Category Archives: All-on-Four Dental Implants

Will all-on-4 work for me?

I have been trying to figure out what to do because I’m fed up with my dentures. In my research so far, I am intrigued by the all-on-4 dental implants procedure, for many reasons. I understand that it will help stabilize my dentures and it’s a lot more affordable than a mouth full of dental implants. But I have one huge setback. I have a metal allergy. When I mentioned this to the dentist, he didn’t even flinch. He said it was not a big deal. I am still not sure about it. I will suffer greatly if come in contact with metal of any kind. I don’t want to go through the investment and inconvenience of the procedure failing. I typically break out into a terrible rash. How do I know he is right? Do I just take his word for it?

-Dolores in Missouri

Dolores,

Your implant dentist is correct in that the all-on-4 dental implants should be fine. Most “metal allergies” are actually sensitivities. Now, of course, anything is possible, so continue asking questions until you are completely confident in the dentist’s understanding of your individual situation. But most people with sensitivities don’t typically react to all metals. For example, nickel is a big one to steer clear of. Also, any triggers that you may react to must be avoided. So be clear on precisely what metals may set you off.

Titanium or a titanium alloy is what you need to be comfortable with, since it what is most commonly used in dental implants. It is possible that the alloy contains some nickel. Your dentist will be able to give you the complete rundown of the composition of his recommended implants. It will be available through the manufacturer.

If you still are not comfortable that you will not react to titanium, it would be in your best interest to meet with an allergist to get a full diagnosis. You will be able to find out what your triggers are and what to steer clear of, so you can provide that information to your implant dentist. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Need someone to fix my dental implants!

I have been considering dental implants for years. But my budget has been holding me back. When I found the all-on-4 method, I knew it wasn’t entirely dental implants, but I figured I’d be better off than I was. The office was great and assured me they do this all the time and I will be well taken care of. Well, when one of the dental implants failed, I was in a world of hurt. Now, they are telling me I need bone grafting done and that is why it failed. They are making me pay over again and not covering any of the re-do cost. There’s no way I can afford this and now I’m halfway through the process and feel completely stuck. What do I do?

-Geoff in Texas

Geoff,

All-on-four dental implants is quite popular when people are looking for more affordable dental implants alternative. It doesn’t sound like your dentist covered the possible risks involved. Dental implants usually have a very high success rate, assuming the implant dentist has placed them properly. But, not everyone is a candidate. The all-on-four has many factors that may lessen their success rate. They aren’t as strong and can place a lot of stress on the implants, causing failure because of the angle they are implanted. Unfortunately, you are not in a very good situation.

There are many alternatives to traditional dental implants that you may have been better suited for. For example, mini implants are less expensive because they are much smaller and the surgery to place them is much simpler. But you may have been able to afford more of the mini implants to help secure your denture. The bone was likely compromised with the all-on-4 because of the steep angle of the implants. It may be time to go to an implant dentist that will make it right, yet will work with you on payment plans. But now, you need some healing time before anything can be done.

Hopefully your willingness to share your story, will help someone else avoid such a disaster situation. It isn’t right that the all-on-4 implant dentist has placed you in this situation. Sadly, it happens more than you might think. It is in your best interest to cut your losses and seek a second opinion. Sorry you are having to deal with this.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

How come I’m not a dental implants candidate? Are they pushing me into All-on-4?

I have been considering dental implants for years. I was originally told that I have low sinuses and that I’d likely need surgery, if I decided to get dental implants. The dentist expressed much concern about piercing my sinus cavity during the procedure. With the additional surgery, I couldn’t afford to move forward with treatment. I am missing even more teeth now, because it’s several years later. This new implant dentist is telling me that all-on-4 dental implants is the best option for me now. How is that possible? How come I’m no longer considered a dental implants candidate? Should I seek another opinion?

-Jed in Kansas

Thank you for your question. You may not be understanding each dentist’s recommendations fully. The all-on-4 dental implants procedure are dental implants. But there is a big difference in these procedures. Many dentists refuse to place all-on-4’s because they feel it is too risky.

A traditional dental implant, which you were evaluated originally for, is anchored straight into the bone. It is approximately 16mm long, giving it excellent stability. It is a permanent solution to missing teeth. For that reason, the first dentist was recommending sinus surgery to avoid any complications with the implant penetrating the sinus cavity.

All-on-4 is different. The implants do not going in straight up and down. They go in at an angle, which directly impacts the number of implants required. So, there are only four placed. They can be placed closer to your sinus cavity because the implants do not penetrate as deep. But, using shorter implants comes with risk. There is a higher chance that you will have problems with them because they are not as secure.

It wouldn’t hurt to seek another opinion from an independent implant dentist. Each individual’s anatomy is different and each dentist’s treatment plan varies. It is most important to seek an experienced implant dentist that has had success with other patients that have low sinuses. You can get as many opinions as you’d like. It’s all about trust and experience versus the lowest fees when it comes to a successful dental implant experience.

Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

How long do I have to wait to smoke after dental implants?

I’ve been really good about not smoking during this dental implants process. I had all-on-4 dental implants placed nearly five months ago now. The entire process has been over a year. So, I quit smoking just like the doctor said. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Since the healing process is complete, can I start smoking again? I’ll try to do it moderately and not go overboard.

-Gerald in Wisconsin

Gerald,

Congratulations on quitting smoking! That is an incredible accomplishment. I know it’s easy for us to say, don’t start up again. But here are some things you need to take into consideration regarding the dental implants you had done. Smoking can increase the risk of failure. The surgical phase and bone integration phase are imperative that you avoided smoking, but there is always a risk.

Also, smokers are more likely to develop periodontal disease or gum disease. Complications can arise and increase the risk for infection. Bone loss is also a possibility around the implant areas. It is also important to realize that smoking causes blood flow to decrease, which makes it difficult for your body to keep oxygenated blood where it needs to be. All of this issues will negatively affect your all-on-4’s.

It is possible that periodic, light smoking may not cause damage and you may be able to get away with it. But, it is uncertain and highly recommended that dental implant patients of any kind, stop smoking for good. We don’t have to tell you how, just one cigarette with your buddies can turn into a few, then eventually you will fall into your old habit.

You have been a non-smoker for a year. That is an accomplishment. There are so many health and dental benefits to not smoking. Stay strong. Or discus the possibility of other aides to help you.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

My all-on-4 looks terrible!

My dentist has been promoting the all-on-4 dental implants for years. I finally decided to do it and I hate it. It looks so bad! He convinced me to get the all-on-4 because getting dental implants to replace all my teeth would bankrupt me. I didn’t want to do some of the other lesser expensive alternatives because I didn’t want to compromise on stability. I had no idea my teeth would look so fake. I was told the final product would look completely natural. I feel like a horse – no joke! When I tried to tell my dentist that I wasn’t happy, he basically told me to get over it and that I’d get used to it. He kept reiterating how the feel would improve and over time I would be happy with it. I don’t feel like he’s listening. My unhappiness has nothing to do with how they fit, it’s how they look! Is there anything that can be done to improve them, aside from having them redone?

-Louis in Louisiana

Louis,

Well, let us apologize on behalf of your dentist. It sounds like you have had a negative experience all around. At the very least, the dentist should acknowledge the way you feel about the end product and then help you work through it. It sounds like he failed on that front. The aesthetics for all-on-4 dental implants relies heavily on the laboratory that he uses. If there is any good news about where you are at in the process, it’s that you don’t have to start completely over to improve the appearance. It sounds like the implants seem to be stable and working well for you from a functional perspective. And that is usually the area that patients become frustrated in. So, as long as you are satisfied with the fit, it is only the denture portion that needs to be redone.

It may be possible that your implant dentist doesn’t have an eye for the aesthetics because having the teeth reshaped and created to appear more lifelike isn’t that difficult of a process. He should absolutely try to improve the aesthetics for you, free of charge. Although, you may be best served by having a consultation with a dentist that is experienced in placing all-on-4 dental implants and has more of an appearance-related dental work portfolio. It would be in your best interest to take the new dentist a photograph of yourself prior to the work being done. This will give him or her a clear direction for the end result you are hoping to achieve.

Keep in mind that over time, an individual’s teeth change. Longer teeth on a denture will make you appear younger. So that’s something to keep in mind. You may consider taking in a photograph of you when you were younger, as well. Hopefully, you are able to find the right dentist to understand the end result you desire. You should not have to settle.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Help an implant broke off my All-on-Four!

I feel helpless and angry. It’s not a good combination. I knew it was time to replace my teeth and I went into my dentist for a denture. He totally talked me into dental implants and further pushed be into an All-on-4. He told me there were many benefits over dentures, like they would be stronger and get me feeling back to my old self again. I spent a lot of money on this treatment and had every confidence it would do what I was told it would. Well, it’s only been a couple of weeks and one already broke off! When I called in irate, he agreed to fix it. But now he’s trying to convince me I need bone grafting before getting the new dental implant. Am I stuck? I honestly wish I never did it. I wish I could go back in time and have stayed with my original denture plan. Do I have any grounds for a refund?

-Gerald in Nebraska

Gerald,

Well, let’s first apologize on behalf of the dentist. It sure doesn’t sound like the dentist that placed the All-on-4 has done that at least. Some dentists have a high success rate with the All-on-4 technique, while others will never use it.

There could be a couple factors at play. One of which is that the dentist simply didn’t have the skill required to be successful. Dental implants take extensive training beyond dental school. If an All-on-4 is placed incorrectly, the pressure that it endures will simply not hold up. The angle, the surgery, the quality of the products all come into play too. This may be one reason for the failed All-on-4.

Another reason it may have failed is due to the quality of the product. Some implant dentists try to cut corners on cost and utilize sub-standard materials. Now, this is in no way accusing the dentist of using faulty materials. Simply put, some are much higher quality than others. Others feel very strongly that the All-on-4 technique isn’t strong enough.

Bone grafting  from the same dentist doesn’t sound like the best plan either. If bone grafting was required, you should have known prior to the treatment being done. You may be best served by visiting another more experienced implant dentist or at least seeking a second opinion on the matter. A refund is not likely. Although, it never hurt to ask. If, in the second opinion with a new dentist there is anything that is abnormal, he may be able to support you in your quest for a refund. Best of luck! And again, sorry that you are having to deal with this.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Can I get All-on-fours done in Mexico?

I hate my dentures. I’ve had them for 20 years now and have had all kinds of problems. I’m not that old either. Since I’m not even 50, I need teeth that work for many more years (hopefully). When I originally made the decision to get dentures, it was all I could afford. I have more cash flow not but I still cannot afford dental implants for every tooth. That is why I’m very interested in all-on-fours. I have been into a couple local dentists and had a consultation. The fees are still very high and the only way I can afford it is by taking out money from retirement or getting another mortgage. I’ve heard of people going to Mexico for dental work. Do you think I can save some money by crossing the border?

-James in Texas

James,

Please don’t go to Mexico. There is a lot of risk involved and there are no guarantees about the quality or standard of work you will receive. Dentistry in Mexico isn’t held accountable to the same standards as we are in the United States. If something doesn’t work out, there is no way to enforce them to fix it and if it is urgent, you don’t want to leave the country to have it addressed. Dental implants is one of the highest areas of malpractice in dentistry in the US. This should tell you that selecting the right implant dentist is imperative. It’s all about trust and expertise with dental implants and not price. You can be placing your health at extreme risk, as well as the success of the procedure if you aren’t careful.

The all-on-4 procedure is more affordable than a full set of dental implants. Continue talking with the implant dentists in your area and see if you can work out some more affordable payment options. Since there are only four dental implants placed, not all dentists will do all-on-four because there is risk for failure. You need to seek a highly skilled dentist that has a successful track record with this procedure or you may be costing yourself more expense in the long run if there are problems.

Do your research about the dentist’s credentials and ask to see examples of their work. Good luck to you!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Can a Smoker Still Get All-on-4 Dental Implants?

I haven’t been happy with my dentures for as long as I can remember, and my dentist just said I’m a candidate for the All-on-4 procedure. During the consult, he asked me if I was a smoker, and I sheepishly told him “no,” because I didn’t want to be disqualified from having it done. Truth be told, I’ve been smoking about a pack a day for decades. My teeth have been a huge source of stress for me, and I think that being able to eat and talk right again will make it easier for me to quit. Is it safe to go forward with All-on-4 now and quit smoking when I’m less stressed afterwards?

Thanks,

June in Indiana

Dear June,

All-on-4 is an excellent option to replace an entire arch of missing teeth, but it’s not the best solution for everyone. The success of the dental implants relies heavily on your jawbone accepting the implants, and healing well. When this happens, your bone will integrate with the implant, enabling it to perform just like the root of your tooth did. It will be strong, sturdy, and healthy.

When you smoke, it affects your entire body, including your oral health. It may take longer for the healing phase to complete, or your body might not accept the implant at all. People who smoke are also more prone to getting infections when a dental implant is placed, which can cause it to fail. One of the latest studies tracked 165 people for five years. Smokers who received dental implants had a failure rate of nearly 16%, but non-smokers came in closer to 1%.

There’s no way to tell in advance if your All-on-4 procedure will fail because you smoke. Flipping the statistics around, there’s an 84% chance yours will be successful, but undoubtedly you’d like to be closer to 99%, like the rest of the population. In order to do so, you’ll need to quit smoking before the procedure, and allow your body some time to heal. Some dentists won’t do the All-on-4 procedure for a patient who smokes because of the added risk, but it’s important to be upfront with your doctor about your habits. He may be able to provide you with resources to help you quit, and he’s also likely to monitor your progress more closely, since you’ll be in a high-risk group.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Is It Worth Getting a Second Opinion After Clear Choice Gave a Me Treatment Plan?

I’m wondering if it’s worth the time and effort to get a second opinion after a Clear Choice doctor has already given me a treatment plan. I went in because I really wanted dental implants, and I’d heard good things about them. The ads seemed good, but I don’t personally know anyone who has used them. At any rate, the doctor really pushed all-on-fours and said that was my only viable option. The thing is, that’s not what I want. I couldn’t tell if he was being sincere, and that’s really my only choice or if he just prefers the procedure, so he says that’s all I can have done. I’m paying out-of-pocket, so I don’t want to schedule a Clear Choice second opinion visit with someone else if I’m just going to be told the exact same thing. Should I bother?

Sincerely,

Astrid in Maryland

Dear Astrid,

It’s always worth getting a second opinion, especially when you are planning to make such a large investment. Clear Choice is known for their high-pressure tactics and also for not providing options. They tend to lean towards a one-size-fits-all approach, when there are almost always numerous solutions to a dental problem.

You may be a candidate for doing all dental implant replacements, or an implant-supported bridge, or a number of other possibilities. All-on-fours may be the best solution for you, depending on your wishes, the condition of your mouth and teeth, and your budget. But they should have let you know what your other choices are.

Because procedures like this are not reversible, but very costly and time-consuming, it’s definitely worth the time and effort to get a Clear Choice second opinion when something doesn’t seem right. You may wind up choosing to do exactly what they recommended, but you deserve to be able to make an informed decision about it. Moreover, you may prefer to have it done by an office who doesn’t push you so hard to do what they want. Having a consultation with another doctor may provide you with these things and also with peace of mind, which is absolutely priceless.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

My all-on-fours are loose. Is this normal?

My dentist swore that I would be thrilled with the results of the all-on-four implants I had done. I had suffered with a partial denture that was uncomfortable for far too long. So I went for it. I assumed there would be a time period of adjusting to my new teeth. But it’s been several weeks now and the new denture isn’t anymore comfortable than what I had before. It feels like it’s loose. Is that normal? I feel like I am going to get food and bacteria stuck up under it.

– Jo Ann in New Hampshire

Jo Ann,

Not all dentists support the all-on-four dental implants procedure. From what you described, it doesn’t sound like it was as successful as your dentist tried to convince you. But it should be a relatively simple fix.

It sounds like the denture is loose which should be fixed as soon as possible. That should alleviate the discomfort you are experiencing and prevent it from breaking. This may be as simple as having the dentist tighten it up which may be as easy as a quick trip into the office. That said, there is a possibility that one of the screws is malfunctioning or there is a problem with the denture. Again, the dentist should be able to trouble-shoot the cause and get things straightened out. If it’s the screw or a denture issue, the solution should be non-invasive.

Now if there is something wrong with the dental implants that were placed with the all-on-four procedure, this could require a much more extensive fix.

It’s hard to say what is going on to cause the dental implants to be loose. Call your dentist and get in at the earliest convenience. You shouldn’t have to deal with the discomfort any longer than you have to. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.