a 100% acrylic bridge that needs to be replaced within 3–6 months. The cost of a ceramic bridge starts typically from $9,000.
At Perth Dental Implant Centre, we use a single-stage approach to All-On-4 teeth. Our lab technician fabricates a high-quality acrylic bridge that is reinforced with a strong titanium bar as your first set of teeth after surgery. This bridge can last from 2–5 years before it needs replacing.
Watch as Dr Norcross explains our single-stage approach to All-On-4 teeth:
The cost of All-On-4 at Perth Dental Implant Centre is inclusive of a titanium-reinforced high-impact acrylic bridge placed within 5 days of surgery (valued at $8,500).
When it’s time to replace your first set of All-On-4 teeth, you’ll have a choice of bridge replacement options with different costs:
- Remodelling an existing titanium-reinforced acrylic bridge from $5,500
- Replacement titanium-reinforced acrylic bridge from $8,500
- Monolithic zirconia bridge from $9,000
- Porcelain-layered zirconia bridge from $10,000
Our zirconia bridges are also reinforced with a titanium bar and can last an average of 10–15 years with proper care.
Depending on your needs and circumstances, the cost of All-On-4 treatment may also include:
- Consultation ($65) – this cost may be covered in full or part by health insurance if it includes dental cover
- 3D (CBCT) bone scan ($205) – if you’ve had a recent scan by another dentist, this may be reused to save costs.
- Anaesthetist and hospital fees – these costs may be partially covered by Medicare and/or private health insurance.
- Ongoing bridge maintenance ($350-$550) – 6-12 monthly check-ups and professional cleans of your implant bridge/s. (These costs are comparable to 6-12 monthly check-up and cleans for natural teeth and may be partially covered by private health insurance).
Can I get help with All-On-4 costs?
All-On-4 implants are the gold standard for full teeth replacement and not too dissimilar to the cost of a knee or hip replacement. The main difference being that Medicare does not cover dental treatment.
At Perth Dental Implant Centre, we’re transparent about prices and committed to making quality dental treatments accessible to everyone.
We offer a choice of flexible payment plans through trusted providers that can break down the cost of your treatment into more manageable instalments.
Our team can also determine your eligibility for early release of superannuation to cover treatment costs. We’ve partnered with SuperCare who can manage the application on your behalf for a fee, alternatively we assist patients with directly applying for superannuation access via the ATO website.
Read more about ‘Accessing Super for All-On-4 dental implants’.
Are All-On-4 dental implants worth the cost?
Whether All-On-4 dental implants are worth the cost, is a question of perceived value. All-On-4 treatment costs more than dentures but how they look, feel and function is incomparable and for many patients, that makes All-On-4 worth it.
What’s particularly important to consider when deciding whether All-On-4 is for you, are the hidden costs associated with dentures, particularly the potential costs of a poor-fitting denture, which may include:
- Medication for recurring infections, pain and headaches
- Poor nutrition and digestive conditions
- Increased risk of oral cancer
- Psychological costs associated with poor oral health
These costs add up over time.
Watch All-On-4 client Steph, as she explains what treatment means to her:
Book a consultation for All-On-4 in Perth
If you want to know more about All-On-4 implants in Perth or you’re ready to speak to a dentist, contact Perth Dental Implant Centre today to book an initial consultation with Dr David Norcross at one of our clinics in Kelmscott or East Victoria Park.
Call 1300 108 133 to book at our Kelmscott or East Vic Park clinic for more details.
The total cost of All-On-4 dental implants includes the cost of the implants and your first and subsequent sets of replacement teeth as well as surgical costs, diagnostics and other services that may be involved, such as dental sedation. Ongoing costs include check-ups, x-rays, professional cleaning, bridge repairs and replacements as needed.
- 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
- Osterberg T, Carlsson GE, Sundh V, Steen B. Number of teeth—a predictor of mortality in the elderly? A population study in three Nordic localities. Acta Odontol Scand. 2007;65(6):335–40.
- Manoharan, S., Nagaraja, V. and Eslick, G.D. (2014). Ill-fitting dentures and oral cancer: A meta-analysis. Oral Oncology, 50(11), pp.1058–1061. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oraloncology.2014.08.002
- Tiwari, T., Kelly, A., Randall, C.L., Tranby, E. and Franstve-Hawley, J. (2022). Association Between Mental Health and Oral Health Status and Care Utilization. Frontiers in Oral Health, 2(732882). doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/froh.2021.732882