Sometimes, your oral surgeon may recommend something called an overdenture instead of a regular denture. You may wonder what this is. An overdenture is a removable prosthesis that covers the entire surface of a root or regular dental implant, hence the name. There are certain reasons why an overdenture may work for you as opposed to a regular denture.
In this article, that’s what we’ll touch on…
What is an overdenture?
It is a removable dental prosthesis that covers and rests on one or more remaining natural teeth, the roots of natural teeth, or on dental implants. As its name implies, an overdenture is designed to go over a supporting structure, most commonly, dental implants. An overdenture may be supported by either two, three, or four dental implants. Overdentures with four implants are the most common option.
When should you opt for an overdenture?
Dental implant-supported overdentures may be right for you if you are using existing dentures and want to improve their retention and support. If you want to improve your chewing function, with the ability to chew your favorite food, an overdenture may work. Also, if you have a significant bone loss due to the use of dentures, your oral surgeon may recommend an overdenture.
If you do not mind having teeth that are removable, if you need extraction of your remaining teeth, and you do not want to use a conventional denture, you can opt for an overdenture. The latter may also be an option if you want to preserve your jaw bone from further damage.
How does an overdenture work?
Dental implants provide support to the overdentures by special connectors known as locator abutments. If you use three or four dental implants to support the overdenture, you can eat food much more comfortably and not worry about denture displacement.
What is the process for installing an overdenture?
Placing an overdenture in your mouth is a collaborative effort between your oral surgeon and your restorative dentist. The oral surgeon will place a dental implant, while the restorative dentist will fabricate the overdenture.
The oral surgeon will first obtain a Cone Beam CT Scan (CBCT) to assess the quality and quantity of bone. The restorative surgeon will then complete a clinical evaluation and create an interim denture to be tried in the patient for a proper fit. The surgeon then uses the CBCT for a three-dimensional computer-assisted planning. A surgical guide is then fabricated using 3D-printing.
The surgeon then uses the surgical guide to place the dental implants with optimal precision and accuracy. The implants are allowed to heal for 3 to 4 months. The patient continues to use the interim denture that has already been fitted.
The restorative dentist takes the final impressions and fabricates the final overdenture that fits into the implant abutments. The bite is then adjusted and the overdenture is then checked for overall comfort, function, and aesthetics. An implant-supported overdenture will typically be more stable than a regular denture.
Advantages of Overdentures
Overdentures have several advantages as opposed to regular dentures. Some of them are:
- Prevents bone loss
- Results in improved esthetics
- Results in improved stability by reducing or eliminating prosthetic movement
- A decrease in abrasions of soft tissue
- Results in improved chewing efficiency and force
- Results in improved retention and support
- Results in improved speech due to the reduced size of the overdenture
Overall, implant overdentures offer the advantages of improved comfort, support, retention, and stability.
These are just some of the reasons that overdentures may work well for you. However, you need to consult with your dentist or your oral surgeon to determine if you are the right candidate for overdentures. Your oral surgeon will work with you to chart out the course of treatment that you need.
At the Harbour Pointe Oral Surgery & Advanced Dental Implant Center, our oral surgeons will answer any questions you may have about overdentures and the implant process. At Harbour Pointe, every patient is treated as unique based on their own personal history and dental needs.
So, the next time you need a dental procedure to be done, including the inserting of overdentures, consult Harbour Pointe and rest easy knowing you’re in the best hands!
For more information about overdentures and other procedures, consult Dr. Brian Hart and Dr. Kathleen Isdith
at 425-353-1009 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our website www.harbourpointeoralsurgery.net
for more information.