If all on 4 fails will I have to get dentures?

I have neglected my teeth for most of my life. I have 2 dental bridges and 1 needs to be replaced. My dentist is recommending implants. I saw one perio who said all on 4 will work for me. He explained the good benefits and the risks. I smoke and I drink. My biggest concern is what happens if all on 4 fails. Are dentures the only other option? Alan T.

Alan – All-On-4 is a highly successful procedure when performed by a dentist who specializes in it. Be certain that the dentist is using quality dental implants by Nobel Biocare. There are other techniques that may be called All-On-4, but they are substandard, and the results you get will be unpredictable. Look for a board-certified prosthodontist who is experienced with this procedure.

This may be a good time to consider getting a second opinion on whether All-On-4 is the best treatment for your case. Another skilled implant dentist may recommend supporting your restoration with more than four implants to increase the rate of success. Or it may be found that All-On-4 is a good fit for you. The second opinion will give you confidence in making a decision about which implant procedure you want.

Dentures are not a given if a dental implant fails. It is unlikely that all four implants will fail. If one of them fails, it is possible to replace it. A highly skilled implant dentist uses computer-guided placement. It is likely that, with the same guided placement, a failed implant can be replaced in available bone that will support it. At times, bone grafting is required, and additional implants may be needed.

You will be advised of the benefits if you stop smoking  at least two weeks before your implant placement and throughout the healing process. Smoking can decrease your blood flow and hinder the healing process, which is so important to the stability of your dental implants. Also, ensure that you take care of the implants and practice excellent oral hygiene to prevent infection.

Be certain to find a skilled implant dentist and to do everything you can to help make the surgery a success.

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