Advantages of Overdentures
If you’re missing all the teeth in your upper and/or lower jaw, implant-retained overdentures mounted on solid implants hold several advantages over regular dentures.
While improving your facial appearance by replacing lost teeth, overdentures also provide improved overall function for eating and talking. This enhanced stability is achieved thanks to the use of dental implants1. With traditional dentures, a plastic base is their only support, which can make eating and speech difficult.
Overdenture treatment requires several appointments to place the implants and make your dentures. The artificial teeth are fixed to a base of pink resin over a metal structure to create a precise fit over your existing gum tissue. Overdentures are secured in place by dental implants – artificial tooth roots inserted into the supporting bone.
Implants not only provide a solid foundation for your replacement teeth but also prevent bone from shrinking over time due to lack of a root structure to support it. Bone deterioration is a problem that conventional dentures can’t address, in the absence of a tooth root to stimulate bone growth. Like muscle, bone atrophies without use.
How Are Overdentures Fitted?
The first step in the overdenture process is to take an impression, which will be used to make a set of temporary dentures. When these have been made, images will be taken to help plan the optimum positioning of the dental implants.
The implants – titanium posts – are surgically inserted into the upper or lower jaw. Titanium is a strong, lightweight metal often used for prosthetics because of its compatibility with the human body. Dental implants have the highest success rate – up to 98 percent – of all implant procedures.
Your jaw bone grows back around the implants, holding them firmly in place. Once the implant and bone have fused, abutments are secured to the implants to hold your temporary dentures. Your dentist will monitor the healing process until you’re ready for the next phase of treatment when new impressions of your mouth will be taken to create your final dentures.
During follow-up visits, your dentist will check for proper fit and alignment of your overdentures. Once adjustments have been made, the final denture is fixed in place, giving you a fully-functional, customized set of replacement teeth that greatly enhances your appearance.
Why Choose Overdentures?
Implant-retained dentures have become the treatment of choice for people who want all the advantages of overdentures. Dental implants represent a key milestone in dentistry and are widely used to improve the lives of people of all ages.
The advantages of overdentures stem from the effectiveness of dental implants in replacing the whole structure of missing teeth to form an artificial tooth root that becomes a part of your jaw. This means that overdentures are a far more permanent solution than traditional dentures, which may well have to be replaced over time.
A further advantage of overdentures is that, unlike standard dentures, they give you a strong bite – as powerful as that of natural teeth.
Other advantages of overdentures include:
• Greater comfort.
• A more natural appearance.
• Less – if any – gum irritation.
• No need for denture adhesives.
Overdentures allow you to:
• Eat what you want. Hard foods can be problematic when wearing standard dentures. Screw-retained implant dentures allow you to manage your food more effectively, which improves your digestion and nutrition.
• Avoid the inconvenience and expense of adhesives. The adhesives required for traditional dentures can tamper with your taste buds. With screw-retained overdentures, you don’t need messy adhesives, which avoids the associated cost and inconvenience.
• Enjoy a better fit. Implant overdentures fit more snugly than those held in place just by suction and adhesives. This improves the stability of your dentures during talking and eating, reducing the likelihood of mouth sores.
• Improve the quality of your life. In improving the appearance of your smile and speech and chewing function, overdentures can enhance your physical and psychological health.
The Overdenture Option
Replacing missing teeth is essential to maintain the structural integrity of your mouth and jaw and preserve the appearance of your facial features. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry2, more than 35 million people in the U.S. have lost all their upper or lower teeth, or both.
If you’ve lost a row of teeth, the detrimental impact on your appearance can be significant, leading to embarrassment and lack of self-confidence. Overdentures provide a highly-effective option to restore your self-esteem and allow you to speak clearly again and enjoy the foods you love.
Besides high levels of aesthetics and practicality, implant-retained overdentures provide a healthier tooth replacement alternative to regular dentures. Implants are unique in dentistry in promoting bone growth, and they have an impressive record of dependable, long-lasting effectiveness compared with bridges and traditional dentures.
Different Types of Overdentures
Overdentures can be removable or fixed. Non-removable dentures are more natural looking but may present challenges in effective cleaning. On the other hand, a non-fixed overdenture makes oral hygiene easier because both the gums and the denture are fully accessible for brushing. If you already have regular dentures, they can easily be adapted to attach to implants.
Another overdenture option for your lower jaw is the use of mini dental implants. If you’ve worn lower dentures for some time, it’s likely you’ve lost a significant amount of supporting jaw bone, resulting in a badly-fitting appliance. Mini dental implants can fix this issue, and, because of their smaller size, they’re easier to place and less expensive.
Are Overdentures Right for Me?
Implant-supported overdentures are not for everyone.
It’s a surgical procedure, so you have to be in good general health. Chronic ailments such as diabetes or leukemia may impair your body’s ability to heal itself properly, as can smoking.
You also need sufficient quality bone in your jaw to hold the implants in place. If your jaw bone is compromised, a bone graft could provide a solution.
The only person who can determine whether implant overdentures are right for you is a dentist experienced in implants and dentures3. If you are a suitable candidate for this treatment, your dentist will be able to talk you through all the advantages of overdentures.