May 8, 2024

Can the All-on-4® Treatment Impact Speech after Surgery

Replacing an entire mouthful of teeth is no small operation. While full-mouth dental restoration provides you with a brand-new smile, there are side effects to such a major procedure. Fortunately, most of these side effects are minor and often go away on their own with time. One consideration for many potential patients is the impact on their speech after surgery.

Dentures are among the most widely used treatment options for missing teeth, yet speech problems with dentures are common.  Dentures sit differently in your mouth to your natural teeth, and prosthetic devices can change the way your jawbone and facial muscles move. You may experience lisping, slurred speech or excess saliva production, problems that should subside as you grow accustomed to your new set of teeth. However, poor-fitting dentures cause long-term problems, not just when it comes to speaking. They can lead to pain and discomfort, leave gaps between your teeth and gums where food particles and bacteria can build up, and slip out in public.

Yet missing teeth shouldn’t remain untreated. Over time, their long-term health consequences include difficulty chewing and swallowing, jawbone deterioration, further missing teeth and increased risk of gum disease. Dental restoration not only restores your physical appearance but also maintains your oral functionality and health.

If you’ve experienced dentures-related speech difficulty or you’ve become interested in the All-on-4® approach, you might be wondering about All-on-4® speech problems. Does All-on-4® impact your speech, and for how long? In this article, All-on-4® provider Next Smile Australia looks at how getting used to speaking with All-on-4® compares with other common treatments.

The Different Types of Replacements For Your Teeth and their Impact on Speech

Missing teeth are very common in Australia, so naturally, there are several treatment options available for them, from dentures to traditional dental implants. Whether you’re missing one tooth or all of them, here are some of the most common treatment types you can consider and their effects on your speech.


There are two kinds of speech problems with dentures. There are minor issues that usually go away within a couple of weeks once you’ve grown used to your new set of teeth. Then, there are the long-term issues associated with ill-fitting dentures.

You can usually speak and normally eat again 15-30 days after getting a new set of dentures, and speaking regularly can also make the lisp disappear faster. Loose or ill-fitting dentures cause long-term speech problems or move around and make clicking sounds. Thicker dentures can also compress your tongue, leading to trouble with speech articulation.

Individual Implants & Bridges

Individual dental implants are an ideal solution for patients who only have one or two missing teeth rather than an entire bridge. A dental bridge is usually fixed to your existing teeth if they are healthy on either side and is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Much like dentures, dental implants and bridges can change the way you speak while you’re getting used to them. However, because individual implants and bridges don’t move, they typically let you maintain your standard speaking patterns after your recovery period.


Pioneered by Dr Paulo Malo in 1998, All-on-4® is very similar to standard dental implants but with one major difference. The All-on-4® approach rests an entire bridge of new teeth on just four implants: two at the front and two at the back in either the upper or lower jawbone. This approach can provide you with a brand new set of teeth in just 24 hours without the long recovery period associated with standard dental implants. A procedure with a 98% recovery rate, All-on-4® can avoid the need for additional procedures like dental bone grafting, which makes it ideal for patients with jawbone deterioration.

Speech impediments like lisping, slurred speech and difficulty pronouncing certain sounds are common after All-on-4® surgery. These issues are temporary and can go away as you get used to your new bridge. Properly fitted All-on-4® prostheses will not cause permanent changes to the way you speak.

At Next Smile Australia, we follow the Malo Protocol, a two-bridge process pioneered by Dr Paulo Malo. This process minimises the chance of speech problems and rectifies any issues that your new teeth could be causing to your speech. The initial bridge placed within 24 hours after your surgery is a temporary bridge. During this phase, you have time to adapt to your new teeth, and any adjustments that are required can be made along the way. This means when your final bridge is constructed and fitted, any issues, such as speech or even aesthetic problems, will have already been addressed throughout your temporary bridge phase. If only one bridge is provided, speech and aesthetic issues cannot be rectified as easily.

Tips for Getting Used To Speaking With All-on-4®

While there are no permanent All-on-4® speech problems associated with the procedure, you’ll understandably want to get back to speaking in your regular fashion as quickly as possible. Here are some tips you can take on board in the period after All-on-4® treatment:

  • Practice speaking slowly and carefully, spending more time on difficult sounds.
  • Do speech therapy exercises, either with the help of a therapist or alone with online materials.
  • Read aloud.
  • Have a lot of conversations.
  • Sing along to songs.

The timeframe in which you’ll get back to speaking in your usual fashion varies from person to person, but regular practice will reduce this transitionary period.

The Importance of Properly Fitting Prosthesis

A correctly fitting dental prosthesis is the difference between short-term changes to your speech and long-term issues accompanied by other problems. While all dental prostheses require adjustment periods so you can become fully accustomed to your new teeth, there are no overcoming speech problems with ill-fitting dentures. Poorly fitting dentures put pressure on the gums, leading to soreness and inflammation. They cause bacteria to infiltrate the gaps between dentures and gums, leading to an increased likelihood of gum disease and other issues. Poorly fitting dental prosthetics are a recipe for discomfort, poor health, more expenses further down the line and, of course, speech problems.

A well-fitting dental prosthesis is more functional and stable, won’t irritate your gums, will last far longer, and won’t cause issues with speaking beyond the recovery period. It’s even more aesthetically pleasing and will provide you with a more genuine-looking smile.

The Malo Protocol, a two-bridge process followed by Next Smile Australia, allows for a trial phase. The temporary bridge phase allows us to adjust your prostheses and rectify any issues you may be having before your final bridge is constructed and fitted.  This ensures you can get a bridge of teeth that is tailor-made for you, minimising the chance of ongoing speech issues or discomfort associated with ill-fitting prostheses.

Find out If You're Suitable for All-on-4® at Next Smile Australia

Next Smile Australia provides All-on-4® dental implant surgery that will give you a new smile and preserve your natural way of speaking. Backed by 25+ years of clinical research data, we’re an All-on-4® dental implant provider in Australia that Dr Malo has personally endorsed.

We use Dr Malo’s own two-bridge treatment process, ‘The Malo Protocol,’ which involves giving you a provisional set of teeth for three to six months followed by a final bridge or final set of teeth. During the provisional prostheses stage, we are able to adjust and rectify any issues you may be having to ensure your final set of teeth is tailor-made for the right fit.

Our treatment timeline includes a deep dive into your dental and medical history, an assessment of whether All-on-4® is right for you, and aftercare procedures that help you clean, maintain and protect your new smile.

If you’ve lost all or most of your teeth due to injury, illness, trauma or another common cause, there’s a very high chance that you’re the right kind of candidate for All-on-4®.

Next Smile Australia understands how important a properly fitting prosthesis is to your future oral health and the success of our implants. That’s why we provide a personalised approach that lets you permanently say goodbye to speech problems with dentures. Using scans of your mouth and jawbone, the technicians in our in-house laboratories custom-create new teeth from the highest-quality Nobel Biocare materials. Our expert dental surgeons then carry out the procedure in our safe, hygienic, technologically advanced, and medically regulated Super Clinics.

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.