December 6, 2023

What Happens If One Of My All-on-4® Dental Implants Fails?

The All-on-4® treatment is one of the most effective dental procedures available, with a 98% success rate. More than 250,000 patients have been successfully treated with All-on-4®. But while the risk of dental implant failure with All-on-4® is very low, there is still a slim chance it can occur. This is often extremely disappointing for all involved, especially the patient, who may be rightfully concerned that a failed All-on-4® dental implant spells the end of their treatment.

If you’ve lost all or most of your teeth, All-on-4® can provide you with a solution: a new smile in as little as 24 hours, anchored on just four implants per arch of teeth. The procedure has a relatively fast recovery time compared to traditional dental implants and avoids the need for dental bone grafting.  But a failed All-on-4® dental implant can leave you feeling like you’re back at square one. Sometimes you don’t even realise a dental implant hasn’t been successful until pain, discomfort or inflammation sets in.

Can a failed dental implant be saved? Next Smile Australia prioritises providing effective solutions delivered in professional and empathetic ways, even in the face of difficulties. We can address the reasons why All-on-4® dental implants fail and work with you to find the best way forward.

Solutions for All-on-4®Dental Implant Failure

Perhaps you’re reading this because you’ve already noticed the signs, and you’re preparing to face up to the discouraging reality that a dental implant hasn’t taken to your jawbone the way the procedure intended. Both traditional dental implants and All-on-4® implants replace the roots of natural teeth and fuse with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration. If the dental implant does not integrate with your jawbone successfully, then it will fail. Osseointegration does not happen if infection sets in. This could be due to poor sterility at the time of surgery, poor healing from smoking, or medical reasons, e.g. uncontrolled diabetes or overloading the implants and teeth with heavy bite forces too soon. At Next Smile Australia, all of our All-on-4® patients go onto a soft diet for three months to prevent overloading bite forces and allowing time for osseointegration. 

Can a failed dental implant be saved? No, it can’t; the failed implant will need to be removed. Broadly, there are two types of dental implant failure: the type caused by human error and the type caused by other factors such as bone loss. The professionals at Next Smile Australia have the experience to assess whether a failed All-on-4® dental implant should be removed and replaced or if a different treatment should be used instead.

There are several reasons why All-on-4® dental implants fail, and regardless of the treatment it takes to address the issue, Next Smile Australia will never leave you without a solution. An unsuccessful All-on-4® dental implant is not the end of the road.

Signs an All-on-4®Dental Implant is Failing

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A failed All-on-4® dental implant is an alarming, unpleasant discovery. Some of the biggest indicators that dental implant failure has occurred is:

A loose implant

If you feel that your dental implant has become loose and you feel small movements when biting, that’s a sign that it has failed to fuse properly with your jawbone.


Infection around a dental implant site is rare, but when it occurs, it’s typically a sign of implant failure. Known as peri-implantitis, it commonly presents itself through symptoms such as pain or pus around the dental implant site, red or puffy gums, bad breath or fever.

Pain and discomfort

A certain amount of discomfort can be a normal part of the healing process. But if you experience a throbbing pain that persists or worsens after a few weeks, that’s a strong sign that a dental implant may be failing.

Reasons Why All-on-4®Dental Implants May Fail

Common reasons why All-on-4® dental implants fail include:

Medical conditions

While patients from all walks of life and with all kinds of dental and medical histories can find successful treatment with All-on-4®, it can be more difficult for dental implants to take if you’ve had radiation therapy, have a compromised immune system or have a condition like osteoporosis. Gum disease and infection can contribute to dental implant failure, and underlying conditions like diabetes can also increase its likelihood.   

Smoking, vaping and drinking

Heavy drinking, smoking and vaping don’t prevent you from having the All-on-4® treatment or condemn it to failure, but they can compromise its success. Cigarette smoking and vaping compromise blood flow and make it more difficult for the body to carry out its natural healing process, including osseointegration.

Improper implant placement

In rare circumstances, a dental implant can fail simply because the dental surgeon who carried out the procedure didn’t insert it correctly. Lack of adequate design in the implant or crown itself can also cause problems.

Insufficient aftercare

Your dental surgeon should provide aftercare instructions. If a patient doesn’t follow through on these directions, it increases the risk of dental implant failure.

None of these practices mean a failed All-on-4® dental implant is a certainty, but they do raise the risk. Fortunately, a failed dental implant can be replaced. Even better, there are steps that a patient can take to minimise the risk.

How to Minimise the Risk of All-on-4®Dental Implant Failure

Although many of the reasons why All-on-4® dental implants fail are outside of your immediate control, there are still steps you can take to reduce the risk of a failed All-on-4® dental implant:

Keep up good oral hygiene

Regular brushing, flossing and dental check-ups will help you reduce the risk of complications when you start the treatment process for your new set of teeth.  

Eat healthy and watch your overall health

Follow a balanced diet rich in nutrients and be mindful of your overall health. Awareness of underlying health conditions helps you and your dental surgeon prepare for a more effective All-on-4® treatment. Refraining from smoking, drinking and other unhealthy habits also helps.  

Communicate with your dental team

If you’ve noticed any issues with your new dental implant, raise your concerns early with the team at Next Smile Australia so we can find the best way forward. The earlier we address it, the more likely it is that a failed dental implant can be saved.

Book a Consultation with Next Smile Australia

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If you’re looking for effective All-on-4® treatment, Next Smile Australia is here to help you.

Many of the failures of traditional dental implants are caused by insufficient jawbone density. The All-on-4® procedure targets stronger areas of the jawbone, so even if you’ve already suffered significant jawbone loss from missing teeth, you can still have the procedure without needing bone grafting.

Our highly experienced dental surgeons are trained in the Malo Protocol, the process that All-on-4® pioneer Dr Paulo Malo himself devised. Our deep knowledge of All-on-4® and our commitment to following Dr Malo’s teachings help to significantly reduce the risk of a failed All-on-4® dental implant.

A personal consultation is the first step to a new set of teeth, followed by a treatment plan designed to suit your needs. Next Smile Australia’s commitment to thorough, effective and empathetic care extends throughout your treatment to include help with aftercare procedures for your new smile. If any complications arise from your All-on-4® treatment, we can identify and correct them early.

To find out more about All-on-4® and to book a personal consultation, contact the team at Next Smile Australia.