Dentures have been for a long time and is the go-to solution for patients experiencing tooth loss. People with these dentures report high satisfaction in terms of speech, aesthetics, and chewing. However, they express concerns over the retention of these dentures.
The risk of dentures becoming loose when you speak or chew is a great concern that can affect your confidence and quality of life significantly. However, you can still explore other affordable options such as overdentures to replace your lost teeth or your conventional dentures.
Overdentures provide greater retention due to their implant base, which gives a patient comfort and improved function. While they might be more expensive than traditional dentures, they are a better and lasting solution that will improve the quality of your life. Consulting with Northridge Dental Implant Center can help you establish the appropriateness of Overdentures for you.
Overview of Removable Implant Dentures and Overdentures
Teeth are a central part of our confidence, speech, and appearance, not to mention the role they play in digestion and nutrition. Teeth also play the role of supporting your facial structure by maintaining the integrity of your jaw.
One of the common problems with loss of a single tooth is resorption, whereby the jaws lose some of their thickness. The loss is more significant in patients who have lost all teeth. The greater the resorption, the sooner the collapse of the facial structures occurs, and you start to look aged.
Traditional dentures have been used as a restorative option for years. However, they do not restore your facial structure by encouraging bone tissue regrowth. They are also more likely to move as you chew or speak, which can be uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing.
While you might hold these dentures down with denture adhesives, you might still be wary about their stability. Removable implant dentures provide a better solution to your problem.
Overdentures rely on implants for full or partial support. Dental implants have become popular in recent years due to their strength and durability. They attach as firmly as the natural tooth, making them the best choice for people wishing to have close to natural restorations.
However, replacing teeth using individual implants can be an expensive process, especially if you have lost most or all of your teeth. Dentists have made it more affordable to use implants to replace lost teeth by introducing removable implant dentures.
These dentures rest on two to six implants depending on the jaw, which reduces the total cost of the treatment. While they might not offer the benefits of individual implants, they are a better restoration option compared to traditional dentures.
Removable implant dentures combine the removability of traditional dentures and the stability of implants.
Implant overdentures can be of three types, including:
- Tissue-supported overdentures, which are supported by two implants using ball, locators, or magnets as the retentive mechanisms. The rest of the overdenture gets its support from the gum tissue on the lower jaw. Tissue-supported overdentures are ideal for the lower jaw as it has thicker soft tissue compared to the upper jaw.
- Tissue and implant-supported overdentures consist of an implant-supported superstructure. The implants are placed on the anterior area of either jaw. These types of overdentures get their support from soft tissues and implants.
- Implant-supported overdentures rely on implants or implant-supported superstructures. They require more implants with four on the lower jaw and four to six implants in the upper jaw. Determining the required number of implants depends on the width of the arch and the grinding surface of the teeth.
Removable implant dentures present several benefits similar to those of implants. They include:
- Restoration and preservation of bone volume
- Improved function
- Improved retention
- Aesthetically appealing
If oral hygiene after the placement of artificial teeth were a concern for you, overdentures would be an ideal option since they are easy to clean.
The Need for Removable Implant Dentures
Removable implant dentures make sense for many patients who need to restore their teeth for a reduced price.
The most important use of implant-supported dentures is in the maintenance of the existing bone tissue. Tooth loss leads to loss of sensation in the gums triggering bone resorption. Continued loss of bone density could lead to additional problems, including pain and discomfort.
With an implant, however, especially when these are placed in different areas, provide stability, and prevent further bone loss.
Removable implant dentures also increase occlusal biting force. The force applied on the biting surface when chewing or grinding teeth decreases significantly when you have lost teeth or are using conventional dentures.
Overdentures increase the occlusal biting force since the implants are fixed into the jaw. The use of implants makes overdentures stable and less likely to move about, therefore, increased efficiency and force when chewing.
The increase in occlusal biting force also means more efficient chewing. Studies show that overdentures increase chewing efficiency with time, unlike dentures, which decrease the chewing efficiency.
The use of implant-supported dentures also increases enjoyment when speaking, eating, security, comfort, and overall satisfaction among patients. The strong support provided by implants makes it possible to chew hard foods, meaning your diet will still enjoy diversity.
Overdentures also have a longer lifespan compared to conventional dentures and other tooth replacement options. The dentures are not prone to decay, and can, therefore, outlive natural teeth.
Their longevity, however, does not eliminate the need for oral hygiene as it improves the health of your jaw and gum. You will also have a better odor and confidence with a clean mouth.
One of the reasons people opt for overdentures is for stability and retention. Implants are as strong as natural teeth. Therefore, they offer stability and retention to dentures, unlike conventional dentures, which rely on soft tissues and sometimes adhesives.
Using removable implant dentures also enhances phonetics. Since the dentures support themselves, you do not have to keep holding them down when speaking or making certain facial expressions.
The placement of overdentures takes several steps to increase the chances of success. The dentist will examine a variety of factors to determine whether a removable implant denture is the right restorative treatment for you.
The first step in determining your suitability as an overdenture patient involves imaging and diagnostics by your dentist. He or she will examine the bone depth of your jaws to determine whether they can hold an implant. Bone loss is a common problem once you start losing teeth. The body can detect that the area occupied by the missing tooth is not necessary anymore. It, therefore, removes the tissue from that area and uses it on other body parts.
If you have experienced jaw resorption, the dentists will first conduct a rehabilitation to encourage regrowth of the jaw. (Placement of an implant in inadequate bone tissue is a leading cause of implant failure. The lower jaw particularly requires more bone tissue since it absorbs most of the force during chewing.
Removable implant dentures are of different designs based on the amount of support required and the method of attachment applied.
Some of the attachment methods used include bar, stud, or magnet. Bar support systems are the strongest in terms of retention and stability. They provide better distribution of chewing forces, thus a greater chance of success.
Some of the factors that determine the treatment approach your dentist takes include:
- You experience with the current denture
- Your demands and expectations
- The number of implants
- The quality and quantity of your jawbone
- Your ability to maintain good oral hygiene
- The cost
Dentists agree that the lower jaw requires at least two implants to support the denture. These implants provide stability, support, and a greater chance of success. While some dentists might support the denture on the lower jaw using one implant for cost considerations, the efficiency and longevity are reduced.
For the denture on the upper jaw, at least four implants must be present. When evenly distributed, they provide adequate support and stability. The attachment method, however, also influences the success rate. Those attached using bars are more effective than those using a ball attachment system.
Overdenture Retention Systems
Implant overdentures rely on a variety of retention systems to hold them in place. These systems include:
- Single anchorage systems
- Splinted anchorage systems (bar attachment system)
- Telescopic crowns
Single attachments are ideal in cases such as:
- When the patient requires an existing denture to be converted into an overdenture
- The patient is an older person with limited ability
- When the dentist requires them to hold an interim position before the insertion of the final overdentures and after the post-surgical healing
- The patient has limited vertical space
- Where the patient might lose an implant during osseointegration, and he or she refuses re-implantation
- When the implants are unfavorably placed such that they cannot support a bar attachment
Splinted anchorage systems utilize bars and clips to increase retention. These retention systems for overdentures allow the splinting of implants, further increasing the stability of a removable implant denture.
Fitting an overdenture is a lengthy process that takes up to six months, depending on the activities involved.
Implants form the support system of these dentures and must be placed first before the denture. Before placing the implant, the dentist will examine your suitability as an implant patient.
Some of the deciding factors will include your oral hygiene and the bone tissue you have. Patients who have experienced extreme resorption might need bone grafting to encourage regrowth of the jawbone to support an implant.
Tooth extraction might become a part of the treatment process, depending on the health of the remaining teeth and their location. For example, if you have lost most of your teeth on the lower jaw, and the remaining have problems, the dentist will extract them so he or she can place the overdenture.
The dentist will place the implant through an implant surgery procedure. The implant takes between two to six months to become firmly embedded in the jawbone.
The placement of an implant is of great importance to the stability and success of your overdenture. Dentists first examine the best location to place the supporting implants so that the chewing forces are evenly distributed on the implants. Too much pressure on a single implant could affect the longevity of your overdentures.
Failure to allow osseointegration is a leading cause of implant failure. Therefore, your dentist will encourage you to allow sufficient recovery before he or she can place the overdenture.
However, you can wear immediate dentures to serve as temporary teeth while the dentist prepares your overdenture.
Meanwhile, the dentist will make an impression of top aid in the fabrication of the final prosthesis. However, he or she will present different try-ins before the placement of the final overdenture. They try-ins allow adjustment of the overdenture to ensure a perfect fit.
Caring For Overdentures
Dentures have a lifespan similar to that of teeth. However, they require consistent care to prevent deterioration, accumulation of plaque, and failure. Proper care of your overdentures will also prevent the development of gum diseases.
Caring for dentures involves four steps, including brushing, flossing, rinsing, and soaking. You should brush the implants:
- After every meal or once in the morning and evening
- Brush your tongue and gums to remove the food particles and prevent the accumulation of plaque
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the dentures and your gum. You can use either a child’s toothbrush or an interdental brush, as they are softer. You should brush the inside and outside of the denture to ensure you remove all the food particles
- Clean all surfaces of the implant to ensure that you do not leave any food particles on the implant. Food particles remaining on the implant can affect the fit of the overdenture.
After you brush, floss the denture to remove plaque and food particles between the teeth. You can also use a cotton gauze or swap to wipe the denture clean.
Rinse your mouth at least twice a day to remove food particles. However, rinsing should not be a substitute for brushing and flossing.
Soak your dentures to remove any odor and to clean them. Taking off your dentures gives your gums time to rest, and is, therefore, encouraged every night. However, if you wear them during the night, remove them for more hours during the day.
Finally, treat your teeth as you would natural teeth and get a dental checkup every six months. The dentist will check the fit of your denture, hygiene, and the health of your periodontal tissues.
Care for removable implant dentures requires the collaboration of the patient and the dentist. The patient must follow the laid out instructions to ensure that the implants and dentures are in good condition.
Complications of Overdentures
The use of overdentures is successful in most cases where patients get to enjoy years of service from their prosthesis. However, some patients develop complications as soon as within a year of having the dentures.
Overdenture complications depend on a variety of factors, including:
- The age and oral health of the patient
- The materials used in the fabrication of the prosthesis
- Pre Existing conditions
- Errors by the dentist
The complications arising from overdentures include:
- Continued resorption of the alveolar ridge - Overdentures generally prevent the loss of bone density at the location of the implant. Since most implants are placed on the anterior of the jaws, then the posterior area continues to resorb. Ridge resorption results in ill-fitting dentures where the prosthesis relied on tissues for support. Proper management while wearing the dentures can help in reducing the rate of resorption, ensuring that you derive maximum efficiency from the dentures.
- You could develop mucosal lesions, especially if the denture has overextended margins or are ill-fitting. In some cases, the lesions will develop if you have an unbalanced occlusion or an allergic reaction to the chemicals used. Your dentist could recommend a mouthwash to provide relief or adjust the denture to fit properly.
- Hyperplasia is another common complication with dentures involving the enlargement of the oral tissues that are in contact with the denture. The denture might have sharp edges, which irritate the mucosa. You could also develop the condition if you have poor oral hygiene, have severe ridge resorption, are a smoker, or are an older person. Your dentist can correct the denture to remove the irritating flanges. You should also correct your oral and denture hygiene, including removing your dentures at night. In some cases, you might require surgery or replacement of the denture to deal with the condition.
- Denture stomatitis is another common complication of removable implant bridges. The infection causes inflammation of the oral mucosa on the parts that are in contact with the denture. It can be caused by fungi or bacteria and is prevalent among patients with poor oral hygiene. Other risk factors include failure to remove the denture at night, ill-fitting dentures, and denture plaque accumulation. The condition is also more likely to occur in elderly patients, people with diabetes, vitamin A deficiency, smokers, consumers of alcohol, and women. Prevention is always the best strategy in the management of denture stomatitis. In cases where the problem develops, practicing good hygiene can help treat the condition. Soaking dentures in an antiseptic solution overnight also helps.
- Muscle changes affect chewing, stability, and retention of the dentures and facial expressions. Some of these changes include retraction of the lips and cheeks. The tongue muscles are also affected and become less active and develop a lower position.
Overdenture complications can arise due to biomedical and technical factors. These include:
- Planning and execution of treatment
- Failure to achieve the goals of using an overdenture (stability, retention and patient satisfaction)
- Incorrect denture execution
- Fracture of the denture due to poor denture design, denture instability, and accidents
You could also experience overdenture complications related to the implants themselves. These complications arise due to poor treatment planning, poor positioning of the implant, injuries to the surrounding tissues and nerves, post-insertion infections, and implant loss.
While implant-supported overdentures come with several complications, they are still an ideal solution for patients who experience dissatisfaction with conventional dentures. They provide more benefits compared to traditional dentures.
With proper planning and management, overdentures can last a long time without developing complications. You can help improve the longevity of your prosthesis by visiting your dentist more often for an evaluation.
You must also maintain good oral hygiene; avoid smoking and alcohol to increase the effectiveness of your dentures.
Treatment by an experienced dentist is another factor that will influence the success of an overdenture treatment. Such a dentist can evaluate your oral health, bone density, and additional factors that affect the placement of the overdenture.
Several factors work together in determining the best treatment for your case. The shape and size of the jaws differ across individuals, as do their needs.
Dentists must, therefore, evaluate such factors in determining the best location for the supporting implants as well as the required number to ensure maximum support for your dentures.
Removable Implant Dentures Near Me
Tooth loss is a common phenomenon, especially amongst the aging population. Whether you lose teeth earlier or later in life, the effects of tooth loss are significant. For instance, bone resorption can age you significantly. You could also have trouble when chewing, speaking, or making certain facial expressions. Replacing individual teeth using implants can be expensive while using conventional dentures might not bring you the stability and confidence you need.
Finding the right treatment for you can save you a lot in the long run and improve the quality of your life significantly. The Northridge Dental Implant Center prides itself on being a leading provider of implant prosthesis. We are skilled in placing overdentures and providing aftercare services to ensure that your dentures are working, as they should.
Reach us at 818-925-9181 if you need to replace your conventional denture or require an overdenture. We also provide consultation services to help you establish the tooth replacement option that best suits your needs and preferences.