If you have missing teeth, you know the struggle of living without a complete smile. While dentures can replace your teeth, they come with their own problems. If you want to replace missing teeth with a more stable option, overdenture implants may be the right option for restoring your smile.
What Is an Implant Overdenture?
Like traditional dentures, overdentures are prosthetic sets of teeth that replace the lower or upper teeth. However, implant overdentures do not rely on suction or adhesive to hold the denture in place. Implant overdentures use dental implants to secure the prosthetic teeth.
Dental implants use permanent titanium posts that are secured in the jawbone. A small hole is drilled into the jawbone to insert the implant, a small, metal screw-like post. As the surgical site heals, the bone grows around the implant, holding it in place. Once healed, the implant can be used to stabilize restorations like overdentures.
Types of Overdenture Implants
There are different types of overdenture options that use dental implants to hold them in place. All attach the overdenture to dental implants, but some are removeable while others are not. Each may require different amounts of implants to hold the overdenture in place.
- Implant-Supported Overdenture
- The basic option in overdenture implants is the implant-supported overdenture. This option uses four to six implants per arch to support the overdenture. Instead of resting on the gums, overdentures are supported by the dental implants. Implant-supported overdentures are removeable for sleeping and cleaning.
- Ball-Retained Overdenture
- Another removeable implant-supported overdenture is the ball-retained option. This type only requires two to four implants for the lower arch and uses an abutment on the implant that is ball-shaped that connects to the overdenture. This stabilizes the prosthetic while in place.
- Bar-Retained Overdenture
- Like the ball-retained implant overdenture, a bar-retained option snaps the overdenture in place for a more stable fit. Four or more implants are used that have a bar attached to the abutments, which connect to the overdenture. The denture is removed to sleep and for cleaning.
- Fixed Implant-Supported Overdentures
- For those who want a more natural solution, a fixed implant overdenture may be the right option. A fixed implant-supported overdenture is attached to the implants with screws, and it is not removeable by the patient. The overdentures stay in place 24/7 and are cleaned like natural teeth.
- Fixed implant-supported overdentures may require up to eight implants per arch, depending on the patient and type of denture used. This can be more expensive, as the cost is directly related to how many implants are needed to support the overdenture.
- Hybrid Implant Overdentures
- There are hybrid overdentures that are very popular for full mouth restorations. All-on-4 or All-on-6 hybrid dentures use four or six implants for a permanent, fixed overdenture. The hybrid denture is more natural in appearance and may be less expensive than other fixed overdenture options.
Advantages of Overdenture Implants
The obvious benefit of implant-supported dentures is that they do not move or slip like conventional dentures. Whether it is retained by a ball or bar, or fixed in place with screws, implant overdentures are more comfortable and attractive for the wearer. There are also some other benefits to overdenture implants.
Are You a Good Candidate for Implants?
Implant-supported dentures are an improved option over traditional dentures, but they may not be right for everyone. Individuals must have enough jawbone to support the dental implants. Some patients may need bone grafting or other procedures to use overdenture implants.
Another drawback of implant overdentures is the cost. Conventional dentures are much more affordable than implant-supported dentures. You can expect to pay thousands of dollars more for overdentures with implants versus plain dentures, but it is less expensive than individual implants.
If you have missing teeth, overdentures supported by dental implants can be a wonderful option for full mouth restorations. To learn more about overdenture implants, visit a dentist who offers dental implants and overdenture restorations.