June 12, 2024

Alveolectomy Explained: Does All-on-4® Require It?

Alveolectomy is a procedure that involves removing unhealthy bone and reshaping healthy bone. It is typically performed to prepare the jawbone for dental implants, not dentures. Contrary to the misconception that tooth loss does not cause bone loss, tooth loss actually leads to a decrease in bone density. Dental bone grafting is often used to rebuild bone structure after tooth loss and subsequent bone loss.

If you’ve been looking for a solution for missing teeth, you may have heard that All-on-4® replaces a whole bridge of teeth with natural-looking prostheses in just one day. So, does All-on-4® require an alveolectomy, what does the procedure involve, and how should you prepare for it?

Bones and tissue play a significant role in oral health and the health of the body in general. Even a single missing tooth can eventually cause other teeth to shift out of place, leading to complications such as malocclusion, difficulty with chewing and swallowing, and the loss of further teeth.

While the maxilla (upper jawbone) and mandible (lower jawbone) and their functionality are both relatively well-understood, the lesser-known alveolar bone supports the teeth in its own unique way. It is the part of the jawbone where the roots of the tooth form and grow. The alveolar bone is flexible and remodels itself constantly to accommodate the changing shape and size of dental structures.

Pioneered by Dr Paulo Malo in 1998, All-on-4® is an advanced form of full-mouth dental restoration. All-on-4® consists of a complete bridge of teeth attached to only four titanium implants placed in the jawbone: two at the front and two at the back in either the upper or lower jawbone. An operation that avoids the need for dental bone grafts and has a shorter recovery period than traditional dental implants, All-on-4® has a 9.8% success rate and has provided tens of thousands of patients with new and natural-looking teeth.

What Is an Alveolectomy?

An alveolectomy in dentistry is a surgical oral procedure that removes part or all of the alveolar bone. It involves extracting any infected bone or soft tissue so it doesn’t cause problems with dental implant integration. Any remaining bone is then reshaped to prepare it for solutions or procedures like dental implants.

The goal of an alveolectomy is always to restore oral health, and the procedure accomplishes this in a number of ways. It extracts damaged and infected teeth from their roots, prepares the jaw for the placement of prosthetics, and reduces the height of the alveolar bone so that prostheses can be placed effectively.

What is Involved in an Alveolectomy?

An alveolectomy is an outpatient procedure usually performed under general or local anaesthesia. First, any damaged or infected teeth and their roots are removed, and the area is prepped. The gums are retracted, giving the surgeon access to the bone. Various dental tools and implements are used to shape and contour the bone to prepare it for the dental implants.

Once the anaesthesia has worn off, patients are free to go home. Although there are some minor risks of pain, bleeding and infection, an alveolectomy is a safe procedure with a high success rate, a quick recovery period and a low risk of complications.

Why is an Alveolectomy Done When Getting All-on-4®?

An alveolectomy is a procedure that can be performed for various reasons. A partial Alveolectomy may be performed to clear access so an impacted wisdom tooth can be extracted. A full Alveolectomy will remove infected bone and teeth to provide a firm foundation to support dental implants and All-on-4® dental implants.

All-on-4® is a procedure specifically designed for patients who are missing all or most of their teeth and would benefit from an entirely new set. The Alveolectomy, tooth removal and placement of the All-on-4® dental implants are all done in one surgical procedure.

Here are the reasons an alveolectomy procedure is performed at the same time as All-on-4® implant surgery:

Reshaping and preparing the bone

Missing teeth commonly cause jawbone deterioration, which results in a lack of a sufficiently stable jawbone to support dental implants. An alveolectomy reshapes the bone to prepare it for the procedure. The reduction of the alveolar bone allows for the right amount of space for the bridge and teeth and covers the transition line where the bridge meets the gum, so it doesn’t show when you’re smiling. 

Ridge preservation

An alveolectomy helps to preserve the ridge of the jawbone, which bone deterioration can shrink or resorb over time. A stronger ridge helps contribute to a stronger foundation of bone.

Rectifying bone irregularities

An alveolectomy can smooth out irregularities in the jawbone that contribute to making the surface too uneven for the bridge of teeth and making it difficult to clean.

Removal of pathological tissue

An alveolectomy removes diseased or damaged tissue that can interfere with the dental implant surgery.

Optimising implant placements

The procedure makes it easier to position dental implants precisely and align them in a stable way.

Is an Alveolectomy Required For Every Person Getting All-on-4®?

Does All-on-4® require an alveolectomy in every patient’s case? Yes, when you start your journey to a new smile with Next Smile Australia, an alveolectomy is part of the All-on-4® treatment timeline. It’s a necessary element of the surgery that guarantees that new dental implants are supported by the most stable foundation possible. An alveolectomy helps create a uniform surface even if bone deterioration has already done its damage. It improves the connection between the dental implants and the bone, leading to a more effective healing process. It also provides a better fit for the dental prostheses.

If you’re tired of living with missing teeth, Next Smile Australia can help. A personal consultation with a member of our team will determine if All-on-4® is the treatment for you.

Book a Consultation with Next Smile Australia

Next Smile Australia is an All-on-4® clinic that pioneered the use of Dr. Malo’s groundbreaking treatment in Australia. We use Dr. Malo’s ‘Malo Protocol’, which has an established track record of success. This two-stage treatment plan includes a provisional bridge to wear for three to six months while your jawbone heals, followed by the fitting of the final bridge.

Across the country, we have industry-leading, award-winning Super Clinics where All-on-4® procedures and alveolectomies are carried out in hygienic, comfortable environments. Our dedicated, highly skilled surgeons, anaesthetists, and other team members are guided by values like honesty, empathy, and a judgment-free attitude.

All of our Super Clinics are built to surgery-grade standards and rated as Nobel Biocare ‘Centres of Excellence’.  These clinics come with state-of-the-art surgical rooms for All-on-4® dental implant surgery and alveolectomies, as well as on-site laboratories where our technicians construct your dental prostheses to suit your needs.

Next Smile Australia stays true to Dr. Malo’s time-tested methods while embracing new technology and innovations. After a detailed review of your medical and dental history, we’ll custom-create a new set of teeth that are ideal for you.

If you’d like to find out more about the All-on-4® treatment, attend an information session or arrange a personal consultation, contact the Next Smile Australia team.