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Missing All Lower or Upper Teeth

Missing All Lower Teeth

Traditional removable dentures are frequently considered by those who are missing all of their upper and/or lower teeth. Unfortunately, however, dentures can be uncomfortable and make eating and drinking difficult. At Longmont Oral, Facial and Implant Surgery, Dr. Andrus and Dr. Howard are pleased to offer several other options that are supported by implants, thus eliminating the need for uncomfortable, cumbersome dentures. 

Implant-Supported Overdentures

Implant-Supported Overdentures are dramatically improving the way we replace full sets of teeth. Especially the lower teeth where the bone is stronger compared to the bones that support the upper teeth. For centuries, standard dentures were the only replacement option, encumbering individuals who were unfortunate to need multiple or entire rows of teeth replaced. Standard dentures are not only inconvenient, but they are often uncomfortable and not very secure. Chewing certain foods can be difficult and usually, individuals find themselves limited in what foods and drinks they can enjoy. 

Benefits of overdentures include: 

  • Secure attachment
  • Less movement over the gums
  • Fewer complications such as sores and infection from irritation of gums
  • Cost-effectiveness 
  • Less need for bone grafting
  • Quick healing 
  • Well studied and good clinical outcomes long-term
  • Improved quality of life
  • Enjoyment of favorite foods and drinks without worry
  • Enhanced confidence and smile

Types of Implant-Supported Overdentures

Ball Attachment

The Ball Attachment option involves placing two implant posts into the lower jawbone. Sets of replacement teeth can then be snapped onto these implants. Although the teeth are removable like traditional dentures, the implants help keep them more stable for eating and drinking while they are in your mouth. Movement can still occur though and it may rub against your gums, creating sore spots especially if any food particles are present, therefore special attention to the gums and daily cleaning is necessary. Drs. Howard and Andrus recommend periodic appointments to be sure the gums are healthy and whether or not adjustments need to be made.

 

Before
  1. Before
Implants Placed

2. Implants Placed

Denture Attached

3. Denture Attached

Bar Attachment

The Bar Attachment option requires the placement of four to six implants, depending on the size and shape of the jaw. The implants are connected to each other by a support bar and the set of replacement teeth clip onto this bar with special internal retention clips that snap firmly into place. It is more secure than the ball attachment method and more teeth can be attached at once.

Before

1. Before

Implants Placed

2. Implants Placed

Denture Attached

3. Denture Attached

Screw Retained

The Screw Retained option is more permanent than the other options and involves placing five or more implants in the jaw and then permanently attaching the set of replacement teeth. The set is held in place by screws or clasps. Space is maintained between the teeth and the gum tissue so the area can be cleaned without removal of the teeth. The only time teeth may be removed are at maintenance visits. 

Of course, individual dental implants are always an option as well. While individual implants provide a secure, natural-appearing and life-long option, they can be much more costly and require placing of at least eight implants into the bone meaning the jawbone will need to be healthy and strong or bone grafting may be necessary. The size and shape of the jawbone may also limit this option for certain individuals. 

1. Before

Denture

2. Implants Placed

Denture Attached

3. Denture Attached

Missing All Upper Teeth

When all of the upper teeth are missing similar treatment options exist, however, the bone above the upper teeth are not as strong as the jawbone below the lower teeth. Therefore, additional support is needed to secure the replacement teeth. 

Implant Retained Upper Denture

Compared to standard dentures that cover the entire roof of the mouth, implant-retained upper dentures allow you to better judge temperature, fully taste and enjoy whatever you eat or drink. Although the teeth are still removable, they look and feel more natural. 

Individual Upper Implants

As with missing lower teeth, individual dental implants for the upper mouth can also be considered if you desire a non-removable solution that resembles natural teeth as much as possible. See the page regarding dental implants for more information.

Upper Implants