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.
Screw Retained Denture
One option involves placing three or more implants in your jaw and attaching a permanent denture. Some examples of the are the All-on-4® technique and the Trefoil™ system. Your denture is held in place by screws 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.
2. Implants Placed
3. Denture Attached
Another 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. 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.
2. Implants 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.
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, such as with the All-on-4® technique. This option allows you to fully taste your food and gives you a better sense of its temperature. Your denture will feel more natural.
Individual Upper Implants
If you want a restoration that is similar 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 and / or bridges.