Missing All Lower Teeth

Although many patients have no problem wearing an upper denture, most 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.

Implant Denture Stabilized by two locator attachments

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.

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. 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 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 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 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 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 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.

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 hard as that in the lower jaw, people often need more implants to support their new replacement teeth.

Implant Retained Upper Denture

Implant Retained Upper Denture or Fixed Bridge

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.

Another option is to have a fixed bridge attached to 4-8 dental implants. It can be removed at the dental office for cleaning and repair, but stays in the rest of the time. This has become one of the most popular treatment options for replacing missing upper or lower teeth.

Individual Upper Dental Implants

Individual Upper Implants

If you want a restoration that is closest to your natural teeth, 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.