So you don’t have any bottom teeth and are not sure what to do? Here are some options:
1. Conventional Denture: A denture needs to be comfortable and stable and aesthetic while allowing the patient to chew and speak normally. The conventionl denture is the least expensive option but it is also the least retentive option. Studies comparing conventional dentures to implant supported overdentures demonstrate a higher satisfaction with the implant retained dentures compared to conventional dentures. But if finances or health are limitations to implants, the conventional denture may well meet an individual’s needs and is not necessarily an inferior treatment.
2. Mini-Implant Retained Overdenture: If there is not enough bone for a standard size implant and grafting is not an option for health or financial considerations, the mini-implant retained denture is an option. Typically four mini-implants are placed and then fitted to the removable denture.
3. Attachment-Retained Implant Overdenture: Typically 2 – 4 implants are placed and fitted to the removable denture. These regular sized implants are more stable than the mini-implants, but grafting may be needed and the cost is higher.
4. Bar-Retained Implant Overdenture: The bar-retained implant overdenture connects 4-5 implants with a connecting bar. The connecting bar adds retention.
5. Implant-Retained Fixed Prosthesis: With the implant-retained fixed prosthesis, implants are placed so that fixed bridgework can be attached. The removable denture is entirely eliminated! This option is the most comfortable and life-like for the patient – but it is also the most expensive option. The patient needs to have adequate bone and the appropriate height for fixed bridgework – not too little and not too much space between the upper and lower ridges.
6. Which option to choose is something for you and your dentist to decide depending on your goals, your physical condition and financial considerations. The dentist needs to do a careful assessment and have considerable experience in performing complex dentistry. If you would like more information about options to replace missing bottom teeth please contact our East Setauket dental office and we’ll be happy to offer a consultation.