Skip to main content

Do I really need All on 4 implants or can I get 3 instead?

By May 3, 2018August 9th, 2023All-on-4 Dental Implants

I’ve lost all most of my teeth and the remaining ones are loose and need to be extracted. My dentist says that I have enough bone to do All-on-4 implants. It probably sounds bad, but I’m tired of dealing with teeth problems and am really looking forward to dentures. Anyway, I I am wondering if two or three dental implants will suffice. It seems like a great way to save money and there would be less to go wrong. Is this a viable solution?

Thanks, Ronny


Dear Ronny,

The All-on-4 process is well known because it has been heavily advertised. Some companies and practices may use the terms overdenture or implant-supported denture instead. There are versions that referred to as fixed or permanent because you cannot take them out. There are also removable or snap-on dentures, which you can take out as needed.

All-on-4 Implants Balance Your Prosthesis

Dentures with no additional support stay in place with suction or adhesives. While they are the traditional cost-effective replacement, may look natural, and work well, they don’t feel natural.  Some people struggle with movement in the appliance or keeping them in place. Imagine if you add a single dental implant to the appliance. You may be able to keep it in place better, but you won’t really improve the stability or balance.

If you add a second implant, the retention will improve, but again, there will still be a significant area without an implant, and stability will continue to be an issue. As you add additional anchors, the stability of the prosthesis will increase. You could theoretically function with a denture that’s only anchored in two or three places, but it won’t be as secure as a denture that is anchored in four or six places.

Dental Implants are Successful Up to 98% of the Time

Fewer implants don’t necessarily guarantee success. Generally, individual dental implants successfully integrate and remain healthy 98% of the time. But the largest determining factor of success is the dentist you choose.

Doctors who frequently place implants, such as oral surgeons, prosthodontists, periodontists, and a handful of general dentists with extra training, provide statistically better outcomes for their patients. In part, this is because they are more skilled, but another reason is that they look at each case and evaluate it individually. They know when a person isn’t a good candidate at all, as well as what options are going to provide the highest success rates. Find a doctor who routinely handles cases like yours to help you trust what he or she is recommending will provide the best outcome.

You might find a doctor who will only place two implants for you. That won’t necessarily reduce the risk though. It doesn’t hurt to ask a dentist you know and trust if two could work for you. Odds are, however, that he’ll walk you through the risks and challenges of doing so or he may insist on four or more if he doesn’t believe he can provide you with a successful outcome using fewer.


This blog is sponsored by Dr. Anthony LaVacca, a Naperville All on 4 implants provider. Dr. LaVacca is a board-certified prosthodontist with specialized training in replacing missing teeth.


Dr. Anthony LaVacca

Author Dr. Anthony LaVacca

More posts by Dr. Anthony LaVacca

Leave a Reply

Close Menu