Missing All Lower Teeth
Many denture wearers experience no difficulties with upper dentures, but some find wearing and eating with lower dentures challenging and problematic. Fortunately, these people have access to several implant-supported replacement options for replacing all lower teeth.
Ball Attachment Denture
The available options address the way the dentures are attached to the lower jaw.
The method we will explore first involves placing two implants in your lower jaw and snapping a denture onto the implants. With the denture attached to a permanent implant, it becomes more stable while chewing than otherwise.
Be aware, however, that the denture will still move slightly and could therefore trap small food particles, especially seeds, which could lead to some soreness.
This method requires periodic appointments for denture adjustment as with any removable replacement teeth.
Bar Attachment Denture
Our second option places a larger number of implants, four to six, depending on the size and shape of your jaw. Following a healing time, a custom-made support bar connects the implants. You then receive dentures made with internal retention clips that attach onto the support bar, and the denture snaps securely into place. The advantage of this “overdenture” is much greater stability over the first method, allowing minimal denture movement, but you can easily remove the denture for cleaning and maintenance.
Screw Retained Denture
The third procedure consists of five or more implants placed in the lower jaw followed by the attaching of a permanent denture. Screws or clasps hold the denture in place to secure it to the posts or to the bar. The denture does not make contact with the gum tissue so that you can clean under the denture without removing it.
The denture replaces all missing lower teeth and you need not remove it other than at maintenance visits. Many patients prefer this permanent denture despite the increased time needed to clean under it without removing it, along with a little higher dexterity requirement.
The final option means replacing all teeth individually with implants. Now they appear to be growing directly out of your gum tissue and will look like your natural teeth. This procedure involves eight or more implants involving separate abutments or support posts for each implant: these will be fitted with crowns for each missing tooth.
Sinus grafting may be employed replace bone height strength and support, joining the teeth together.
This final option comes with the highest price, since it requires the most separate implants along with the fabrication of individual replacement teeth. This would be the most natural looking and convenient option but will be limited by the current size and shape of your jawbone.
When All Upper Teeth Are Missing
Dental technology has produced a similar range of treatment methods for the upper jaw. Since the bone in the upper jaw is not as hard as that in the lower jaw, most people require more implants to support their new replacement teeth.
A big advantage of implants is that, depending on how many are needed, this procedure may not need to cover the roof of your mouth with a complete denture. This would allow you to enjoy the taste of food more and provides a better sense of its temperature. The resulting denture will also feel more natural. The denture will still be removable, making it much easier to clean the support bar and the denture itself.
Implant Retained Upper Denture
With this method you may eliminate the need for covering the roof of your mouth with a complete denture, allowing you a more natural experience and the ability to enjoy the taste of food to a much greater degree while letting you feel its temperature more accurately.
Even though the denture is still removable, it will feel much more natural. The ability to remove it yourself helps you clean the support bar and denture much easier.
Individual Upper Implants
The closest you can come to your natural teeth and therefore not using a removable restoration is to receive eight to ten individual implants. Once the implants have healed, abutments and new replacement crowns complete the procedure. It is as though you have all your original teeth again.