Traditional dentures use suction and the soft tissue in your mouth to stay in place. However, many patients experience slipping that can feel uncomfortable or embarrassing. At Associated Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, we can offer our patients several more secure and comfortable alternatives to a traditional denture if they are missing all of their upper or lower teeth.
Many patients report that traditional dentures are especially problematic in the lower jaw. If you are missing all of your lower teeth, there are several implant-supported denture options that keep the dentures more stable.
A ball attachment denture requires only two implant posts in the lower jaw. Your denture will snap onto the implants and can be removed for cleaning. However, because the implant is only secured in two places, there will still be some movement and risks of sore areas in the gums if food gets caught under the denture.
A bar attachment denture uses four to six implants in your lower jaw. A bar connects the implants, and your denture will be made with clips that attach to the support bar. The denture is very stable but still removable for cleaning and maintenance.
A screw retained denture uses five or more implants to attach a permanent denture. Many patients prefer this option if they want a permanent denture. You’ll still be able to clean under the denture since it doesn’t touch your gums, and it can be removed by your specialist at maintenance visits.
The final option we offer to patients who are missing all of the teeth in their lower jaw is individual implants. This requires eight or more implants that each replace an individual tooth. Though it’s the most costly option, it also most closely resembles natural teeth. Not all patients are good candidates for individual implants based on the size and shape of their jawbones.
If you are missing all of the teeth in your upper jaw, your options are similar to the ones available for the lower law. However, the bone in the upper jaw is usually not as hard, which means more implants are required. This also limits your denture options.
The number of implants you will need for an implant retained upper denture depends on the bone density of your upper jaw. If your jaw can support enough implants, you may be able to have an upper denture that does not cover the roof of your mouth.
When your palate remains uncovered by your denture, you’ll be able to better taste your food and sense its temperature. An implant retained denture is removable for easy cleaning.
The other option for your upper jaw is individual implants. They appear most similar to natural teeth and are a permanent restoration. You will need eight to ten individual implants to replace the teeth of your upper jaw.