Cadena Family Dentistry prides itself on staying at the cutting edge of available dental solutions for you and your smile. Dental implants are considered to be the most ideal solution for replacing lost teeth, but not everyone’s mouth can handle a full set of dental implants. For those patients who – for whatever reason – are not good candidates for a full set of dental implants, overdentures may be a viable solution.
Overdentures are replacement teeth that are retained – or held in place – by dental implants. They were developed to help patients who are missing some or even all of their teeth to regain the freedom and quality of life that they may have lost due to missing teeth. Overdentures have a few distinct advantages over traditional dentures.
Firstly, they are not held in place using any adhesives, this avoids the shifting and wiggling that comes with traditional dentures that have not been expertly fit. This shifting can cause serious abrasion and discomfort, infection, and in some cases it prevents a patient from being able to properly chew their food and can lead to malnourishment issues.
Overdentures slow the loss of bone in your jaw that tends to come along with missing teeth. Because they are anchored using implants, the implants continue to stimulate the bone in the way a natural root would. This stimulation activates your body’s natural processes that slow – or may even stop – your bone loss. Not only does that mean you will have more stability for eating, it also means your facial features will be better retained. Loss of teeth and loss of jawbone can severely affect the way your facial features sit. You cheeks may begin to sink in and the distance between your nose and chin can shrink as the bone is lost. This can make you look much older than your actual years.
There are three basic ways of securing your overdentures:
Gum Supported, Implant Retained: With this method, the overdenture sits directly on your natural gums and is held in place by implants that are placed into the upper and lower jaws. The overdenture itself is removable for your comfort and hygiene purposes. This is most appropriate for patients who are missing all of their teeth.
Implant Supported, Bar Retained: This type of overdenture is removable just like the gum supported one is. However, instead of resting on the gums, this type rests on a metal bar that is placed onto the upper and lower jaw via a series of dental implants. The overdenture itself is secured to the bar using attachments that are fabricated directly into the denture.
Fixed Implant Supported: With this option, the overdenture and bar are a single-piece framework that is secured to the implants using screws. This type of overdenture can only be removed by a dental professional and looks and feels most like natural teeth.
If you’re wondering if you are a candidate for overdentures, or what type of overdenture may be best for you, contact us to make an appointment for a consultation. We would be happy to help you on your path to a more brilliant smile.