Missing All Lower Teeth

Although many patients have no problem wearing an upper denture, some people find it difficult to eat with and wear 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 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 minor movement of your lower denture, and sore spots may 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 4–6 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 an overdenture. The advantage of this option is that it is much more stable than a ball-attachment denture 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 four 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. 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.

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 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; 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

Depending on 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. 

Individual Upper Dental Implants

Individual Upper Implants

If you want a restoration that is similar to your natural teeth and therefore not removable, you probably will need 8–10 individual implants placed. After a period of healing, abutments and crowns are placed.