The moment someone looses all his teeth and has to wear a denture, is one of the most difficult in life.
There is usually a significant psychological stress, since for most people the loss of natural teeth symbolizes the loss of youth.
Even when our patients manage to overcome their initial fears and get used to the idea of dentures, they still need time to be able to comfortably use their new set of teeth for speech and mastication.
Our patients often wonder, if the denture can be more stable. A full denture can not be stable by itself.
There are ways to improve the behavior of a denture, but it is impossible for a denture especially in the lower jaw to be perfectly stable without help.
Nowadays however, we can improve the behavior of dentures significantly with the help of dental implants.
Dentures supported by implants, are called overdentures and are a great alternative for people with no natural teeth.
The advantages of using implant supported overdentures over conventional dentures are:
- they provide greater stability and comfort allowing normal chewing ability and increased occlusal force
- they help to improve nutrition
- they provide increased self-confidence
- they preserve the bone around the area of the implants.
In the mandible we need at least two implants to support an overdenture.
The implants are connected to the denture with the help of ball abutments (left patient ) or with a metal bar (right patient).
Here's a short video presenting how a bar overdenture works:
See also a similar video with a bar implant supported overdenture:
In the maxilla we need at least four implants to fabricate an overdenture. This is due to the lower quality of the maxillary bone and the bigger size of the maxillary denture.
A maxillary overdenture can leave part of the palate free, allowing greater comfort and tasting ability compared to a conventional denture.
It is usually relatively easy to find sufficient bone in the mandible for placement of two implants, while in the maxilla conditions are usually more demanding.
If you are interested in an overdenture, you need to start with a panoramic radiograph and possibly a CT scan.
The placement of implants is performed under local anesthesia and after 3-6 months we begin the implant restoration and the fabrication of the denture.
It is practically difficult to modify an old denture to an overdenture, even if it has excellent features. The reason is that the acrylic denture becomes thin in the attachment area, having a big risk of fracture during use. This is why we fabricate overdentures with metal reinforcement.
Now, if you're wondering about the disadvantages of an implant supported overdenture compared to conventional dentures I have to say, it is more expensive and needs maintenance over time due to wear of the prosthetic components.
The overdentures are an excellent solution for people who find it difficult to speak and eat properly with a denture.
The surprise on their faces when they realize how much power it takes to remove the denture from their implants is one of the greatest satisfactions I get from my work.
Do you use denture? Are you satisfied from its performance? Are you interested in an overdenture?
What would you like to know more about them?