Missing All Lower Teeth

Some patients have no problem wearing an upper denture, but many find it difficult to wear and eat with lower dentures. Several implant-supported replacement options are available for patients with no lower (mandibular) dentition.

Replace All Your Missing Teeth

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Ball Attachment Denture

A treatment option for patients with no lower teeth is the placement of two dental implants in the lower jaw and the fabrication of a lower denture by your general dentist that snaps onto these implants. This treatment choice enhances the stability of the lower denture while chewing. However, while the lower denture is unable to raise up and down in the mouth, it can tilt laterally and cause sore spots on the gum when food particles, especially seeds, are trapped under it. As with all removable replacement teeth, periodic appointments for denture adjustments will be necessary.

A mouth with the lower jaw missing all of its teeth
1. Before
A mouth with two implants in the lower jaw 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 treatment option for the edentulous lower arch is the placement of 4-6 implants, depending on the size and shape of the patient’s jaw. After the healing phase, the implants are connected with a custom-made support bar. The denture will be made with special internal retention clips that attach onto the support bar, enabling the denture to snap firmly into place. This prosthesis is called an “overdenture”. The advantage of this option is that it ensures the stability of the denture in both the up and down and side to side movements resulting in minimal denture movement. Patient comfort is increased and the appliance can still be removed 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 treatment option involves the strategic placement of 5 or more dental implants in the lower jaw and then attaching a permanent denture to the implants. Your denture is held in place with screws or clasps that secure the denture to the support posts or bars that are fabricated in the underbelly of the denture. The denture does not come in contact with your gum tissue and will not be removed except at maintenance visits with your general dentist. Cleaning under your denture without removing it will be a bit more time consuming and will require greater manual dexterity, but many patients prefer this treatment option for its maximized strength and comfort.

A mouth that has all lower jaw teeth missing
1. Before
A mouth that has eight implants and no teeth on its lower jaw
2. Implants Placed
A mouth with a Screw Attachment Denture affixed onto the lower jaw by eight implants
3. Denture Attached

Individual Implants

A final option for the treatment of an edentulous lower ridge is to have all of your lower teeth replaced with multiple dental implants (8 or more). Separate abutments or support posts for each implant will be made and crowns will be fabricated by a lab for each missing tooth to create the illusion that each tooth is growing naturally out of your gum tissue. This is the most costly option because it requires the greatest number of implants and porcelain crown fabrication.

A digital representation of 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 placing individual implants
3. Healing Completed

What If I’m Missing All Of My Upper Teeth?

A similar range of treatment options is available to the patient who has no teeth in the upper jaw. However, since the maxillary (upper jaw) bone is not as hard as that of the lower jaw, people often need more implants in the maxilla to support their upper prosthesis.

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An Implant Retained Upper Denture with its implants attached

Implant Retained Upper Denture

It may be possible to eliminate the need for acrylic material to cover the roof of the mouth which is present in traditional upper dentures. This design is dependent upon the number of implants that are placed. Removing the palate acrylic enhances your tasting abilities since taste receptors are not covered by the acrylic material and removing the palate acrylic enhances your sense of temperature. Your denture is removable which makes cleaning the support bar and denture much easier and it feels and looks more natural.

Individual Upper Dental Implants

Individual Upper Implants

A nonremovable alternative treatment option to an edentulous upper arch is the placement of 8-10 dental implants in the maxilla. This is followed after the healing phase by the placement of the abutments and the new fabricated porcelain replacement crowns placed by the general dentist.