The molar teeth generally refer to the two premolars and two molars located near the center rear portion of your mouth. The third molar is the wisdom tooth, which often either fails to erupt or is removed. The remaining molars provide a valuable role of grinding food into small pieces that make for safe swallowing. The loss of multiple molar teeth due to trauma or decay can create chewing difficulties and lower your self-esteem since those missing teeth are visible when you smile or speak.

Your dentist or denturist has a couple of treatment options for a few missing molar teeth in the same area of the mouth.

Partial Dentures

Multiple missing teeth aren't treated with the more common replacements for single teeth such as a dental bridge or dental implants. Partial dentures are a better option that can replace several teeth at the same time.

Partial dentures are similar to full dentures except the plate is smaller and has holes to accommodate any remaining natural teeth that fall between the missing molars. The plate sits on the gums but uses hooks on each end, which go around the natural teeth on those ends for support.

The setup means that partial dentures tend to have better support and a more natural feel while chewing than a full set of dentures. But traditional partials still aren't a secure and natural feeling as dental implants.


Overdentures combine the partial denture plate setup with the jawbone-supported metal roots of dental implants. The partial plate will likely only need one root at each end of where the partial dentures will need to cover. Your dentist will drill a hole into the jawbone, insert the root, and then you will need to wait several months for the bone to heal around the root and hold it securely in place. You can wear traditional partial dentures while you wait.

After the roots have healed properly, the dentist can secure the partial plate onto the metal roots. The plate will sit flush with the gums and won't shift at all during chewing, which will create a more natural feel overall. The metal roots will also provide jawbone health promotion that is lacking in a traditional partial plate. Note that the bone benefit only occurs in those areas that contain the roots.

Note that unlike partial dentures, the overdentures aren't removed by you for cleaning or comfort purposes. The dentist will need to remove the overdentures if it becomes necessary. You can clean the dentures like natural teeth and the support of the roots should make the plate comfortable enough to wear night and day with no issues.