Periodontist holding a model of dentures with an implant to attach the dental prosthesis.
If you need replacements for lost teeth, implant dentures and implant overdentures could be two possibilities worth considering. This article explores the key differences between the two treatment options as well as the benefits they provide over traditional dentures.
In the past, the only option for lost teeth was a removable set of dentures. However, in recent years new technology has provided alternative and more advanced possibilities. Dental implants are the most advanced treatment for lost teeth and provide numerous advantages that are not accessible using traditional dentures. Below are two possible treatment options.
An overdenture is designed to sit on top of a supporting structure. This is usually a dental implant of some kind, but they can be placed on top of normal teeth. If the overdenture is going to be in the lower jaw, two implants are usually used with no need for a frame. However, if it’s the upper jaw then a metal frame is more than likely going to be needed and this will be anchored using three, or sometimes more, implants. Overdentures look pretty similar to traditional dentures as they use white prosthetic crowns and fake gum tissue which is pink plastic.
The main difference between traditional and overdentures is the fact that the overdenture has its support from dental implants. It’s common to see clips keeping the overdenture in place so that it doesn’t move around too much, while still being able to release it for cleaning. Traditional dentures don't need any implants or frames because they are held in place by the suction created when the denture is placed.
Implant dentures or fixed dentures are similar to implant overdentures. Both provide a prosthetic crown as well as artificial gum tissue. However, the key difference is that this type of denture can not be removed by the individual at home. Instead, it is fixed in place by a dentist. This ensures that the denture does feel more solid and provides additional levels of support. Some people believe the support provided here is comparable to natural teeth. Certainly, the dentures feel more like natural teeth because they are not removed for cleaning purposes.
Instead, these types of dentures are managed and maintained like natural teeth through brushing and flossing. It is worth noting that fixed dentures do require between four and six implants to provide the right support. They must be placed on good quality bone. As such, it can be a far more complex treatment and may cost more than traditional options.
One of the biggest advantages that overdentures have over traditional dentures is that they give you a strong bite. Some would even argue that it is as strong as natural teeth, which you won’t be able to achieve with traditional dentures. Traditional dentures often make hard or chewy foods difficult to eat, but overdentures won’t put you on any kind of dietary restrictions.
Additionally, they are extremely comfortable so you don’t have to worry about wanting to take them out every five minutes. The improved fit also reduces the chance of mouth sores of general discomfort, providing a better experience for the patient.
When it comes to implant dentures, the main advantage over traditional dentures is the fact that there is no need to remove and clean it. Maintaining these dentures is extremely simple, you simply have to look after your mouth as you normally would. As they are fixed to your mouth, they are also more comfortable to wear than traditional dentures. This is due to the fit being far better as they won’t be removed unless absolutely necessary and conducted by a medical professional.
Ultimately, many patients find that these more advanced dentures do provide an improved quality of life and wellbeing. Patients find it easier to speak and can eat a wider range of foods. Furthermore, with options like fixed dentures, patients also don’t need to worry about the embarrassing issue of their dentures coming loose at an inopportune moment. This can help them feel more youthful and more confident with their teeth.
Are you interested in exploring whether over dentures or implant dentures could be the right choice for you? If so, you can contact us today and a member of our team will be more than happy to schedule a consultation. We provide personalized services and the treatments we offer will always be based on your individual needs.