Overdentures are artificial teeth attached to surgically inserted titanium posts or natural teeth used on people who have lost all or most of their upper or lower teeth.
Where all the upper or lower teeth are missing, the patient can either use dentures or overdentures to replace them.
Overdentures are different from conventional dentures that sit on the gum where the teeth used to be and can be easily disengaged from the dental implants they lock into. Implants are metallic posts (or screws) that are surgically inserted into the jawbone.
They are usually made of titanium and form a solid bond via a biological process known as osseointegration.
To have titanium posts inserted, one must be in good health, and the jawbone must be strong enough to support them. The titanium posts provide strong platforms where overdentures can be fixed and expected to remain firm.
This blog post will discuss overdentures, the benefits they have over conventional dentures, and a comprehensive guide to determining whether or not they are a good solution for you.
Why Choose Overdentures?
If you are missing all the upper or lower teeth, overdentures can be a great solution to improve both your function and aesthetics; they are firmly attached to your jawbone using titanium posts, dramatically improving your talking and eating functionalities.
Traditional dentures can also replace missing teeth, but the performance is limited compared to overdentures because they are not firmly fixed to your jawbone.
Overdenture Fixing Process
Unlike traditional dentures, the process of fixing overdentures takes time and should be routinely monitored by your dentist.
First, the professional has to ensure that your jawbone can handle the titanium posts and determine their best position.
The next step is to install the titanium posts surgically. After installation, the gradual healing process starts.
The healing process involves the jawbone growing around the titanium posts, making them hold firmer in place. This process takes three to eight months and requires regular checkups to make sure it is progressing well.
Once the healing process is completed, new impressions of your mouth are taken to create the overdentures that are to be fixed on the titanium posts.
The final step involves fitting the semi-permanent dentures into the titanium posts, leaving you with a strong, aesthetically pleasing, and custom set of teeth.
There are several differences in functionality and the long-term impact of using overdentures instead of other more basic dental solutions. Below are some of these differences:
1. Overdentures Improve Functionality
Overdentures are attached to titanium posts inserted into the jawbone, and this makes them strong enough to bite into anything that natural teeth can bite.
On the other hand, traditional dentures are kept in position using suction, adhesives, or a combination of both of them, making them less stable than overdentures, thereby limiting what a person can bite while using them.
Conventional dentures cover the palate section with taste buds which negatively impacts the eating experience.
Overdentures, conversely, are attached to titanium posts surgically inserted into the jawbone without covering the upper palate section, which considerably improves your eating experience.
2. Overdentures' Impact Over Time
Overdentures prevent the loss of bone density by engaging the jawbone and its muscles which ensures that you don't get a sunken appearance around the mouth (something common with people with traditional dentures).
Failure to stimulate the jawbone and the supporting muscles becomes evident on a functional level after some time, having a negative effect on how you pronounce some letters.
Are Overdentures Right For Me?
Implant-retained dentures have become very popular among people who want solid teeth and wish to retain their jawbone density.
They have been used to transform the lives of many people who lost all their teeth and wanted a long-term solution.
But as we mentioned before, overdentures are not for everyone as they require your jawbone to be in good condition.
In this section, we break down all of the benefits and things to consider for you to assess whether overdentures are the right solution for you.
Benefits of Overdentures
It is safe to say that overdentures' benefits originate from the surgically implanted posts that make them strong and firm.
Below are the core benefits of having overdentures:
- They allow you to eat what you want. Foods that are hard to chew are very challenging to people with traditional suction or adhesive dentures. On the other hand, overdentures allow you to chew your food well, which is very beneficial to your nutrition and digestion.
- Provide a better fit. Properly fitted overdentures are very comfortable in your mouth and will make your experience pleasant. Adhesive and suction dentures are not as comfortable and will sometimes cause sores in your mouth.
- They are stable. Traditional dentures will sometimes move around the mouth, making it difficult to chew or speak. Some people will have problems pronouncing some letters when they have the conventional dentures on.
- Retention of bone density. The dental implants directly connected to the jawbone make the jawbone just as engaged as it was with your natural teeth. The stimulation when chewing ensures that the muscles and the bone itself remain strong.
- They leave your taste buds exposed. The upper palate has taste buds that improve your eating experience. Unlike traditional dentures, overdentures can leave the upper palate exposed because it is held firm by dental implants.
- They improve the quality of life. Overdentures improve the chewing experience and enhance the appearance of your smile. This helps to build up your confidence which leads to an improvement in the quality of life.
- Easy to maintain. Overdentures are very easy to maintain because you can brush them just like your natural teeth. A few visits to your dental practice are all you need after they have been installed to make sure everything is in order.
Limitations of Overdentures
Below are a few disadvantages that come with overdentures and things you need to keep in mind to make the decision:
- They can't be fixed on everyone. You must have a strong jaw bone and take some medication after the insertion of dental implants. This makes them unsuitable to people with underlying conditions that impact their bone density or people who can be negatively affected by the medication that has to be taken.
- They are not easy to install. Traditional dentures require just a few appointments to be fitted for you to start using them. Overdentures require several appointments because of the extra steps needed for surgery and dental implants, and not every dentist will be able to do a perfect job; the professionals you choose must be highly experienced in this procedure.
- They may require a long healing process. Surgical implants can take months or even longer for adequate healing to take place. Throughout the healing period, you are required to have regular checks to monitor the healing process.
Making an Appointment to Talk About Overdentures
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, more than 35 million people in the US have lost all their upper teeth, or lower teeth, or both.
A weakened jawbone and change in facial features will occur if left untreated.
If you are considering getting dentures, make sure you understand the process, benefits, and limitations of the option you can choose.
Overdentures are popular because of their functional and aesthetic appeal.
Installing overdentures is a complex process that requires precision and experience. Ensure you choose a dentist who has enough expertise installing overdentures and is capable of meeting your expectations.
At Kneib Dentistry, we have experienced professionals who will fix your overdentures, leaving you looking and feeling your best.
Contact us today and book an appointment!