Missing All Lower Teeth

Although many patients have no problem wearing an 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 or three implants placed in your lower jaw and a denture made that snaps onto these implants. This option stabilizes your lower denture while chewing. Depending on the size of your lower jaw and the distance between the implants, Dr. Lee and your dentist can treatment plan your case so your denture is stanble and firmly attached to the lower jaw.

A mouth with the lower jaw missing all of its teeth
1. Before
A mouth with the lower jaw with two implants and no bottom teeth
2. Implants Placed
A mouth with a Ball Attachment Denture latched onto the lower jaw by two implants
3. Denture Attached

Bar Attachment Denture

Another option involves placing four to six implants into your lower jaw and then fabricaing a bar to stablize them and splint them together. 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.” It is sometimes called an implant supported denture. The advantage of this option is that it allows the dentist to make a denture that is smaller and not as bulky. Many patients like this type of appliance because it feels more natural. Your denture is still removable for easy cleaning and maintenance.

A mouth that has all teeth missing on its lower jaw
1. Before
A mouth without teeth and four implants connected by a metal bar on its lower jaw
2. Implants Placed
A mouth with a Bar Attachment Denture secured onto the lower jaw by four implants
3. Denture Attached

Screw Retained Denture

A third option involves placing five or more implants in your jaw and attaching a “fixed” denture. Your denture is held in place by screws. 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 set of teeth permanantly screwed in prefer this option.

A mouth that has all lower jaw teeth missing
1. Before
A mouth that has six implants and no teeth on its lower jaw
2. Implants Placed
A mouth with a Screw Attachment Denture affixed onto the lower jaw by six 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 implants. Separate abutments or support posts for each one of these implants will be made and crowns for each missing tooth will be placed. Overall, this is the most costly option, because it requires the most implants and individual replacement tooth fabrication.

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. 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.

An Implant Retained Upper Denture with its implants attached

Implant Retained Upper Denture

Depending upon the number of implants to be placed, it may be possible to eliminate the need for plastic in the roof of your mouth with a complete denture. Unlike the lower jaw, upper jaw screw retained, fixed bridges that replace your teeth must be in contact with your gum tissue. Therefore, these appliances are more complex and cleaning is more problematic.

Individual Upper Dental Implants

Individual Upper Implants

This restoration is not recommended by Dr. Lee except in rare instances. The fixed bridge restoration is better for stability, appearance and upper lip support for a more youthful face.