May 29, 2023

What Are the Risks of the All-on-4® Treatment?

Any treatment has risks and the potential for complications. All-on-4® is a procedure with a 98% success rate and a very low risk of failure or problems. Yet before committing to any treatment, it’s important to be informed and aware of all the possibilities.

Missing teeth are common across the world and caused by a range of factors, yet they shouldn’t be ignored. Even a single missing tooth can set a chain of events in motion that ends with serious health problems elsewhere in the body. Not only can issues like malocclusion, teeth shifting, trouble speaking and eating, loss of jawbone density, and further tooth loss arise, but also gum disease can spread to other parts of the body, causing cardiovascular and respiratory conditions.

Various treatments for missing teeth exist, including dental implants, bridges, and dentures. All have their pros and cons. All have their risks and rewards. If All-on-4® is the right type of treatment for you, it’s important to know exactly what it involves before you commit. This blog breaks down the essential information about the treatment, risks and all.

What is All-on-4®? 

The All-on-4® treatment concept is a modern and innovative approach to full-arch restoration. This technique involves the strategic placement of four dental implants in the jawbone to support a full set of prosthetic teeth. Unlike traditional dental implants, which require individual implant posts for each tooth,  All-on-4® uses few implants and is suitable for patients with compromised bone density. 

Dr Paulo Malo pioneered the treatment in 1998, and since then, it’s given tens of thousands of people their smiles back. You receive your first new set of teeth 24 hours after your implant surgery and sometimes as soon as you wake up from it.

At Next Smile Australia, we use Dr Malo’s own two-stage treatment process, ‘the Malo Protocol’, which has been proven to be effective with decades of clinical research and satisfying patient results. During stage one of the process, you receive your “provisional bridge”, or first set of teeth to be worn for three to six months. This provides your jawbone with the chance to properly fuse with your new implants (osseointegration), at which stage you’ll be ready for your ‘final bridge’: the fitting of your final, long-term teeth.

How to pay for All-on-4<sup>®</sup>

What Are the Benefits of All-on-4®?

All-on-4® has a number of unique advantages that set it apart from traditional dental implants and other commonplace procedures. The implants can be inserted at an angle that favours stronger parts of the jawbone, eliminating the need for dental bone grafting without compromising the stability and strength of the implants. The procedure will provide you with a new smile in just one day, while traditional implants can be a complicated process involving multiple surgeries and long periods of recovery. Innovative techniques and advanced-level technology will provide you with a convincing-looking smile and teeth you don’t have to remove to clean or when you go to sleep, which differentiates them from dentures.

The flexible approach of All-on-4® means fewer appointments for you. Fewer implants than traditional methods also mean a more affordable price.

What Are the Risks of All-on-4®?

Complications from All-on-4® are rare and generally easy for Next Smile Australia to handle when they arise. Yet potential risks from treatment include:

Implant failure

The procedure has a 98% success rate, which means a small but not impossible chance of implant failure. Clinical investigations after 10-18 years of follow-up showed that only 4 out of 471 patients lost their prostheses because of implant failures. In the case of implant failure, however, Next Smile Australia can place another implant. The odds that the implant will succeed the second time are on your side.


Infection, typically Peri-implantitis,  is one of the most common complications of procedures involving dental implants. It often occurs when food particles become trapped beneath the bridge, leading to the growth of bacteria. If left untreated, infection can lead to implant failure. However, it can often be treated with oral hygiene care, a special mouthwash or antibiotics.

Nerve damage

Nerve damage in implant procedures usually occurs when the implants are drilled too deeply into the lower jaw, damaging the alveolar nerve. The better trained and more experienced your surgeon is, and the more planning that has gone into the procedure, the less likely this is to occur. This is one of the scenarios when the extensive training and in-depth experience of the Next Smile Australia staff can help put your mind at ease.

Sinus issues

It’s possible for an improperly placed implant to penetrate your sinus cavity, causing inflammation known as sinusitis. Once again, the better trained your surgeon, the less likely this is to happen.

How to pay for All-on-4<sup>®</sup>

Are You Suitable for the All-on-4® Treatment? 

The way to find out if you’re truly suitable for the All-on-4® treatment is to book a personal consultation with Next Smile Australia. Our dental surgeons will take your goals and your dental history into account to determine if you’re a suitable candidate. Eligibility for the procedure is based on the assessment of a Next Smile Australia professional, and it is not the right treatment for everybody. If you’re only missing one or two teeth, for example, you’re better off with traditional implants.

However, there’s a strong chance the All-on-4® treatment is right for you if:

  • You’ve lost all or most of your teeth due to a cause such as injury, illness or tooth decay.
  • You have multiple missing or badly damaged teeth.
  • You have thin or little jawbone due to long-term wearing of dentures
  • You have advanced gum disease.
  • You’re unable to have your teeth restored by traditional means or can’t see any benefits to doing so.

Book a Consultation at Next Smile Today

Next Smile Australia focuses not only on delivering treatment of outstanding quality but also on making sure your treatment journey is as comfortable as possible.

We work to reduce the likelihood of any risk from All-on-4® in a number of ways. We make sure all our staff members share a set of values that prioritise placing our patients at the centre of everything we do: excellence, dedication, empathy and a non-judgemental approach, among others.

Our medically-regulated Super Clinics provide the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness possible as we keep every appointment in your treatment journey under one roof. Our dental surgeons, anaesthetists and support staff have many years of experience behind them and the finest Malo-certified training in the world.

Thorough and detailed planning goes into our treatment process. After your surgeon assesses your situation, we’ll take 3D scans of your jawbone as well as digital impressions and X-ray imaging. These detailed plans will allow our technicians working in our in-house dental laboratories to construct your new smile with the very best Nobel Biocare materials to suit your needs and your appearance.

You’ll receive your first set of teeth on the day of your surgery and have time to let the implants fuse to your jawbone before we fit your final teeth. We also don’t stop when your surgery is finished. We provide you with aftercare instructions and remain committed to your dental health and patient safety.

If you’d like to find out more about the All-on-4® procedure or arrange a personal consultation, contact Next Smile Australia.