Have a Confident Smile With Overdentures
Overdentures are a way for denture wearers to have a more confident smile and eliminate many problems associated with conventional dentures such as slipping and irritation of gum tissue. A denture is custom molded to the shape of the gum and bone ridges in the mouth and is meant to fit comfortably and securely over the gums. An upper denture, which covers the palate or roof of the mouth, is held in place by suction with the clear, viscous fluid in the mouth (saliva) acting as a seal. Lower dentures, on the other hand, are shaped like a horseshoe as they need to allow space for the tongue. The lower denture is mainly dependent on gravity as well as the cheek muscles and tongue to hold it in place.
Over time certain problems can begin to develop which causes instability of the denture resulting in loose dentures, painful dentures, inability to eat certain foods, and even problems with speech. Overdentures are designed to give denture wearers security and the ability to smile, eat and speak with confidence. An overdenture is simply a denture which snaps onto a set of implants that help keep it in place. Overdentures are most often used for lower dentures but can also be used for upper dentures as well.
Benefits of Choosing Overdentures
Dentures are a wonderful way to restore a beautiful smile after being faced with problem teeth and gums. Many people, however, find it difficult to wear their dentures with one of the most common reasons being loose dentures (particularly the lower denture). When dentures are loose and slide around it can trigger a number of problems such as gum irritation, pain, or problems with speech and eating and denture adhesives may not be the best solution. Eventually that beautiful smile may fade away due to a lack of confidence or embarrassment. Patients who experience problems wearing dentures may be the perfect candidate for overdentures or implant retained dentures. Here are a few of the benefits to choosing overdentures:
• Loose-fitting dentures are replaced with improved stability, support and retention.
• Eat the foods you love. When dentures are stabilized you can chew your food properly and not be nervous about what you are eating. Eating the right types of foods and following a healthy diet can improve overall health.
• Smile, laugh and speak with confidence. Laughter is the best medicine and smiles are contagious. Overdentures can give you the confidence to open your mouth to smile and laugh without embarrassing moments due to slipping dentures. Speech can also be improved.
• Wear dentures in comfort. Dentures that fit properly and securely will not rub against gum tissue thereby eliminating bleeding or irritated gums and pain.
• Eliminate the need for denture adhesives. With overdentures you can do away with the cost and inconvenience of using ineffective over-the-counter denture adhesives.
• Your existing denture can (in many cases) be used for your overdenture.
Three Primary Types of Overdentures
There are three different types of overdentures (also referred to as implant retained dentures) used to stabilize dentures and each has its own unique set of advantages, drawbacks, and differences in associated costs and longevity.
1. Mini Implant: The mini implant is the most affordable option in overdentures and is quickly gaining popularity based on the lower cost and reduced healing time. The implants (also referred to as a ball abutment), which contains a ball-top design, are surgically inserted into the jaw and the denture attaches to the implants by snapping onto the ball tops. The implants create an anchor for the denture which stabilizes the denture and keeps it firmly in place.
2. Locator Abutment: This second type of overdenture is actually the most popular due to the fact that there often are only two implants required. This is a common overdenture because of its adaptability. Between 2 and 6 implants may be placed depending on how stable the patient desires their denture to be. Patient healing time, however, is much longer than with mini implants. It is very similar to the mini implants in that the implants are inserted into the lower jaw (mandible) and the underside of the overdenture contains a matching cap that allows it to snap into place over the implants.
3. Bar Attachment: An overdenture bar is the third type and the most costly due to fabrication of the precision bar that would sit along the alveolar ridge. It is designed to be resilient and extremely durable providing excellent stabilization of the overdenture. One of the key benefits of a bar attachment is that it can direct forces away from the supporting gum tissue and bone.
If you are experiencing any difficulties or discomfort with your dentures, overdentures may be the perfect solution. Consulting with your dentist on all of your concerns and available treatment options will help you determine if overdentures are the right choice for you. You are invited to call Dr. Scott Williams at Ascent Family Dental (970-351-6095) to schedule an appointment to discuss your options for implant retained dentures and your overall denture care.