When someone is missing all of the teeth in a dental arch (either all of the upper teeth or all of the lower teeth), he or she has several treatment options to consider for replacing those missing teeth. Traditional dentures are familiar to most people as a prosthetic teeth replacement. We can improve the fit and function of dentures by implementing the use of dental implants underneath.
What are Implant Overdentures?
Implant overdentures are a specific prosthetic teeth replacement that combines the style of traditional dentures with the added stability and improved function of dental implants. The denture remains removable, unlike other teeth replacement options utilizing dental implants. The underlying dental implants create a connection or attachment between the denture and the jawbone.
How Do Implant Overdentures Work?
Your dentist places a number of dental implants (a minimum of two is necessary for stability) into the bone of the jaw’s dental arch. After the implants heal and maintain a firm connection to the surrounding bone, we place an attachment called an abutment to the implant body. The implant remains underneath the gums inside the bone, and the abutment protrudes out of the gum tissues and consists of a particular shape to which the covering denture corresponds. These “locator” abutments lock into a “receiver” on the inside of the denture, creating a stable connection.
By connecting the denture to an anchor within the jawbone, implant overdentures have many advantages over traditional dentures. Traditional dentures rest on top of the gums and jawbone, and the patient uses both muscle control and a suction effect to keep them in the mouth. Implant overdentures connect to the bone through the abutment and “lock” into place.
The advantages this connection leads to include minimal looseness, no fear of embarrassment from dentures “falling out” during speaking or eating, increased chewing force, and fewer sore spots. Patients with implant overdentures need fewer dental visits for adjustments of the dentures because they cause less friction by not moving around as much as traditional dentures do. When the attachment between the implants and dentures seems to loosen, we can adjust the abutments or inner receiver on the denture to tighten it. They are “adjustable”.
More Questions about Implant Overdentures?
Call Pearl Dentistry today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Sri, our dental implant expert. He can assess your unique situation and help you determine whether implant overdentures will meet your specific dental needs.