3 on 6 dental implants consist of three individual dental bridges that are attached to six dental implants. This restoration is similar to a dental bridge but with artificial roots instead of natural teeth.
The approach is ideal for full-mouth reconstruction, as it restores the natural function of the teeth by evenly distributing bite forces. It is an excellent solution to missing an entire arch of teeth and is an alternative to a permanent denture that uses two to four implants. Since it does not require synthetic gums, it is also aesthetically pleasing.
Your eligibility for 3-on-6 implants largely depends on how much bone you have. Your dentist will examine your mouth and do a 3D scan during your initial consultation. The findings from these diagnostic tests will determine the most suitable treatment plan for your condition.
You may not be a candidate for implants if you:
3 on 6 implants work by separating each arch into three independent sections, called bridges. Each bridge holds four artificial crowns and is anchored into the jaw by two implants. Since it takes 3 bridges to cover an arch, you will have a total of six implants.
3 on 6 Dental Implant Procedure (Step-by-Step)
The procedure for 3 on 6 dental implants consists of the following steps:
The process starts with a consultative meeting with a certified dentist, who will examine your mouth, then perform X-Ray and CT scans to determine if the 3 on 6 treatment is right for you.
During this session, you'll also discuss financing and payment options and when to start the treatment.
Your doctor will perform implant surgery at your second appointment. While the procedure can be achieved with local anesthesia, you may also choose general anesthesia if you’re nervous.
Your implants will need to heal after the procedure. The process may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Your dentist will give you a removable denture during this time, so you don’t remain toothless while your gums heal.
The dental team will use scans of your teeth or pre-designed models to design a new smile for you. You will have input on the shade and design of the teeth.
Once your implants heal, your doctor will remove the denture, attach abutments, and give you temporary bridges. They’ll help you test the look and feel of your new teeth before the dentist orders a more durable ceramic replacement.
You'll have them on for a week or two, then meet with your dentist to provide feedback. If you're not happy with your smile or would like to make some changes, the doctor will take note of your concerns and forward them to his or her team.
Your doctor will schedule one more appointment to place your zirconia bridges and ensure everything meets your expectations.
1. They're durable
One of the main benefits of dental implants is that they are remarkably durable. Since they fit into your jaw bone, they are very stable. If properly maintained, they'll last as long (or even longer) than natural teeth. They’re an excellent choice for anyone considering long-term tooth replacement.
2 They’re convenient
3 on 6 implants can be cleaned at home by flossing and brushing and do not need to be removed for cleanings as often as other types of dentures. They also look and feel more like natural teeth.
There is no need for a fake acrylic gum line above the bridges, so they are ideal for achieving a beautiful smile.
3. They’ll improve your oral health
3 on 6 implants do not require tooth reduction. They are a more suitable alternative to tooth-supported bridges because more of your teeth are left undisturbed, which improves your long-term oral health. (7)
1. Not everyone is eligible
3 on 6 implants are not ideal for everyone. The procedure requires dense, healthy bone to succeed, so patients who do not meet this requirement are not eligible.
2. They’re time-consuming
Implant surgery is a complex, multi-stage process. Consequently, it will take a longer time to complete (from 1 to 3 months, depending on how long it takes your implants to heal). (5)
In some scenarios, implant placement may require additional surgery. (4) If there isn’t enough bone to accommodate the implants, doctors may perform a sinus lift or bone grafts. These procedures will increase healing time and procedural costs.
3. They are costly
3 on 6 dental implants are a significant investment. They can cost significantly more than a traditional bridge and have a higher price tag than snap-on dentures.
3 on 6 and All on 4's are similar in that both give you artificial roots and crowns. A key difference, however, is that All-on-4’s include synthetic gums.
The choice between All-on-4 and 3 on 6 implants should be driven by clinical evaluation, not personal preference.
An All-on-4 works best in situations where the patient doesn’t have sufficient bone to support an implant. It is also the best treatment solution for patients with combination defects, i.e., missing teeth, insufficient bone, and overlying tissue problems.
If you're only missing teeth and do not have combination defects, then 3 on 6 implants are usually the ideal treatment option.
3 on 6 implants can have a failure rate of between 1 and 5 percent.(3) Implant failure typically happens when the implant body (typically looks like a small screw) works its way out of the bone or completely detaches from the gum.
It occurs because there's insufficient bone to support the implant during the initial procedure or as a result of bone loss after the implant has been successfully placed. Implants may also fail due to infection.
Since the procedure requires cuts into the gum line, there is a significant risk for infection. Even though surgeons take all the necessary precautions to limit this risk, the patient has to keep the area clean.
Although implants rarely fail, you should schedule regular dental visits (once every six months) to have your implants examined and cleaned.
If you maintain your implants properly, they should last a lifetime. You will still need to floss and brush and avoid smoking and drugs; these habits can affect bone density and the implant's longevity.
The cost of having 3 on 6 implants will vary based on where you choose to have the procedure. It will cost between $10,000 and $15,000.
Most dental clinics capable of offering 3 on 6 implants also partner with various insurance providers.
There are other options if you do not have dental insurance. If you have a good credit score (600 or higher), you will qualify for financing. Even if you don’t have good credit, your dentist may still help with payments, but you will need to have a stable income and provide a down payment.
Bridges, implants, and dentures. (2015). American Dental Association (ADA) Division of Science, 146(6), 490. https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(15)00435-3/fulltext#articleInformation.
Mittal, Y., Jindal, G., & Garg, S. (2016). Bone manipulation procedures in dental implants. Indian journal of dentistry, 7(2), 86–94. https://doi.org/10.4103/0975-962X.184650.
Raikar, S., Talukdar, P., Kumari, S., Panda, S. K., Oommen, V. M., & Prasad, A. (2017). Factors Affecting the Survival Rate of Dental Implants: A Retrospective Study. Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, 7(6), 351–355. https://doi.org/10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_380_17.
Rues, S., Schmitter, M., Kappel, S. et al. (2021). Effect of bone quality and quantity on the primary stability of dental implants in a simulated bicortical placement. Clin Oral Invest 25, 1265–1272. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00784-020-03432-z.
Sculean, R., Gruber , DD, Bosshardt .(2014). Soft tissue wound healing around teeth and dental implants. J Clin Periodontol 2014; 41 (Suppl. 15): S6– S22. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jcpe.12206.
(6) Smith, Y. (N.d.). Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Crowns. News Medical Life Sciences. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Advantages-and-Disadvantages-of-Dental-Crowns.aspx.