A new patient came to me with 4 implants supporting a Locator retained mandibular overdenture. Implants were in the first molar and canine positions. Both canine implants had exposed threads on the facial and a CBCT showed what appeared to be no facial bone for 2/3 length of the implants. The patient also complains of a lot of tenderness in the area. There is no suppuration upon probing. Bone in the lateral incisor positions looks excellent and would easily support a 3.4 or 3.8 x 9 mm implant. The teeth have been gone for a few years, and I would think implants in these lateral incisor positions could be torqued to 40 -50 Ncm. I am considering the possibility of removing the canine implants and placing implants in the lateral incisor positions, and 2-3 days later, processing in the female housings for denture retention. Is this reasonable (I tend to think it may be), or is it folly? Also, would it make a difference if it were opposing a maxillary denture or natural dentition? I have not been able to find any type of definitive answer in text books. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful answers.
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