All-on-4 vs. 3-on-6 Dental Implants


All-on-4 and 3-on-6 are both dental treatments that can replace your missing teeth with a same-day fixed dental bridge. If you’re thinking about getting dental implants but you’re not sure which option is right for you, it’s highly recommended to consult with a reliable dental implants specialist in Scripps Ranch. In the meantime, you can do some research and learn some facts about various treatments available. In today’s post, we compare all-on-4 and 3-on-6 treatments to give you a better insight into both and help you make an informed decision in collaboration with your dentist. Read on!

Which is better, All-on-4 or 3-on-6? 

Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of these two treatments. Is All-on-4 better than 3-on-6? We’ll look into the factors that you and your dentist will analyze together and help you make the final decision.

What is All-on-4?

This procedure involves the placement of titanium implants directly into the jawbone to support a full arch. Two straight implants are typically placed in the front part of the jaw (either upper or lower, depending on where you need replacements), while two angled implants are placed in the back part. Next, they are topped with abutments which serve as connectors for the artificial teeth. 

However, the patient first receives temporary teeth as the implants need time to fuse with the jawbone, a process called osseointegration. After 3 to 6 months, depending on the patient, permanent teeth are fitted to the implants. 

So, let’s start comparing All-on-4 vs. 3-on-6 dental implants and check some of the most significant advantages of this treatment:

  • Less invasive: As it needs fewer implants, All-on-4 is typically less invasive, requires less surgical time, and allows for a faster recovery period. 
  • Immediate results: The procedure typically allows for same-day placement of temporary teeth, enabling the patients to leave the clinic with a functional set of teeth immediately. 
  • Suitable for patients with bone loss: As it usually doesn’t require bone grafting, and involves a strategic placement of implants, this method allows even patients with bone loss to benefit from it. 
  • Efficient: The streamlined approach requires fewer appointments and a quicker overall treatment line compared to more complex options.
  • Cost-effective: It’s less expensive than 3-on-6 as it only requires 4 implants, rather than 6. 

What is 3-on-6?

While the process is generally the same as for the All-on-4 treatment, it does include 6 instead of 4 implants, making the procedure more complex and requiring more time to heal. Moreover, it’s not designed to support one whole arch, but instead three separate bridges, each covering a portion of the arch. 

Because the implants are placed into the freshly extracted tooth sites where the bone is softer, the procedure is much less predictable.  Softer bone anchoring the implants means that the implants are not as stable and same day teeth may not be able to be attached to the implants in a 3 on 6 approach.  Furthermore, specifically for the upper arch, the further back the teeth go the less stable and less dense the bone becomes.  Presence of anatomical structures such as maxillary sinuses makes the placement of upper implants further back almost impossible, without extensive, costlier and time-consuming bone grafting (sinus lifts).

As for the advantages of this treatment, they involve:

  • Segmented bridges: With 3 separate bridges, it can be easier to maintain and replace if necessary. 

Some problems with 3-on-6 dental implants can include:

  • Higher cost: The larger number of implants can significantly increase the cost.
  • Complexity and invasiveness: Placing 6 implants is more complex than placing only 4, and requires longer surgical time and recovery periods.
  • Required bone density: Patients need adequate bone density to support 6 implants, and those with significant bone loss may require additional bone grafting, adding to the complexity and cost. 

scripps ranch dental implantsWho is the leading dental implants specialist in Scripps Ranch?

If you’d like to know more about 3-on-6 dental implants, you’re exploring the option of snap-in dentures, or want to compare them to All-on-4, reach out to Dr. Tsvetov at Temecula Center for Dental Implants. With years of expertise and his dedicated team specialists, he’ll make sure you receive the treatment that perfectly fits your needs. Whether you live in Scripps Ranch or another neighborhood, give us a call today and schedule your appointment!