If you’re missing all of your teeth and anticipating the need for complete dentures, you may want to consider implant overdentures as an alternative to removable dentures.
What Are Implant Overdentures?
Implant overdentures are dentures supported by dental implants, which are placed in your jawbone. At least two dental implants are used to stabilize an arch of teeth. During a healing period of three to four months, your jawbone and the implants will fuse together and provide a solid anchor for your denture. The stability of your denture increases with the number of implants you receive.
Advantages of Stabilizing Your Dentures
Implant overdentures provide relief from common denture problems and have several advantages, including:
- Comfort – Your denture will be anchored by dental implants—not resting on your gums. You won’t have the discomfort of sore or irritated gums.
- Support – While traditional upper dentures are held in place by suction, unsecured lower dentures commonly lift or slip around. Dental implants keep your dentures in place and help them feel more like your own natural teeth.
- Easier to speak – Stable dentures make it easier to speak and enunciate clearly. When you speak, you won’t be distracted with the sounds or sensations of clicking removable complete dentures.
- Better chewing efficiency – Even the best fitting of removable dentures will reduce your chewing efficiency by half. Implant overdentures, on the other hand, can completely restore your ability to chew and enjoy your food. Unlike a removable upper denture, an upper implant overdenture doesn’t cover your palate, so you can fully enjoy the taste of food.
- Preserve bone – Dental implants stimulate and preserve jawbone and help prevent facial sagging that results from bone shrinkage.
Two to six implants can be used to stabilize dentures. In some cases, an existing denture can be converted to accommodate dental implants. An implant overdenture can be removable or fixed.
Removable implant overdentures
Two to four dental implants will be placed toward the front of your jawbone. A denture base can be made to snap onto the implants. As shown in the diagram to the right, the stability of a denture can be increased with a retaining bar. If you receive a removable implant overdenture, you will remove it daily for cleaning.
Fixed implant overdentures
Four to six implants can be placed in the bone to maximize the stability and support of your denture and to stimulate a wider area of the bone. Your dentures will be secured to the implants with tiny screws. If you receive a fixed implant overdenture, it will stay in place at all times. You will brush the denture teeth and gums with non-abrasive paste.
What Can You Expect?
- Dental implant surgery is a simple in-office procedure.
- Most post-operative discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.
- After surgery temporary teeth will be placed, and you’ll wear them during the healing period.
- You will receive post-operative instructions for implant site care, oral hygiene, and nutrition.
- You’ll have periodic checkup appointments to ensure the implant sites are healthy and healing well.
- After the implants fuse with your bone, Dr. Weiss will attach your permanent teeth to the implants. He provides cosmetic dentures that look completely natural.
Interested in Implant Overdentures?
If you’re interested in implant overdentures and would like to know your options but aren’t ready to commit to an exam, you can request a 30-minute complimentary consultation with Dr. Weiss. Or, if you’re ready to start the process, you can schedule an appointment for an exam. Call us or complete our Request an Appointment form.