When there are not enough anchor teeth, missing teeth can be replaced with removable appliances or implant-supported fixed bridges. The possibility of dental implants greatly increases your treatment options. In making treatment recommendations, we will consider the number, condition, and location of any remaining teeth. Also, the health and size of the jawbone where teeth are missing is important. Together, we will discuss your treatment desires, your treatment options, and formulate a treatment plan.
Removable partial dentures are held in place by the remaining teeth or a small number of dental implants.
This patient fractured the upper cuspid tooth, which was a critical anchor tooth for a removable partial denture. The next tooth forward, a lateral incisor, is too small to support a partial denture. So we added two implants and implant crowns; the new partial denture is very stable.
Complete dentures have been used for hundreds of years when all the teeth are missing. People generally do pretty well with an upper denture; lower dentures can be harder for patients. The American Dental Association has good information about conventional complete dentures.
Implant Supported Complete Dentures present a newer option. These have ball & socket attachments inside, so the dentures clip onto the implants. This improves speaking, eating, and confidence. Read what the California Dental Association says about adding implant support.
This patient had great difficulty with a lower denture moving around. With four implants in the lower jaw and implant attachments in the denture, the new implant-supported denture is very solid.
This patient had a big problem with gagging and could not wear a denture that covered the roof of the mouth. Here, five upper implants are connected together with a bar. The horse-shoe shaped denture has gold clips inside and attaches to the implant bar. It is much smaller than a "regular" denture, and stays in place very well.
Implant-Supported Fixed Bridges are similar to fixed bridges supported by natural teeth. Usually eight implants are needed to support a fixed bridge.
This patient did not want a removable appliance. The bridge is porcelain with a metal substructure, similar to normal crowns. It is cemented to the implants, and is very close to the feeling of natural teeth.