Dentistry
Cosmetic
Product Reviews
Updated on December 30, 2022
5 min read

Overdenture Implants

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What are Overdentures?

An overdenture is a dental prosthetic that eliminates the problems associated with traditional dentures. Dentures frequently slip during speaking or loosen while laughing or sneezing. 

Dental implants support an overdenture, keeping the prosthesis stable and in place. This allows you to eat, laugh, and smile without the denture moving around. 

Ultimately, overdentures can improve your quality of life and your oral health. They can prevent bone loss and support nutritional needs more readily than traditional dentures. 

5 Types of Overdentures

Overdentures can be fixed in place or removable depending on your needs and budget. 

Both types feel more comfortable and look more natural than a regular denture. 

1. Implant-Supported Overdentures

Implant-supported overdentures use two to six implants that are screwed into the jawbone. They help retain your existing bone to prevent further deterioration. 

An implant-supported overdenture typically requires two surgical procedures. The first consists of placing the implant into the jawbone, and the second uncovers it so a custom prosthetic can be fabricated. 

This overdenture can be removed when it's time to sleep or clean it.

2. Fixed Implant-Supported Overdentures

A fixed implant-supported overdenture is locked in place with screws and cannot be removed. You would need your dentist to unscrew the prosthetic to remove it. 

image 20

This type of overdenture is the most stable. However, cleaning is challenging because only a dentist can remove it. 

It is typically the most expensive option as it needs four dental implants and screws to support them.

3. Bar-Retained Implant-Supported Overdentures

A bar-retained implant-supported overdenture has a bar attached to the implants that the denture can clip onto. 

The bar allows you to remove and insert the overdenture as needed while offering more security than a conventional denture. 

Most people will only remove the overdenture to clean it or sleep. 

image 21

4. Ball-Retained Implant-Supported Overdentures

A ball-retained overdenture uses ball-shaped supports to connect the implants to the denture. It provides higher stability and functionality than a traditional denture. 

Ball attachments make it easier to clean and replace parts if necessary.

image 22

5. Overdenture Partials

If you’re missing only a few teeth, you might need a partial denture. An overdenture partial does exactly what a complete implant-supported denture does. It replaces tooth roots with one or more implants so the partial can clip onto them.

A partial overdenture gives a more natural appearance than a traditional partial denture. 

image 23

Overdenture Procedure Steps

The surgical process to install an overdenture is similar to placing a single implant to replace just one tooth.

1. Consultation

Your dentist will perform a comprehensive examination and review your medical and dental history. 

They may take photographs, impressions, and 3-D Cone Beam radiographs to determine your bone height and whether you need additional procedures.

2. Implant Placement

Your dentist will numb you with a local anesthetic. They may use a 3-D surgical guide to determine where to place the implants. 

They will screw multiple titanium implants into your jawbone. Once the placement is complete, they will stitch you up to help you heal.

3. Healing Process

You need to heal for three to six months before your implants can be exposed. It takes time for the implants to integrate with your jawbone.

4. Healing Cap

Once you are healed, your dentist will expose the implants. They will place a healing cap to guide the soft tissue healing process. 

5. Impression

Your dentist will scan or take an impression of your implants and mouth and measurements of your mouth. They will send the impressions to the lab to create the denture framework and artificial teeth.

This process can take several appointments.

6. Insertion

Once the overdenture is made, your dentist will let you try it and make any necessary modifications. 

If your overdenture fits well, your dentist will secure it in place. You’ll receive post-care instructions on how to take care of your new prosthetic. 

Standard Dentures vs. Overdentures

Standard dentures and overdentures are both prosthetics that replace missing teeth. They differ in several key ways.

Standard dentures are removable, affordable, and quick solutions to replace missing teeth.  However, they may need frequent relines and repairs to maintain a comfortable fit. A jawbone with no teeth will deteriorate more quickly over time, causing a traditional denture to loosen. 

Overdentures, on the other hand, are typically permanent and cannot dislodge easily. The implants supporting them keep these dentures stable, making constant readjustment unnecessary. They give you a youthful, natural look. 

Overdentures are a costly but excellent lifelong investment for your oral and overall health. 

Pros and Cons of Overdentures

The advantages of an overdenture are significant. Many people will use a standard denture as a stepping stone until they can afford an overdenture or their medical health allows them to have implant surgery. 

The pros and cons of overdentures include:

Pros Cons
Permanent solution to missing teeth May be more expensive than traditional dentures
No risk of loosening or slipping like traditional dentures Involves surgical procedures
Preserves jawbone Requires a sufficient amount of bone for implant success
Greater confidence eating, smiling, and laughing

How Much Does an Overdenture Cost? 

The cost of overdentures varies based on several factors:

  • Type of dental specialist (cosmetic dentist versus prosthodontist)
  • How many implants you need
  • Materials of the overdenture

Typically, an overdenture can cost up to $25,000 per arch. Most insurance plans will not cover overdentures, as they are cosmetic. However, they may cover traditional or partial dentures.

Alternative Treatment Options

There are many alternative treatments to explore if an overdenture is not the right fit for you:

  • Removable denture – A full arch denture can provide greater confidence and comfort. It can restore your oral health and function. 
  • Partial denture – A partial denture helps prevent your adjacent teeth from shifting. It can restore function and esthetics. 
  • Dental bridge A bridge is a good solution for people wanting a permanent, non-removable prosthetic that can restore function to missing teeth.

Summary

Overdentures are a permanent alternative to traditional dentures. They are dental prosthetics supported by implants for greater stability. 

There are different types of overdentures, including removable and non-removable. While they involve an expensive and lengthy procedure, they can give you greater confidence and comfort while eating, laughing, and smiling.

Last updated on December 30, 2022
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on December 30, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Hameed, N. “Inserting retention plastic caps to ball implant supported overdenture: easy chair side technique.” Journal of Dental Health, Oral Disorders, and Therapy, MedCrave Group, 2015. 
  2. Muftu, A., et al. “Complications in implant supported overdentures.” Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry, National Library of Medicine, 1997. 
  3. Freeman, C., et al. “Long term follow-up of implant stabilized overdentures.” European Journal of Prosthodontics and Restorative Dentistry, National Library of Medicine, 2001.
  4. Payne, A., et al. “Mandibular implant supported overdentures: a prospective evaluation of the burden of prosthodontic maintenance with three different attachment systems.” International Journal of Prosthodontics, National Library of Medicine, 2000.
  5. Doundoulakis J., et al “The implant-supported overdenture as an alternative to the complete mandibular denture.” Journal of the American Dental Association, Elsevier, Inc., 2003.
  6. Takanashi, Y., et al. “A cost comparison of mandibular two-implant overdenture and conventional denture treatment.” The International Journal of Prosthodontics, ResearchGate, 2004.
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