About 10 years ago, my dentist recommended getting All-On-4 dental implants done. I was in my 50’s, but interested in a long-lasting smile. It was a rather intense and expensive process, but I was happy with the results in the end. However, I started noticing a bad taste in my mouth, despite no changes to my established brushing, flossing, and mouthwash routines.
When I mentioned this to my dentist, he said there may be an infection in my mouth and ordered X-rays. He was right – one of my implants was infected and I needed antibiotics. However, if the infection comes back, I may need to get surgery all over again.
I thought these implants would last me the rest of my life, so I’m blindsided by having problems only 10 years in. I do not want to pay for the entire procedure again, especially if there’s a risk an implant could fail again. Is it common for All-On-4 implants to fail after 10 years or so? Should I just opt for a set of dentures at my age? Any advice would be much appreciated.
Daniel, from Trenton, New Jersey
All-On-4 dental implants are a type of implant overdenture. Your situation is rare, but unfortunately All-on-4 does not work for everyone. If you have any risk factors, such as previous periodontal disease, chronic health conditions, or are a smoker, the risk of possible failure is higher.
Determining the cause of your implant failure may prove difficult. It likely was not caused by a placement issue during the initial surgery. If it were, the problems would have cropped up in the first few months after surgery. Any of the aforementioned risk factors could have contributed to the implant’s failure. However, if you did not have any risk factors, then the cause of the infection or implant failure will likely remain a mystery.
All-On-4 dental implants, also known as Teeth in a Day, frequently have a very high success rate among patients. Studies have shown that even 10 years after surgery, the implants still hold strong at a 94% success rate, meaning only a handful failed over the course of the decade.
If you cannot determine what caused the implant to fail, it’s understandable that you would be hesitant to get it redone. Also, there is not any data available on how long All-On-4 implants last after being redone. However, you still have options besides dentures; you still have 3 successful implants, so if you were to get the fourth remade, it would likely hold well. The decision is up to you. To help you decide, see a periodontist, cosmetic dentist, or oral surgery specialist for a second opinion.
This blog post is brought to you by San Antonio implant overdentures and All-On-4 provider, Dr. Gilberto Tostado, of 5 Star Dental Group.