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All-on-4 Dental Implants

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Do I Really Need a CT Scan for All-on-4 implants?

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I’ve been thinking about getting All on 4 implants. My dentist says it looks like I’m a candidate, but there’s a lengthy planning process which requires a CT scan. I’ve already had dozens of x-rays at this point and I know they have already seen everything they need to. I’m worried about the excess radiation. I’m also worried about the cost. Is the CT scan really necessary or is it an add on to increase my costs? Thanks – Tony
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Do I really need All on 4 implants or can I get 3 instead?

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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.

 

Will diabetes prevent me from getting All-on-4 dental implants?

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I’d like to know if I’m really a candidate for All-on-4 dental implants because I have diabetes. To be honest, I previously did not take good care of myself. I was more than 200 pounds overweight and subsequently developed diabetes. When I was diagnosed, I ignored medical treatment and spiraled into depression. My self-care was terrible. In addition to diabetes, I developed a number of other conditions, including gum disease, which resulted in me losing many of my teeth. My major wake up call, however, did not happen until about five years ago when I had a heart attack at age 46. Since then, I have made some major changes to my health. I dropped 150 pounds, quit smoking, and am diligent about taking my diabetes meds. I’m still not great about exercise, but I do get out and walk a couple times a week and watch what I eat.

The last time I went in to see my dentist, he proposed that I have All-on-4 dental implants done. I was incredibly excited that there was a simple and affordable way for me to get my smile back, and I really feel like I earned it. However, I’ve been looking online trying to find out what to expect and there’s a lot of conflicting information. It seems like, because of diabetes, I may be in a high-risk category for failure with All-on-4, and I am very hesitant about it if I’m going to pour time and money into it and may still not get good results. I mentioned it to my dentist and he said I didn’t need to worry, but I also felt like he was brushing me off. Is this something I can safely have done now or should I explore other options? Thank you, Pete H.

Pete,

A lot of research has been done around the longevity of dental implants and the types of risk factors that impact the success rates.

All-on-4 Dental Implants for Diabetic Patients

  • Studies have shown that as much as 98-99% of people will have successful outcomes with dental implants when they’re in the hands of an experienced dentist.
  • There are certain risk factors that can reduce the odds of a successful outcome, which include uncontrolled diabetes and smoking.
  • Newer research suggests that even people with uncontrolled diabetes may have success with these kinds of treatments, but conservative dentists tend to err on the side of caution until there is more evidence.

With all that said, all your hard work has essentially eliminated the major risk factors for you. That’s no easy feat, so congratulations on your efforts and amazing results. While no dentist can ever guarantee a 100% success rate, even in patients who have no risk factors at all, it sounds like you’re probably a great candidate. If you’re unsure, it’s worthwhile to get a second opinion or consult with an All-on-4 dentist, to discuss your concerns and verify you’re a candidate for the treatment before going forward.

 

This blog is sponsored by Naperville all-on-4 dental implants provider Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

Will All-on-4 dental implants or overdentures save me money in the long run?

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I’m wondering if All-on-4 dental implants or implant overdentures will really save me money over the course of time. I’m in my 50s and have been struggling with my teeth since my 20s. I presently have a dental bridge on both my upper right and upper left. The bridges span across the back four teeth on both sides of my mouth, with two false teeth in the middle.

Lately, I’ve noticed that the bridge on the right side feels loose, which has happened before, and a tooth fell out of it. I’m honestly a little afraid to get it checked out. I don’t know how much it will cost to repair or replace it. When the last issue happened, the dentist told me I’m probably be a candidate for dental implants, but I’m not sure about implants. It seems rather expensive. I’ve searched online for on implant overdentures or All-on-4, and it looks like that might be a better option. It’s either that, trying to convince my dentist to do an even bigger bridge, or getting full dentures. Any idea on what the cost comparison here is? – Clifford

Clifford,

It’s important that you have your dental bridge examined. It could be simply loose, or it may have decay under it. In either case, the cost to repair it would be comparatively inexpensive. If it is more serious, the doctor may be able to stabilize it or, at the very least, he can give you options and costs for repair.

All-on-4 and Overdentures Cost Comparison

Prices vary depending on the dentist you see and where you live.

  • Individual dental implants – $2,000 to $6,000 each
  • Full arch of 14 teeth – $28,000 to $84,000. It’s more likely that the cost would be in the $40,000-60,000 range, but, again, that’s only if you had a dental implant replacing every single tooth.
  • Traditional dentures – Approximately $2,500 to replace a full arch.
  • Partial denture – Approximately $2,000. If you choose this option, you’ll likely be replacing the denture every 10 years or so.
  • All-on-4 dental implants or implant overdentures – $1,000-3,000 per implant. Can be retained with four to eight dental implants (All-on-6 or All-on-8), but doesn’t include the cost of the denture, which is an additional $2,500 or more. This is about half the cost of a full arch of dental implants.

Why Choose All-on-4 Implants?

  • Cost savings over an arch of dental implants
  • Preserves bone density and reduces facial collapse
  • Eliminates or reduces the need for bone grafting
  • More secure fit
  • More comfortable fit

We recommend that you schedule consultations with at least two prosthodontists to learn if you are a candidate for All-on-4 or other types of implant overdentures and to discuss your options.

This post is sponsored by Naperville American-board certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

All on 4 implants or overdentures if I smoke?

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Can you tell me if All on 4 implants will work better than standard implants if I smoke? Since the implants are put in at an angle I’m wondering if they will stay put better than standard implants. I’m not a chain smoker but I smoke every day. What’s the better option for me? – Thanks. Branton

Branton,

Whether you receive All-On-4 implants or implant overdentures with standard fixtures, your dentist will encourage you to quit smoking before you receive them.

Quit Smoking Before You Receive All-on-4 Dental Implants

Smoking will affect the success of your implants in several ways:

  • Nicotine restricts the blood flow in your mouth.
  • Smoking slows the implant healing process, and it can prevent the implants from healing properly.
  • When you smoke, it increases the risk of periodontal (gum) disease. You need healthy gums for your implants to heal.
  • The purpose of All-on-4 is to receive implants when you have low bone density. Studies show the effects of smoking are more pronounced in areas of low bone density. So All-on-4 will present an even higher risk than standard implant overdentures.

What about Smoking after Surgery?

  • Smoking after surgery increases the risk of inflammation at the surgical site.
  • Increased bleeding at the implant site is more common with smokers.
  • Although implant fixtures stimulate bone growth, increased nicotine hinders bone growth. So you can still experience jawbone shrinkage and facial collapse.
  • If you continue to smoke after surgery, it may cause your All-on-4 implants to fail. If even if a single implant fails, they will all need to be completely redone.

When Should You Stop Smoking?

At a minimum, it is recommended that you stop smoking at least one week prior to surgery and two months after. The recommendation from your implant dentist can differ. If you are unable to break the habit on your own, speak with your medical doctor about getting assistance to quit.

Smoking doesn’t eliminate your ability to get dental implants, but healing can be slower, and there is a greater risk of implant failure. Your investment in your overall health and in All-on-4 dental implants will be worth it.

This post is sponsored by Naperville implant dentist and American board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

Is my mom too old for All-on-4 dental implants?

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My mom recently had a consultation for all-on-4 dental implants. She’s 76, and I usually go to all her visits with her. For some reason, she booked this appointment herself and had a friend take her. She’s been complaining about her denture for some time now, and I’ve tried to explain to her that dentures aren’t like her old teeth. They will always be somewhat uncomfortable but guess because she’s had this set for 15 years or so now, she wants to move onto something different.

In any case, I’m at least a little familiar with the process because I had one dental implant done two years ago. I’m happy with it, but I’m also in my 50s and am more tolerant of procedures and heal better. I’m worried my mom won’t do quite as well. Also, although my mom is in really good health for her age, she’s still getting up there.

I’m not sure this is going to be a good investment. Actually, I’m worried that it might diminish her quality of life. Obviously, it’s her mouth and she gets the final say. The doctor she saw told her she was a candidate for this, but I wasn’t there. I really doubt that he was looking out for her best interests. Is she really a candidate for All-on-4 dental implants, or should I try to convince her to stick with regular dentures?

Thank you,
Avril

Dear Avril,

Although you might feel your mom’s current dentures are sufficient, consider her reasons for her exploring her options, including All-on-4 dental implants. Your mom has an older denture that isn’t working for her.

A Patient’s Perspective

It probably goes without saying, but having teeth that function well, look good, and feel good are the foundation of eating well and keeping helping her feel confident. Teeth that aren’t functional would reduce her quality of life. So if she’s uncomfortable, or if her current dentures aren’t any good, she needs a better solution.

Additionally, her jawbone has likely been shrinking, so dentures won’t fit well. A more conservative approach would be to see if the dentures can be relined. If so, they’ll feel better, and the function will improve. If they can’t be relined, she needs new dentures. No one should have to live with uncomfortable dentures.

Is There An Age Limit for All-on-4 Dental Implants?

So is your mom really a candidate for All-on-4 dental implants? Here’s what we know:

1) The oldest patient on record to undergo dental implant surgery was 100-years-old. Her surgery was performed on December 2012. The surgery was successful.

2) Studies have shown that “dental implants and implant-retained and/or implant-supported prostheses are viable treatment options for older patients,” although doctors must understand how caring for an older patient is different than caring for a younger one.

3) Another study that tracked 133 patients who were at least 80-years-old concluded: “Implant treatment in the elderly patients showed treatment results comparable to those observed in younger age groups.”

In other words, your mom may be a perfect candidate. And if it’s within her means to have treatment, it could improve her quality of life, because she’ll eat better and feel better about herself.

Consult with an Implant Dentist

If you’re still unsure about the process, ask her if it’s okay if you talk to the dentist she saw. Due to patient confidentiality guidelines, he may require that she sign a waiver giving him permission to talk to you. He is the best one to talk to you about her specific risk factors and why he thinks she’s a good candidate.

You can do some homework to ensure the dentist is experienced and highly trained in implantology. You can also get a second opinion from a prosthodontist if it will give you more peace of mind. In any case, her age is not a factor.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist and board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

Is All-On-4 from a Local Dentist Really Better than Full Implants in Mexico?

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I’m wondering if you can give me a little insight on All on 4 implants. Last month I thought I had made up my mind about going to Mexico to get dental implants. I’ve been wearing full dentures for 25 years and I have been frustrated with them since I got them. For the past 5 years I’ve been saving for dental implants. Costs have risen so much that I’ve said just a little more than 50% of the cost to have all of my teeth replaced with implants. I don’t want to wait another 4 to 5 years before I receive implants. I found information about getting implants in different places. Mexico is the closest location. I learned that I can find U.S. trained dentists there and even some dentists who are actually from the U.S.

I told my dentist about my plan and she asked me to reconsider getting implants done here. She told me about All on 4, which isn’t really what I want. Of course my dentist has to refer me to someone else get them, which is probably why she didn’t tell me about it before. I’m just wondering why I would just choose 4 implants when I can get all of my teeth replaced in Mexico for not much more than the 4? Is this just a form of nationalism that dentists here have because they think they are superior? Thanks. Lax

Lax – Your dentist’s concern isn’t a form of nationalism. She wants the best for your oral health. There are many countries that offer dental implants, but Mexico is among the most dangerous choices for dental work. Why the high risk? Consider a few reasons:

  • Quality and sterility requirements are not of the highest standard
  • You will have little or no recourse if something goes wrong
  • The government won’t require the dentist to correct any mistakes
  • Prompt attention is needed if there are implications with your dental implants. Can you return quickly to the country for dental care?

Why All-On-4 Dental Implants Are a Good Alternative

All-On-4 dental implants require skill, precision, and experience to properly place and evenly balance. Although many dentists offer the procedure, only prosthodontists or implant dentists with advanced training can successfully perform this method of stabilizing your dentures. What are the benefits?

  • Your dentures are secured with four dental implants
  • Your appliance will have more stability and feel more like your natural teeth
  • All-On-4 is a safer option than getting your implants from Mexico
  • Although the success rate is high, if you do experience complications, you can quickly see your dentist
  • The implants will still help to control facial sagging

Conduct an online search to find out which specialists in your area provide the All-On-4 procedure. We recommend that you schedule consultations with at least two specialists. Gather the following information:

  • How long the dentist has been treating patients with All-On-4
  • How many procedures he or she has completed
  • What type of training the dentist received
  • Ask to see before-and-after photos of the dentist’s actual patients

Compare your options, costs, and the results each dentist tells you to expect.

This post is sponsored by Naperville board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

 

 

 

All-on-4 implants are making me lose weight

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In June I got All on 4 implants and I’ve lost 30 pounds since that time. I wanted to drop a few pounds but not this way. I wore dentures for 15 years. With the bone shrinkage from not having my own natural teeth, my dentist and I agreed that I needed dental implants. All on 4 sounded good to me because I didn’t want a whole bunch of implants and a long drawn out process. The whole thing has been a nightmare because I can’t eat because of the pain from chewing. And so the 30 pounds have dropped off in no time. My dentist keeps asking me to give it more time. I’m not sure what she has in mind but I don’t like going without eating and worrying that I am now too thin. I’m drinking protein drinks it seems by the gallon just to keep from malnutrition. Will you please tell me if waiting is the only answer or do I have options? Emil

Emil  – There is clearly a problem with your All-on-4 dental implants. What isn’t clear is why your dentist keeps asking you to wait. After two months, the symptoms you describe are alarming. Your dentist should have a sense of urgency to identity and resolve the issue. If your dentist can’t find the issue, she should refer you to a specialist, particularly a prosthodontist.

Quick Action Is Needed for Painful All-On-4 Implants

Below are a few reasons why you and your dentist need to act quickly to preserve your All-on-4 dental implants.

  • Although Dr. LaVacca would need to examine your dental implants, the pain and discomfort you describe seem to indicate there is an infection around the implants.
  • Usually with signs of infection, antibiotics are prescribed to stop the infection and help preserve your implants.
  • If there is an infection, and it continues, you could completely lose the dental implants.

Contact your dentist’s office again to request an urgent appointment. If your dentist is unwilling to see you, get a second opinion from an experienced implant dentist. Meanwhile, in addition to your protein drinks, to get more nutrition, you can puree food, or eat soup, low-sugar yogurt, or other soft foods that don’t require much chewing.

Don’t delay scheduling an appointment with your dentist or getting a second opinion. It can make the different between saving, or losing, your All-on-4 dental implants.

This post is sponsored by Naperville board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca

What Is the Cost to Have My All On 4 Implants Replaced?

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I’m wondering how much it would cost to have my all on 4 dental implants replaced. I don’t like the way they look. Would I have to go through the whole thing all over again? Before I decided on all on 4, my dentist talked a lot about how much I would like them better than regular dentures because they look and feel natural. Neither is true. It looks and feels like I have buck teeth. The implants make my lips poke out and they are very uncomfortable. My appearance has actually changed. I really want to find a new dentist or a prosthodontist to take them out and start all over again. How much would this cost? Jeff

Jeff – Dr. LaVacca would need to examine your All-On-4 dental implants, as well as the prosthesis (dentures) secured to them. But your description sounds as if only the denture portion of your implants needs to be adjusted or replaced.

It is possible that the denture teeth used in your All-On-4 implants are slightly longer than your natural teeth. Sometimes this is done to give you a more youthful appearance. Even so, longer teeth shouldn’t be placed in the denture base without your approval.

Cosmetic Dentures for All-On-4 Dental Implants

Cosmetic dentures look completely natural.

  • They are made of high-quality denture material.
  • Care is taken to ensure that the size, shape, and color of the teeth complement your facial features. That’s the difference a prosthodontist can make.
  • A prosthodontist who is trained in cosmetic dentistry is picky about ensuring your smile looks like your own natural teeth.

Although it’s unlikely you need new dental implant fixtures, if they do need to be replaced and you switch to a new dentist, the cost of diagnostic studies, surgery, implant fixtures, and other phases are applicable. But your current dentist should be willing to correct the flaws in your smile without additional cost to you.

Speak with your dentist about your concerns and ask him about the options for correcting your smile. He should willingly work with you to ensure you’re happy with your All-On-4 implants. Don’t compromise. People who are hesitant to smile have reduced self-confidence. It can even affect your social life. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to get the issues properly resolved.

If you want a second opinion, schedule an appointment with a board-certified prosthodontist—a specialist in tooth replacement and restoration.

This post is sponsored by award-winning Naperville implant dentist and American board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

 

 

All-On-4 implants still hurt and I’m dizzy and nauseous

By | All-on-4 Dental Implants

I got All on 4 implants after wearing full dentures for 15 years and seeing my face gradually drop and make me look 10 years older. I knew dental implants were the answer so I spoke with my general dentist and she referred me to 2 different specialists for consultations. My dentist and I worked together to decide which specialist really sounded like he was interested in me and my situation. I made the final decision with my dentist’s help. I thought I would need bone grafting with all of the bone shrinkage until I learned about All-On-4 implants. It seemed like an answer from above but now I’m beginning to wonder if it was actually a curse. I’ve had the implants for 5 weeks. I’m still in pain, still dizzy, and still nauseated. Of course I called the specialist. He examined my implants and asked me to follow up in 2 weeks. Meanwhile I’ve lost 15 pounds. Yes, I wanted to lose weight but not lightning fast. I do want to be able to eat. Does this 2 week waiting period sound valid? What else could I do to speed things along? Jordan

Jordan – In short, we recommend that you get a second opinion for your All-On-4 dental implants. You should not be experiencing the symptoms you describe. Your description indicates you have an infection or another condition that is making you dizzy and sick. You shouldn’t have the pain you describe either. You need to act quickly to avoid dental implant failure.

We’re not sure why your dentist would recommend a two-week waiting period. If anything, you are likely to get worse. Your symptoms should have prompted the specialist to take diagnostic studies or consult with another specialist if he is unsure of what’s causing the problem.

While You’re Waiting for an All-On-4 Second Opinion

  • Meanwhile, it’s important that you get enough nutrients. If your body is trying to fight an infection, it will struggle without good nutrition.
  • Even if you have to eat soft foods, soften protein in a blender, or drink nutritious shakes, your intake is important.
  • If your condition worsens over the next day or two before you can see another implant specialist, schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor. He or she can tell if you have an infection. Your doctor will also give you suggestions on how to build up your strength with proper nutrition.
  • Keep your general dentist informed of what’s going on.

Don’t wait two weeks to get help.

This post is sponsored by Naperville board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca