My husband is losing his teeth and we went to see our dentist about some options for him. He said we should get the all-on-4 dental implants. Are these as good as the regular ones?
First, I want to check something. Was this the ONLY option he discussed with you? If so, I’d be wary. There are many options for tooth replacements. I’d be careful with any dentist who does not give you all of y our options. It means they are pushing a procedure on you. Where the all-on-four procedure is useful is when a patient has lost bone structure, but is not a good candidate for a bone grafting procedure. If he has plenty of bone structure, then this would be a stupid option for him. Instead, I would get him the traditional dental implant solution.
I am unclear from your question if he is losing all of his teeth or if he is just starting to lose some teeth. If he is only losing some teeth, then getting an individual dental implant for each of the lost teeth will be fine.
If he’s lost all of his teeth, then the more affordable option would be to get implant overdentures. This will use four or more dental implants and then, after the implants have had time to integrate with your bone, a denture will be anchored to them. These are very secure. Another way these are superior to all-on-4 implants is in failure. If one dental implant fails, you will replace that implant. With all-on-4, if one implant fails then the entire unit needs to be replaced.
What I would like you to do is get a second opinion from a dentist with good post-doctoral training in dental implants. To get an idea of the type of training you want, look at Dr. Weiss’s bio. This is important because dental implants are an advanced procedure and they are barely touched on during dental school. That additional training can make the difference between a successful case and a dental implant horror story.
There is an additional consideration. This is his smile. You want to make sure the dentist has some decent cosmetic skills. I would either go to an implant dentist who is AACD accredited and/or recommended on the mynewsmile.com website. They will be able to give them a smile he will be proud to share.
This blog is brought to you by Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Michael Weiss.