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

One option is to have two implants placed in your lower jaw and a denture made that snaps 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.

Mouth missing all lower teeth, no bottom teeth
1. Before
Lower jaw missing teeth, dental implant anchors
2. Implants Placed
Mouth lower jaw dentures 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.

Mouth with lower jaw missing every tooth
1. Before
Lower jaw missing all teeth, four bar attachment dental implants
2. Implants Placed
Dentures attached to four bar attachment, dental implants
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.

Mouth with lower jaw missing all teeth
1. Before
Eight screw retained dental implants, lower jaw dental implants
2. Implants Placed
Dentures attached by eight screw dental implants
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 dental implants, mouth missing all lower teeth
1. Before
Missing lower jaw teeth, dental implants for lower jaw
2. Implants Placed
Tooth replacement, lower jaw dental implants
3. Healing Completed

What If I’m Missing All Of My Upper Teeth?

A similar range of treatment 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.

implant retained upper jaw, denture with implants attachments

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 dental implants, tooth replacement for upper teeth

Individual Upper 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.