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January 11, 2024

Are You Put To Sleep For The All-on-4® Dental Implant Procedure?

Fear of the dentist is common. Dental procedures that involve surgery, such as root canals and dental implants, can be especially nerve-wracking. When you have a major dental procedure coming up, the best possible scenario is that your dentist will put you in a deep, peaceful slumber and that you’ll awaken when it’s over with beautiful, healthy teeth.

General anaesthesia is commonly used for longer dental procedures and for patients with a lot of dental anxiety. While it involves medications that put you in a sleep-like state, general anaesthesia doesn’t just put you to sleep. It stops pain signals and reflexes from reaching your brain.

The All-on-4® treatment is a form of restorative dentistry that provides patients with a new smile in just 24 hours. While it’s based on the same concept as dental implants, a key difference is that it involves resting an entire arch of new teeth on just four implants in either the upper or lower jawbone. For patients who have lost all or most of their teeth due to unforeseen factors like illness or trauma, or those with genetic conditions who never had a full set to begin with, the All-on-4® dental implant procedure offers a fresh start with a new smile.

But what kind of dental anaesthesia does All-on-4® use? Are you painlessly put to sleep for the All-on-4® dental implant procedure?

If dental anxiety is an issue for you, you’ll be pleased to know that All-on-4® is a simpler, less painful procedure than traditional implants in many respects, including a shorter recovery time and a method that avoids the need for dental bone grafting

The All-on-4® Dental Implant Procedure

In 1998, Dr Paulo Malo developed the All-on-4® treatment in collaboration with Nobel Biocare. Drawing on decades of research into osseointegration going back to the work of Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark in the 1960s, Dr Malo pioneered a new approach to traditional dental implants that used just four implants – two at the front and two at the back on either the upper or lower jawbone – to support an entire arch of new teeth.

Since the late 1990s, tens of thousands of patients have been successfully treated with All-on-4®. The procedure has a 98% success rate and is suitable for a wide range of patients who have lost all or the majority of their teeth due to illness, injury, trauma, genetic conditions or tooth decay.

Next Smile Australia uses ‘The Malo Protocol’, a two-bridge treatment method designed by Dr Paulo Malo himself. Stage one of the All-on-4® dental implant procedure involves the construction of a provisional bridge to be worn for three to six months while the new implants fuse with your jawbone (a process called osseointegration). Stage two involves the fitting of your final bridge or final set of teeth.

Dr Malo’s approach to the All-on-4® dental implant procedure has been proven effective by over two decades' worth of clinical data. It has some significant advantages over traditional forms of implants including a faster recovery time and no dental bone grafting necessary.

The Types of Sedation Used


There are four main kinds of anaesthesia you’ll typically encounter when undergoing dental treatments, especially large-scale dental surgeries. Here is a brief guide to the types of dental anaesthesia in All-on-4® treatment you may encounter.

Local anaesthesia

Local anaesthetics are the most common kind, frequently used for smaller-scale dental procedures such as fillings or wisdom tooth removal. Delivered in gel, cream, spray-on, or injection form, this type of anaesthetic numbs the tooth, gums and nerve endings so that you don’t feel any pain when being operated on. Local anaesthetics are fast-acting and highly effective at dulling pain, but your lips, tongue etc., are likely to feel numb for several hours after the procedure, and you should avoid hot food and drink.

General anaesthesia

General anaesthetic is frequently used during long, drawn-out procedures to ensure that patients have a peaceful, painless experience. Drawing on a combination of IV medicines and inhaled gases places you in a gentle sleep-like state so you don’t know you’re having an operation and wake up with no memory of the procedure. While you’re in a slumber-like state, a trained anaesthetist stands by to monitor your vital signs.

While general anaesthesia offers guaranteed relief from pain and an easier experience, it does take a while to wear off. You won’t be able to drive for at least 24 hours after your treatment.

Nitrous oxide

Colloquially known as “laughing gas”, nitrous oxide most likely won’t make you laugh. This form of anaesthetic actually earned its nickname from the mild feeling of euphoria it induces in some patients. Administered through a mask over your nose, nitrous oxide slows your nervous system down to make you calmer and more comfortable. While you will be conscious during the procedure, you should feel relaxed, detached and at ease the whole time. You may also feel tingly, light-headed or heavy in your arms and legs.

IV sedation

IV sedation is a form of ‘sleep dentistry', a form of anaesthesia in which you remain conscious, but a sedative is used to numb your pain. IV sedation is a little like a milder form of general anaesthesia that’s useful if you want to be able to communicate with your dental surgeon during your treatment. While undergoing treatment with IV sedation, you’re likely to feel relaxed and calm, with little memory of the experience remaining after you wake up.

Next Smile Australia typically uses general anaesthesia for the All-on-4® dental implant procedure, but your dental and medical history will always be taken into account when deciding which All-on-4® dental anaesthesia option is right for you. 

Although our personalised treatment plans follow a basic timeline, we modify and customise them to meet your specific needs. All of our All-on-4® Super Clinics have high-end operating theatres with a specialised medical team to provide the best care possible. 

All-on-4® Dental Implant Procedure Recovery

After your All-on-4® dental implant procedure, Next Smile Australia will provide aftercare to ensure that you can enjoy your new smile for as long as possible.

While your All-on-4® implants won’t decay like normal teeth, you’ll still have to take care of them as though they were your natural set. This includes brushing and flossing every day and booking yourself in for dental check-ups and cleans with Next Smile Australia dentists.

Next Smile Australia’s unsurpassed level of care, even after the procedure, will provide you with the confidence and the skills to care for and maintain your renewed smile over time.

Because All-on-4® provides you with a new smile in 24 hours, you’ll be able to step outside with a new smile on the same day as your treatment. 

Book a Consultation with Next Smile Australia


If you’re missing all or most of your teeth, there’s a very likelihood that All-on-4® is the treatment option for you. The best way to find out is to book a personal consultation with a member of the All-on-4® team.

If we find that All-on-4® is suitable for your situation, you’ll receive treatment at one of our safe and hygienic Super Clinics from expert staff equipped with the latest technology.

To find out more about the All-on-4® dental implant procedure or arrange a personal consultation, get in touch with the Next Smile Australia team.

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