April 10, 2024

The Pros And Cons of All-on-4®

Despite being very common in Australia, missing teeth drastically affect your life in a number of ways. Your jawbone may start to atrophy, your remaining teeth shift out of place, and your self-consciousness may stop you from smiling. In the worst-case scenario, tooth loss can even lead to other health complications.

While the teeth you lose as an adult aren’t coming back, a mouthful of missing teeth doesn’t have to be a life sentence. If you’ve lost all or most of your teeth due to an injury, health condition, gum disease or advanced tooth decay, options like dentures, dental bridges and dental implants can restore your smile.

The All-on-4® procedure fits a full arch of artificial teeth on just four implants: two at the back and two at the front in either the upper or lower jawbone. Pioneered by Dr. Paulo Malo in 1998, the treatment can provide you with a new smile in just one day.

All dental procedures have benefits and drawbacks, and All-on-4® is no exception. While the procedure has decades of clinical success on its side, it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons of All-on-4® dental implants the same way you would with any other option. Does All-on-4® come with any complications? Are there side effects of All-on-4® dental implants that you should be aware of? Here’s the Next Smile Australia guide to why All-on-4® may be the right type of treatment for you and why it may not.

All the Good Things about Getting All-on-4®

All-on-4® is a dental restoration procedure similar to traditional individual dental implants but with some important distinctions. These differences also tend to be its greatest strengths. When you’re weighing up All-on-4® dental implant pros and cons, you’re likely to find the balance firmly in favour of its benefits. Here are some of the most significant ones:

A new smile in 24 hours

Traditional dental implants involve inserting a titanium screw into the jawbone to replace the roots of the tooth that’s been lost and fixing an artificial tooth (or crown) to the top of it. A few months after the implant has been placed, it will fuse with the surrounding jawbone; this process is called osseointegration. Traditional dental implants involve multiple dental visits and a lengthy recovery period. If your jawbone lacks sufficient density to support the implants, dental bone grafting may be required, which stretches your recovery period out further.

All-on-4®, on the other hand, gives you a new smile in just one day. The two-stage Malo Protocol provides you with your first set of teeth (or provisional bridge) no later than 24 hours after your dental implant surgery and sometimes immediately upon waking up.

A shorter recovery time

A recovery period is an unavoidable part of all dental implant procedures, including All-on-4®. However, the Malo protocol significantly reduces your recovery timeframe and allows you to use your new teeth sooner.

No additional painful procedures

Loss of teeth often leads to a lack of jawbone density over time. This is called “jawbone atrophy”, and you can lose as much as 25% of your jawbone after just one year. As there are only four implants involved in All-on-4®, the procedure is suitable even for patients with weakened jawbones. Your All-on-4® surgeon can place the implants into stronger areas of the jawbone, removing the need for extra surgical work.

A 98% success rate

All-on-4® is a procedure with a long track record of success and a very low risk of implant failure. Long-term studies have revealed a 98% success rate for the procedure, which has shown excellent results in tens of thousands of patients. As unlikely as it is, even implant failure is not the end of the line for All-on-4® implants, and it’s something that your dental surgeon can rectify.

Drawbacks of All-on-4®

All-on-4® is not without its downsides. Some issues that may give you pause when choosing whether or not to pursue treatment with All-on-4® include:

The cost

While All-on-4® is relatively affordable and offers value for money, the reality is that all dental procedures involve financial commitment. All-on-4® has a treatment cost of $27,000, but payment plans are available to suit your needs and make payment easier.

Potential for gum colour mismatch

This is more of an issue with less diligent practitioners, but there’s the potential for long-term gum colour mismatch. The Next Smile Australia team works very hard to make sure your All-on-4® bridge of teeth suits your mouth in every way, but often, gum colour changes with age or due to health problems. However, this is still a far better scenario than some of the possibilities you face if you leave missing teeth untreated.

It’s not for everyone

No dental procedure is suitable for every patient, and All-on-4® is no exception. That’s why a detailed personal consultation is required before you can proceed with a treatment plan. When you decide to go ahead with All-on-4®, you can trust that it’s the right journey for you, and Next Smile Australia has your best interests at heart.

Finding Out If It's Suitable for You

If you’re ready to embrace a brand new smile, All-on-4® may well be the treatment you’ve been waiting for. But it’s important to check that it’s actually right for your situation. All-on-4® was designed for patients who have lost all or most of their teeth. It can also be suitable for people with advanced gum disease and people who can’t have their teeth restored by other means (or won’t see any benefits from doing so). If you’re only missing a tooth or two, traditional dental implants are a better treatment plan for you.

If you believe All-on-4® may be right for you, take our suitability assessment online. If you fit the profile, the next step is booking a one-on-one consultation with a member of the Next Smile Australia team.

Book a Consultation with Next Smile Australia

At Next Smile Australia, our top priority is providing you with the most appropriate type of treatment with the highest possible level of comfort. During a one-on-one consultation, we’ll examine your dental issues as well as your dental and medical history to assess whether to proceed with All-on-4® treatment.

You’ll receive your new set of teeth at one of our industry-leading Super Clinics, which include in-house dental labs and state-of-the-art surgical rooms.

Contact the Next Smile Australia team to learn more about the All-on-4® treatment, attend an information session, or book a personal consultation.