In the past, when a patient’s natural teeth failed, standard dentures were the expected choice. Today, overdentures offer a fresh spin on a classic dental device. Could it be a better solution for you?
Conventional dentures are removable appliances that are made to mimic the look of the missing gums and teeth. They sit atop the remaining gum and are typically held in place by suction due to their close fit. If the natural grip isn’t enough, then adhesives can also be used. Dentures are a time-tested approach. However, they eventually cause muscle and bone loss in the lower jaw. This changes the appearance of the face, making a person look older. Complaints of slippage are also incredibly common.
Overdentures don’t slip. That’s because these dentures are held in place by dental implants. Like a conventional denture, an overdenture is removable and made with both faux teeth and gum tissue, but it attaches to implants when worn. A tooth-supported overdenture for the entire lower jaw will typically require just two implants. The upper jaw requires more implants.
A few different types of overdentures are available. This allows patients to select the one that best fits their needs. Sadly, not everyone is a good candidate for an overdenture implant. Patients must have sufficient bone available to install the necessary implants, and healing from the placement of these implants can take months.
Overdentures deliver several benefits:
- Comfort. An overdenture will fit comfortably and stay put.
- Confidence. You don’t have to worry about embarrassing slips.
- Health. Overdentures allow you to eat normally. People can continue to consume a healthy, varied diet without the need to worry about chewing difficulties.
- Appearance. These appliances prevent bone and muscle loss, so your face retains its familiar appearance.
- Easy care. Because overdentures are removable, maintaining them is straightforward. They can be taken out and cleaned just like regular teeth. While they’re out, you can clean the areas beneath them easily. Daily cleaning will remove bacteria before it can cause bad breath, infection, or plaque.
- Reliability. Overdentures are durable and long-lasting. With proper care, they’ll last for years.
If the idea of taking your teeth out at night is disturbing, you may find another option more appealing: a fixed denture. Like a conventional denture or an overdenture, a fixed denture is comprised of simulated teeth and gum tissue. What sets it apart is that it cannot be removed at home. Instead, more implants are used to hold it firmly in place. Because more implants are needed, patients must have a lot of high-quality jawbone. The additional implants means a fixed denture is generally more expensive.
How do you maintain fixed dentures?
Because fixed dentures aren’t removable, caring for a fixed denture is similar to natural teeth. A daily regimen of brushing and flossing is required. Followed up with routine dental exams include teeth cleaning and xrays with your favorite dentist.
If you’re trying to choose between dentures and overdentures, give us a call. At Wekiva Dental, we provide a wide range of dental services and products to maximize your smile and optimize your dental health. If we can help you figure out which denture appliance is suitable for you or any other type of dental implant. Contact us today for a free consultation.