Tooth material options

What are your tooth material options for an all on 4 teeth?

Tooth material options for your all on 4 teeth vary depending on your particular situation. Typically if doing an all on 4 or any implant prosthesis There are many options available for tooth material section for the all on 4 or other types implant prosthesis. The options will certainly continue to increase. We are probably to a point where the lab technicians preference and experience is more important than the differences in material to some extent.

Tooth material options for your all on 4 or implant prosthesis.

There are several many categories for you to choose from when picking your teeth out for your prosthesis. Factors that you can use to help you deiced are found below. The most important decision is actually whether or not you want individual teeth or a single unit or block of teeth.

  1. Traditional acrylic denture teeth
  2. Modern nano composite denture teeth
  3. Porcelain teeth not including zirconia.
  4. Zirconia teeth.

Traditional acrylic denture teeth for the all on 4 or implant prosthesis.

This was once our only choice and works ok for people if they are not clenchers, grinders, or hard on their teeth in general.


  • Cheapest materiel available
  • Easy to replace and fix
  • Standardized shapes and sizes to choice from
  • In use for decades so we know a lot about them, which means people have experience with them and we know their weaknesses and strengths


  • Don’t look as nice
  • Don’t last as long (wear down faster)
  • Break out easier

Image of teeth material options acrylic teeth

Modern nano composite denture teeth for the all on four or implant prosthesis

These are the modern line of denture teeth and there is little reason not to be switching to these except cost. Phonares are one popular brand.


  • Reasonably priced
  • Easy to replace and fix
  • Esthetically they are very nice in my opinion.
  • Standardized sizes
  • Can bond to it and fix in the mouth
  • Wear better than acrylic Esquivel JPD 2020


  • Break out easier

Image for nano composite all on 4 teeth.

Porcelain teeth for all on four implant prosthesis

This is basically traditional crown and bridge dental work that happens to be on dental implants.


  • Holds up extremely well
  • Can look beautiful
  • Can customize however want.


  • Difficult and expensive to do well
  • If breaks, expensive and difficult to repair (unless do individual teeth)

Image for tooth material options porcelain

Zirconia teeth for your all on 4 implant prosthesis.

The newest porcelain in dentistry that is extremely strong.


  • Strongest material we have that is tooth color.
  • Zirconia teeth hold up extremely well
  • Can look beautiful but takes some skill
  • Can customize however want.


  • If breaks, expensive and difficult to repair (unless do individual teeth)
  • Makes a loud clicking sound when you have top and bottom teeth same (this is the only reason that zirconia against zirconia may not be the absolute best)
  • Is the mode of failure now with the implants?

Images of tooth material options zirconia.

Factors in choosing tooth material for your all on 4 teeth

How hard you are on your teeth, what the opposite teeth are, how esthetic you want it to be and how much money you are willing to spend on the teeth are the main options I consider.

  • Cost – porcelain and zirconia cost more
  • Esthetics – most are pretty good, but porcelain can be amazing
  • Longevity – porcelain and zirconia probably last the longest
  • Experience of dentist and lab technician
  • What the opposing jaw is
  • Dental habits
  • Type or prosthesis

My preference for all on 4 teeth

My person preference for restoring an all on 4 or any implant prosthesis changes depending on several factors but a prosthesis with individual teeth is most ideal in my mind. Be aware this option can add significantly to the cost though. Tooth material selection for me would be zirconia on top and nano-composite denture teeth on the bottom. The nano-composite act as our fail safe system and act as shock absorbers to a minor extent. The composite will wear slightly allowing for very minor imperfections in occlusion to self adjust. If you want to know more about substructure selection check out our framework all on 4 page.

Tooth material options – Individual teeth vs single unit for your implant prosthesis

Individual teeth are much more expensive but better long term because if something ever happens to a tooth we can simply change it out and give you a new one without having you give up all your teeth for several weeks. This option is not given very often because it is more difficult. I actually prefer it and try to make the cost not that much more than a prosthesis that is one unit.

Another interesting idea is to have the teeth and a bar be two separate units. This would work well if have a titanium bar or a resin type bar. It’s not as nice as individual teeth but would be cheaper than individual teeth and could more easily be replaced if something was to break. Just remill the teeth section, ok so not that easy if you did any Gradia gum characterizations or finishing work.

All on 4 tooth selection overdenture teeth

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6 Responses to “Tooth material options”

  1. February 27, 2018 at 4:06 pm #

    Had an all on four (actually 5 implants top – 6 bottom) and recently found out they are MMA. I was told at the beginning I would be getting Zirconia dentures. I do have TMJ and brucism ..though TMJ much improved after last jaw breaking in 2002 by the AF. My question is is it better to get zirconia on top and a form of crystal (unsure of name) on bottom vs full zirconia on both arches. Any advice greatly appreciated..

    • February 27, 2018 at 4:20 pm #

      Highly debatable what is best. Some would say some type of porcelain on top and some sort of plastic or composite on bottom is best current thought on way to go 2018. Zirconia v zirconia makes a loud sound when eating and some patients complain about it, but 5 years ago I would have said that is the best and I wouldn’t say that today. The advantage of plastic or nano-composite is they act as buffers so you don’t damage the implants. If you are happy with esthetics I wouldn’t worry about it at all.

  2. May 14, 2019 at 4:34 pm #

    You wouldn’t worry about it at all? $46,000 later and I shouldn’t worry. I’m sorry, but that comment is so out of touch with patients who are expecting that this amount of investment will give them teeth that hold up. With your own words, you described the cons of the nano composite as you did with all materials. What would help patients most is the availability of insurance specifically for the known breakdown of these protheses. This type of dental playground is for the rich. Do you have one patient who still has their total prosthesis after 8 years? I would very much like to know the answer.

    • May 14, 2019 at 10:48 pm #

      All of my patients prosthesis are still there and working well. The vast majority of mine are metal and ceramic not acrylic. Acrylic teeth tend to break out too much and end up not looking very good after a few years. The metal ceramic are the same as dental crowns and bridges and we know they last for decades often for lifetime without issue. My oldest case is acrylic though. She is actually getting an implant retained denture on the lower right now. It is from 2011 so 8 years now and she has never had one issue with her all on 4 acrylic one. I don’t see a lot of issues with mine but I do maintenance for clear choice clinics so I see a LOT of patients with these and over the years I see all the things that can happen and by far acrylic has the most problems. BUT the problems are fixable and not too expensive. Zirconia frame breakage is the most damaging problem one can have and acrylic avoids that. There are issues with every material type which is why it is not worth worrying about what material one should have AFTER it’s all done and before any problems have occurred (as is the case of the person I told not to worry). You on the other hand are having problems so not worrying about it wouldn’t be good advice to you. You should get an essix made and wear it at night because I bet you grind your teeth. One should think of these in the same way you think of a car (but this “car” will actually probably last your entire life and will need far less maintenance). So if someone is wealthy for buying a $50,000 car then yes it’s only for the wealthy.

  3. January 14, 2020 at 11:47 pm #

    How much do an upper an lower zirconia 4 on top or three, denture cost? I had beautiful teeth and at one point fixed my teeth nice. And upon fixing my teeth the one tooth didn’t hold and fell out, and I didn’t have the money to fix the one that was veneered. Which was very disappointing as the tooth fell out a week after 5, 000 dollars was done. My smile has deteriated over time now and I just want a beautiful confident smile back as its to me very humiliating Im missing a tooth. My teeth looking at them head on look fine but need root canals now and instead of nickel and dimming myself I just want something that looks natural and pretty and real. Please get back to me, Thank you.

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