All on 4 dental implants problems (And how to reduce your risk)

All-on-4
Dr Daniel Adamo
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For people who have lost or are losing their teeth, All-on-4 dental implants are a great solution. Four implants are placed in the jaw to create a stable base for a set of fixed teeth. Best of all, All-on-4 treatment has a success rate of 98%.

But, despite the high success rate, there are a few risks and complications. Potential All on 4 problems include implant failure, infection, and nerve damage.

Read on to find out about all the potential issues and who’s most at risk. Plus, learn what you can do to reduce your likelihood of all on 4 complications.

What are the problems with All-on-4 dental implants?

As with any surgical procedure, dental implants carry the risk of complications. Possible issues include:

Implant failure

Around 5-10% of implants fail. A key reason for this is lack of osseointegration. In other words, the implant doesn’t fuse to the surrounding bone.

 

Signs of implant failure include:

  • Pain or discomfort
  • Swelling or inflammation of the gums
  • Implant feels loose or shifts 

Luckily, the risk of implant failure is low. In cases where the implant doesn’t connect to the bone, a new implant can usually be placed. And the good news is that there’s a high chance of success the second time around. 

Infection

With dental implants, there’s a small risk of developing an infection at the implant site. Known as peri-implantitis, infection can cause inflammation in the soft tissue and bone surrounding the dental implant. This can lead to bone loss and, eventually, implant failure.

 

Signs of infection include:

  • Loose or shifting implant
  • Redness or swelling around the gums
  • Bad taste or breath
  • Pain or bleeding around the implant
  • Pus
  • Fever

Illustration of a lower all-on-4 dental implants arch.
All-on-4 implants should feel and function like natural teeth. If you find you have difficulty chewing or biting you may have a misaligned bite which can happen when an implant or bridge is incorrectly placed.

Bite misalignment

All-on-4 dental implants should feel and function like natural teeth. If you find you have difficulty chewing or biting, you may have a misaligned bite. This can happen when an implant or bridge is incorrectly placed. Or there may be a problem with the shape or size of the implants.

Signs of bite misalignment include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw muscle when chewing or biting
  • Jaw clicking
  • Visual changes in your teeth and smile alignment

Gum recession

 

Gum recession refers to the loss of tissue along the gumline. Incorrect placement of the dental implant can cause the gums to recede. For example, the implant is too close to the front of the gums or at too much of an angle.

 

Other causes of gum recession include smoking, poor oral hygiene, pre-existing gum disease, and even teeth grinding. Lack of gum tissue can cause the implant to become loose, increasing the risk of failure.

Nerve damage

 

Although rare, nerve damage is a risk associated with the dental implant procedure. For example, it could occur if the implant is placed too deep into the jaw, or if it compresses the nerve.

 

Symptoms of nerve damage may include numbness, tingling, pain, and impaired movement. In some cases, nerve injuries may heal on their own. If the nerve damage is severe, prompt treatment is needed.

Thankfully, proper planning and the latest technology makes nerve damage an avoidable complication. CBCT x-rays allow dentists to see the position of your nerves and work out the precise length of the implant. Dentists may also opt for guided implant placement to control the depth.

Sinus inflammation

 

Sinus issues are a more unusual all-on-4 complication. And this is only a risk after getting implants in the upper jaw. Problems can occur when the implants extend into the nasal cavity. This can cause inflammation of the sinuses (AKA sinusitis).

This issue is most common in people who don’t have enough bone in the upper jaw to support an implant. Bone grafting or sinus lifts can prevent this problem from happening in the first place. 

Patients who smoke, suffer from gum disease or other pre-existing medical conditions have a higher risk of all-on-dental implant complications.
There are several factors that increase the risk of All-on-4 dental implants problems, such as smoking, gum disease and pre-existing medical conditions.

Who’s most at risk of all on 4 complications?

 

There are several factors that increase the risk of All-on-4 dental implants problems. Here are the most common risk factors.

Smoking

Studies show that smokers experience higher rates of implant failure compared to non-smokers. This is because smoking is a vasoconstrictor and reduces the blood flow to the gums. This can delay healing and increase the chance of complications and infections after dental surgery. In fact, smokers have twice the risk of developing peri-implantitis compared to non-smokers.

Gum disease

For dental implants to succeed, you need healthy strong gums. Gum disease (periodontitis) weakens and inflames the gum tissue. Essentially, gum disease is a bacterial infection. And, as we mentioned earlier, infection and dental implants are a poor match. 

Yet, even if you have gum disease, you can still be a good candidate for All-on-4. Talk to your implant dentist about the treatment options for gum disease. As long as the infection is treated and gum tissue restored, you can enjoy the benefits of All-on-4 implants. 

Pre-existing medical conditions

 

Certain medical conditions slow the body’s healing process, which can increase the risk of implant failure. This includes diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and diseases affecting the immune system.

Wondering if you’re eligible for All-on-4?

Book your free consultation now.

What’s the best way to avoid all on 4 problems?

Choosing All-on-4 is a big decision. Being aware of the possible risks and complications ensures you’re well informed—even if the chance of these problems happening is very low.  

There are also actions you can take to further reduce the likelihood of All on 4 problems. This includes:

  1. Quitting smoking
  2. Discussing any pre-existing medical conditions with your dentist, so the best course of action can be planned
  3. Following your dentist’s aftercare instructions
  4. Keeping up good oral hygiene and cleaning habits
  5. Being aware of the signs of infection, so you can take prompt action
  6. Choosing an experienced dental implant dentist

Dr Daniel Adamo and the team have restored thousands of patients smiles with all-on-4 treatment.
Dental Implants on Miller is recognised as an All-on-4 Centre of Excellence by Nobel Biocare. This means that not only do we offer the genuine All-on-4 treatment concept, but we also have a high level of experience and training.

A reputable implant dentist will follow the strict Australian infection control guidelines. They’ll also have appropriate experience and training, helping to avoid dental implant problems. Ask for examples of their long-term success—for added peace of mind.

 

Dental Implants on Miller is recognised as an All-on-4 Centre of Excellence by Nobel Biocare. Not only do we offer the genuine All-on-4 treatment concept, but we have a high level of experience and training. This means you can enjoy your new natural-looking smile with little to no problems. Book your free consultation today.

Wondering if you’re eligible for All-on-4?

Book your free consultation now.

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