People with several or all missing teeth understand the struggle with dentures slipping during speaking or loosening while laughing. An overdenture is a dental prosthetic that eliminates the problems associated with traditional dentures.
An overdenture is a denture prosthesis supported by implants, so they remain stable and in place. It offers a natural smile that allows you to comfortably eat, laugh, and smile without the worry of a denture moving around.
An overdenture can ultimately improve a person’s quality of life by acting as natural teeth.
Overdenture implants can be fixed in place or removable depending on your needs and budget. Both types are significantly more comfortable and esthetic than a regular denture and help improve a person’s oral health by preventing further bone loss and supporting nutritional needs.
Implant-supported dentures are a type of overdenture that uses four or six implants screwed into the mandibular and maxillary jawbone. They help retain your existing bone to prevent further deterioration. This will help improve bone stability and offer a more youthful appearance.
An implant-supported overdenture typically requires two minor procedures: one to place the implant into the jawbone and one to uncover the implant so a custom prosthetic can be fabricated. It can be removed when it's time to sleep or when it needs to be cleaned by the patient.
A fixed implant-supported overdenture is similar to a removable one, but it is locked in place by screws and cannot be removed by the patient. You would need your dentist to gently unscrew the prosthetic to remove it.
This option offers a person the greatest, permanent support for the edentulous patient. The only downside is it is typically the most expensive option as it needs four dental implants and uses screws as abutments.
A bar-retained implant-supported overdenture uses a bar attached to the denture that helps clip onto the implants. It allows the denture to clip on and off the implants as needed but offers more security than a conventional denture. Most people will only remove the overdenture to clean and sleep.
Ball retained implants are an excellent solution for the lower arch, where usually two or four implants are inserted in the jawbone.
A ball retained overdenture is one where the abutment that connects from the implant to the denture is ball-shaped. It provides stability and improved functionality compared to a traditional denture.
Additionally, ball attachments make it easier to clean and simple to change parts if replacements are needed.
Sometimes people are missing only a few teeth and need a partial denture. Similar to a full denture, it is usually removable and comes with some drawbacks like putting pressure on existing neighboring teeth.
An overdenture partial does exactly what a complete implant-retained denture does. It replaces teeth with one or more implants, making them easier to clean. There is also less worry about it slipping.
An overdenture partial helps distribute chewing forces more equally and gives a natural appearance compared to a traditional partial denture.
Your dentist or surgeon will review all the steps of the implant and overdenture process. Just as you would need a single implant, an overdenture initially has the same steps.
A standard denture and overdenture are two very different types of prosthetics. The single common denominator between them is that they replace missing teeth.
Standard dentures are removable, affordable, and quick solutions to replace missing teeth. The acrylic denture helps restore function and aesthetics and is used when people want to eat more comfortably. A complete denture will fit over the bony ridge but may become loose over time because of bone deterioration.
Over time, a lower jaw with no teeth experiences bone resorption. This causes a denture wearer to experience a loose denture that needs frequent relines and repairs. When mandibular implants are placed, it causes the denture to remain stable and improve patient satisfaction.
Overdentures are typically permanent and cannot dislodge easily. They are stable and give much greater confidence and comfort than a standard denture. Overdentures are very costly and an excellent, lifelong investment into your oral and overall health.
Unlike a standard denture, an overdenture helps retain the jawbone by strengthening it. It helps provide a more youthful look than a regular denture and encourages bone regeneration instead of bone deterioration.
The advantages of an overdenture are endless. Many people will use a standard denture as a stepping stone until they can afford an overdenture or their medical health qualifies for implants.
The most common benefits include:
The main downside of an overdenture is the high cost, and you need a sufficient amount of bone for implant success.
Overdenture cost can vary based on the type of dental specialist (cosmetic dentist versus prosthodontist), how many implants you need, and the materials of the overdenture.
Typically, an overdenture arch can cost up to $25,000.
Tooth loss is a challenge, but there are many treatment plans if an overdenture is not the right fit for you:
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