Should you need all of your teeth replaced by some prosthesis, those false teeth would be on a normal denture which you take in and out. The advantage of the denture is that it’s only about $1,500 to $2,000.
Its disadvantage is that in the bottom jaw the bone tends to shrink quite quickly, so that a lot of people have trouble eating with the bottom denture – it’s clacking around, they fall out when they’re laughing, they can’t eat apples.
If you have those problems or should you wish something alternative, two implants in the bottom jaw is a highly predictable procedure for retaining a denture. So if your concern is that your teeth are moving around everywhere and are loose, then two implants can allow quite a firm grip of the implant, so you won’t need any denture glue.
In contrast, if your concern is that every time you bite on foods your gums are sore, that you’ve got so much recession and shrinkage of the bone and gum that there’s no support given to the gums, you may actually need something more in the form of a fully fixed prosthesis. This is four implants permanently retaining an acrylic bridge.
The number of implants is really dependent on your situation. Whether it’s four or six in the top jaw does depend on how many teeth you want placed back there and what’s on the lower arch. If you’ve got natural teeth down here that’s going to put more load on these top teeth, so you’re probably heading towards six implants on the top jaw. If in contrast you have a denture down the bottom that’s chewing on this, they’re not going to give as much force against this appliance up the top, so we may decide that four implants are sufficient to hold that sort of prosthesis. Other people that are really abhorrent about the whole idea of ever socially having to remove teeth really would go for a fixed prosthesis and that may be in the form of more implants.
So a number of factors are considered when you’re planning the full arch to be replaced by teeth that are held onto implants. Primarily, what are your concerns that we’re trying to address and how much benefit is this acrylic flange giving to your cosmetic profile with the plumpness of the lip? So you really need a consultation in combination with CAT scans to determine have you got enough bone in the right areas.