Missing All Upper or Lower Teeth

Missing All Lower Teeth

Although most patients have no problem wearing a Full Upper denture,many 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 ‘Press Studs’ attached to them.The denture is made to ‘snap’ onto these attachments. This option allows your lower denture to be more stable while chewing than without implants. However, there will still be slight movement of the denture, so sore spots can occur if any food particles, especially seeds, get caught under it. As with all removable replacement teeth, you still will need periodic appointments for denture adjustment.

Before Ball Attachment Denture
1. Before
After Dental Implants Placed
2. Implants Placed
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. When healing is complete, these 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 a bar retained ‘overdenture. The advantage of this option is that it is much more stable than the first option and allows very little denture movement/minimal discomfort. Your denture is still removable for easy cleaning and maintenance.

Before Bar Attachment Denture
1. Before
After Dental Implants Placed
2. Implants Placed
Denture Attached
3. Denture Attached

Screw Retained Denture

A third option involves placing five or more implants in your jaw and attaching a fixed denture/reconstruction. This fixed reconstruction which may be a bridge or a  denture is held in place by screws that secure it to the support posts or a bar. It doesn’t touch the gum tissue, which allows you to clean under the reconstruction without removing it. This denture will replace all your missing lower teeth and you cannot  remove it, although your dentist may remove it  at your maintenance visits. Although cleaning under your denture without removing it is more time consuming and requires more dexterity, many patients who want optimal function & aesthetics prefer this option.

Before Screw Retained Denture
1. Before
After Dental Implants Placed
2. Implants Placed
Denture Attached
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 6-8 (sometimes more) implants. Separate abutments /or support posts will be made for each  implant  and individual crowns &/or bridges will replace each missing tooth. The teeth are often joined together if bone quality &/or quantity is poor e.g after sinus grafting to enhance strength and support. Overall, this is the most costly option, because it requires the most implants and fabrication individual replacement teeth. While this option is the closest we can get to a natural tooth replacement your  options may  be limited by the  size and shape of your jawbone.

A digital representation of a the lower jaw missing all of its teeth
1. Before
A mouth showing the lower jaw with all the teeth as individual implants
2. Implants Placed
A mouth showing the healed lower jaw after individual implants were placed
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 dense/ hard as that in the lower jaw, often  more implants are needed to support the reconstruction. Depending upon the number of implants  placed, it may be possible to eliminate the need to cover the roof of your mouth ( as with a complete denture). Therefore this option allows you to better taste your food and gives you an enhanced sense of its temperature so your reconstruction will feel more natural. You will still have a removable denture, which makes cleaning the support bar and denture much easier.

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 to cover the roof of your mouth as with a complete denture. This option allows you to better taste your food and gives you an enhanced better sense of its temperature. Your reconstruction 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 Implants

If you want a restoration that is similar to your natural teeth and therefore not removable, you probably will need 6-8 (or sometimes more) implants placed. This is followed after healing by the placement of individual abutments to support replacement crowns/bridges.