If you are missing all or most of your teeth, you are not alone. Tooth loss in the United States is more common than you may think. According to the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP), about 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth.
Luckily, patients have more options than ever before when it comes to tooth replacements. At Prosthodontics & Implant Therapy we specialize in a wide variety of full-arch restorations, from removable dentures to fixed complete bridges. Overdentures land somewhere in between these two options.
What Is an Overdenture?
An overdenture is an oral appliance designed to replace a full arch of missing teeth in the upper or lower jaw. In many ways, an overdenture is similar to a traditional denture. Like dentures, the appliance is removable and consists of prosthetic teeth set in a pink-colored, acrylic base.
However, an overdenture is supported by a series of dental implants, while a traditional denture rests on the gums. A dental implant is a small titanium screw that we surgically embed into the jawbone. Through a process known as osseointegration, the implant screw fuses to the jawbone to form a powerful bond. This bond allows the implant to serve as the root component of the prosthesis, in this case, an overdenture.
Overdentures Vs. Traditional Dentures
Because the appliance is retained by dental implants, an overdenture has some benefits over traditional dentures. The use of implants helps stabilize the appliance, which improves the effectiveness and durability of your treatment. Even though it is still removable, your overdenture will remain secure as you eat, speak, smile, and yawn.
A traditional denture relies on your gums and sticky adhesives to remain in place. Dentures designed for the upper jaw even cover part of the palate for support. Unfortunately, this can result in irritation issues, embarrassing slips, and speech problems.
Thanks to implants, an overdenture allows you to chew your food more thoroughly without having to worry about slips. This promotes better digestion and improves the comfort of your appliance. Overdentures can even result in higher self-esteem and better confidence, knowing your appliance is secure, durable, and aesthetically pleasing!
The Importance of Implants and Osseointegration
Osseointegration is not only responsible for the success of your implants; it is also one of the biggest benefits! When you lose your teeth, you lose the physical stimulation that keeps your jawbone healthy and strong. If your tooth loss remains untreated, you will likely experience significant bone deterioration.
Bone deterioration can result in a less youthful facial structure. Due to this deterioration, traditional dentures need to be relined or replaced at regular intervals to ensure the proper fit. Dental implants provide physical stimulation to the jaw and prevent bone deterioration. This improves the longevity of your overdenture and helps you maintain a more youthful appearance.
Implant therapy is the only replacement treatment that prevents bone deterioration. If your bone has already begun to atrophy, it can affect the success of your treatment. Luckily, a bone graft can foster the growth of new bone strong enough to support dental implants.
Schedule Your Consultation Now!
Find out if an implant-supported overdenture is right for you! Call (813) 933-6705 and schedule your consultation appointment now!