Missing All Lower Teeth

Although many patients have no problem wearing an upper denture, some people find it difficult to wear and eat with lower dentures. Several implant-supported replacement options are available if you are missing all of your lower teeth:

Ball Attachment Denture | Bar Attachment Denture | Screw-Retained Denture | Individual Dental Implants

Ball Attachment Denture

One option is to have two implants placed in your lower jaw and a denture made that will then snap onto these implants. This option allows your lower denture to be more stable while chewing than without implants. However, there will still be movement of your lower denture, and sore spots will occur if any food particles, especially seeds, are caught under it. As with all removable replacement teeth, you still will need periodic appointments for denture adjustment.

Before illustration of Ball Attachment Denture
1. Before
Illustration for two Dental Implants Placed
2. Implants Placed
After illustration of Ball Implant Denture Attached
3. Denture Attached

Bar Attachment Denture

Another option involves placing four to six implants, depending on your jaw size or shape, into your lower jaw. After healing is complete, the implants are connected with a custom-made support bar. Your denture will be made with special internal retention clips that attach onto the support bar, enabling the denture to snap firmly into place. This is called an “overdenture.” The advantage of this option is that it is much more stable than the first option and allows very little denture movement. Your denture is still removable for easy cleaning and maintenance.

Before illustration for Bar Attachment Denture
1. Before
Illustration of four  Dental Implants Placed and bar attachment
2. Implants Placed
After illustration showing Denture Attached to Bar
3. Denture Attached

Screw-Retained Denture

A third option involves placing five or more implants in your jaw and attaching a permanent denture. Your denture is held in place by screws or clasps that secure it to the support posts or bar. It doesn’t touch the gum tissue, which allows you to clean under the denture without removing it. This denture will replace all your missing lower teeth and will not be removed except at maintenance visits. Although cleaning under your denture without removing it is more time consuming and requires more dexterity, many patients who want a permanent denture prefer this option.

Before illustration of Screw-Retained Denture treatment
1. Before
Illustration showing multiple Dental Implants Placed
2. Implants Placed
After illustration of Denture Attached to implant screws
3. Denture Attached

Individual Implants

The final option is to have all your teeth individually replaced, so that they will appear to be growing out of your gum tissue and will most closely resemble the appearance of your natural teeth. This option usually requires eight or more implants. Separate abutments or support posts for each one of these implants will be made and crowns for each missing tooth will be placed. The teeth are often joined together for sinus grafting to replace bone height strength and support. Overall, this is the most costly option, because it requires the most implants and individual replacement tooth fabrication. Your replacement options may also be limited by the current size and shape of your jawbone.

Before Individual Implants
1. Before
After Dental Implants Placed
2. Implants Placed
Healing completed after after dental implant
3. Healing Completed

Tooth Replacement in the Upper Jaw

What if I’m missing all of my upper teeth?

A similar range of missing teeth replacement options is also available for your upper jaw. However, because the bone is not as hard as that in the lower jaw, people often need more implants to support their new replacement teeth. Depending upon the number of implants to be placed, it may be possible to eliminate the need for covering the roof of your mouth with a complete denture. This option allows you to fully taste your food and gives you a better sense of its temperature. Your denture will feel more natural. You will still have a removable denture, which makes cleaning the support bar and denture much easier.

Illustration of Implant-Retained Upper Denture

Implant-Retained Upper Denture

Depending upon the number of implants to be placed, it may be possible to eliminate the need for covering the roof of your mouth with a complete denture. This option allows you to fully taste your food and gives you a better sense of its temperature. Your denture will feel more natural. You will still have a removable denture, which makes cleaning the support bar and denture much easier.

Individual Upper Dental Implants

Individual Upper Dental Implants

If you want a restoration that is similar to your natural teeth and therefore not removable, you probably will need eight to ten individual implants placed. This is followed, after healing, by the placement of the abutments and new replacement crowns.

For more information, or to see if which Implant-Supported Tooth Replacement option is right for you, please call our office: 248-589-2021.