Decatur, AL Implant Overdentures
If you’re missing all your teeth and need dentures, securing those dentures with implants has a number of benefits.
Implant Overdentures Vs. Removable Dentures
Traditional Dentures – Pros/Cons
Today’s premium dentures can create a natural smile full of beautiful teeth, with some significant limitations. Chewing efficiency in even the best set of removable dentures will be about 50% of what you used to have with natural teeth, maybe less. The reason is that they rest on movable soft tissue, so there is no way to keep them in one place. The upper denture stays in place with suction and tends to be the more stable half. The lower is held in place with gravity, and your tongue and cheeks need to help it stay in place. You will need to learn how to control the dentures and chew with them.
In addition, the upper denture has to cover your palate. The problem with that is there are taste buds in your palate, and this reduces your enjoyment of your food. Also, the dentures can slip around at embarrassing times, and can cause sores.
But the most difficult problem is that, if you have no remaining teeth, your body considers your jawbone to be superfluous and a great source of calcium and phosophorus that can be used elsewhere in the body. It begins to resorb those minerals, initiating a process that ends, in about 10 or 20 years, in what we call facial collapse. This is a serious condition that can make it very difficult to even wear any kind of a removable denture at all, because there is so little bone left to support it. It also creates a sunken-in, aged look to your face.
Implant Overdentures – Pros/Cons
The presence of dental implants will prevent facial collapse and will stabilize the denture. They signal to your body that the bone is still needed, and it will not be resorbed in that area. The implant is usually a titanium root form that is surgically implanted into your jawbone. Over a period of 3-4 months, the bone grows around this implant and fuses to the implant, a process called osseointegration.
Implant overdentures have varying levels of complexity and cost. One of the simplest is called a snap-on denture. This is just what it sounds like. It is a removable appliance that snaps onto two dental implants. The appliance is a complete denture and the snaps allow it be be securely attached to the implant anchors. It will have some up-and-down movement, but will not slide around at all.
More implants can be added for greater stability and comfort. Four, six, or eight implants can be used—the more implants, the more stable.
For all of these types of overdentures, you will be given a temporary denture to wear while the implant sites heal and osseointegration occurs.
If you have been missing teeth for a period of time, you will likely have lost a lot of bone structure already. You may need to have bone grafting done to provide enough anchoring for the implants.
All-On-4 Dental Implants
If you have bone left in the anterior part of your jaw, the all-on-4 dental implants technique can be used to avoid the need for bone grafting.
If you would like to learn more about the consequences of bone loss in the jaw, along with comprehensive prevention and treatment strategies, we invite you to visit our Facial Collapse page. If you are considering full mouth tooth replacement options, we would enjoy being able to help you. Feel free to give us a call, or go to our request an appointment page.