Dentures have long been a standard solution for replacing natural teeth, allowing countless individuals to regain their smiles and restore essential oral functions. If a person lost, damaged teeth or was missing their natural teeth, the denture was the typical artificial teeth treatment option. But traditional removable dentures often come with issues such as instability, discomfort, and challenges of a covered palate/roof of mouth.
Overdentures, sometimes called snap-on dentures, have emerged as an innovative alternative, blending the benefits of dental implants with the convenience of removable dentures. The implant retained denture (or prosthesis) is clipped onto two to four implants placed in the jaw bone, holding it in place.
What are Overdentures?
Overdentures, also known as implant retained dentures or implant-supported dentures, represent a significant advancement in prosthetic dentistry. They are a type of removable dental prosthesis (acrylic teeth) that combines the stability and support of dental implants with the ease of use and versatility of conventional dentures.
These overdentures are designed to snap onto special dental implants strategically placed in the jawbone. The implants serve as anchor points, ensuring greater stability and retention for the denture. As the removable implant supported dentures are securely clipped to the dental implants, it creates a more permanent and secure solution compared to conventional dentures. Implant supported dentures give you the ability to eat a wider range of foods and remove the ‘movement’ found with a traditional denture.
The Treatment Process for Implant Supported Dentures
The treatment process for overdentures is a multi-step procedure that involves careful planning, surgery, and dental prosthesis design. Here is a detailed breakdown of the treatment process:
Consultation and Assessment:
The journey towards overdentures typically begins with a thorough consultation with our team of experienced dentists or dental specialist. During this initial phase, the following steps are taken:
- Oral Examination: The dentist assesses your overall oral health, medical history and the condition of any existing teeth.
- X-rays and Imaging: Advanced imaging techniques, such as X-rays or CT scans, will be used to evaluate bone density and determine the optimal placement of dental implants.
- Your Treatment Plan: A personalised treatment plan is developed based on the assessment. This plan outlines the number of implants needed, their optimal locations, the type of overdenture best suited to your situation and complete cost for your treatment.
Dental Implant Placement:
The next step involves the surgical placement of dental implants. The process for mouth dental implants typically unfolds as follows:
- Sedation: Local anaesthesia or sleep dentistry sedation is administered to ensure the procedure is painless and comfortable for the patient.
- Implant Placement: Dental implants are carefully inserted into the jawbone at predetermined locations. The number of implants may vary depending on your individual case, bone density and the type of overdenture required.
Healing and Osseointegration:
After the surgical placement of your implants, a healing period is required to allow the implants to bond with the surrounding bone tissue. This is an important phase called osseointegration and takes a few months ensuring the implants are strong.
Once osseointegration is complete and the dental implants heal and are firmly integrated into the jawbone, abutments are attached to the implants. Abutments serve as connectors between the implants and the overdenture prosthesis.
Impressions and Denture Fabrication:
With abutments in place, impressions of your mouth are taken to create a custom-fitted prosthesis. This involves the following steps:
- Impressions: An impression of your oral structures is made using dental putty or digital scanning technology.
- Prosthesis Design: Using the impressions as a guide, our internal dental lab designs your prosthesis to fit securely over the abutments and create a comfortable and functional bite.
Fitting and Adjustments:
After the prosthesis is fabricated, it is carefully fitted to your mouth. During this phase, any necessary adjustments are made to ensure optimal comfort and functionality.
Implant Dentures: The Pros and Cons
Overdentures offer several advantages over traditional dentures but come with their own considerations. Here are the pros and cons of overdentures:
- Enhanced Stability: Overdentures are more stable than traditional dentures since they are anchored to dental implants, reducing the risk of slippage or dislodgment.
- Improved Chewing Ability: The stability provided by dental implants enables better chewing efficiency, allowing individuals to enjoy a more varied diet and improved nutritional intake.
- Preservation of Bone Density: Dental implants stimulate the jawbone, helping prevent bone loss commonly occurring when teeth are missing. This contributes to maintaining facial structure and oral health.
- Enhanced Comfort: Overdentures offer a secure fit and reduce the chances of sore spots or discomfort often associated with conventional dentures.
- Easy Maintenance: While removable, overdentures are relatively easy to clean and maintain, ensuring better oral hygiene.
- Initial Cost: Overdentures are more expensive than traditional dentures due to the costs of dental implant surgery and prosthetic design.
- Surgical Procedures: Placing dental implants requires surgery, which may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with certain medical conditions.
- Healing Time: The osseointegration phase can be lengthy, extending the overall treatment timeline.
- Maintenance of Abutments: The abutments may require periodic maintenance or replacement over time, due to wear and tear.
Denture Dental Implants and Affordability
Affordability is a significant consideration when contemplating overdentures. While they may involve a higher initial cost, it’s essential to weigh this against the long-term benefits and savings. Here’s a closer look at affordability factors:
- Initial Cost: As previously mentioned, overdentures have a higher initial cost than traditional dentures. This cost includes the surgical implant placement, abutments, and the prosthesis itself. For an Implant-supported overdenture, the cost starts from $20,000*. Learn more here.
- Long-term Savings: Implant supported overdentures are more cost-effective in the long run. A custom denture may require frequent adjustments, relining, or even replacement, incurring ongoing expenses. With proper care, implant overdentures can provide a stable, long-term solution, reducing the need for frequent replacements or changes.
- Insurance Coverage: Some dental insurance plans, like HBF, may cover a portion of overdentures’ costs, helping make them more affordable for eligible individuals. It’s crucial to consult with your insurance provider to understand your coverage options.
What can you eat with an Implant Supported Denture?
Eating with an implant supported denture offers several advantages over normal dentures. These advantages stem from the secure attachment of the prosthesis to dental implants anchored in the jawbone.
Here’s what makes eating with an implant dentures better than a normal dentures:
One of the most significant benefits of an implant supported dentures is its superior stability. Traditional dentures rely on suction, adhesives, and the shape of the mouth for retention. Over time, these factors can lead to slippage, particularly while eating. In contrast, an implant supported dentures are securely anchored to dental implants, place in your lower or upper jaw, preventing movement and providing a stable base for chewing.
Improved Chewing Efficiency:
Due to their stability, the benefits of implant supported dentures enable improved chewing efficiency. Many individuals struggle to bite and grind food effectively with traditional dentures, leading to dietary limitations and reduced nutrition. Implant supported dentures restore the ability to chew a wider range of foods with greater ease.
Ability to Enjoy a Varied Diet:
Removable denture wearers often have to avoid certain foods that are difficult to chew, such as raw vegetables, tough meats, or crunchy fruits. Implant retained dentures wearers can enjoy these foods without worry, as the dental implants provide the patient the necessary strength to chew through them comfortably.
Implant supported dentures are less likely to become dislodged while eating or speaking, providing a higher level of confidence during meals. This eliminates the need for awkward adjustments or repositioning of the existing denture itself.
Implant retained dentures offer a significant advantage over normal dentures when it comes to eating. These dentures are firmly anchored to dental implants that are surgically placed in your jawbone, providing exceptional stability, and chewing strength. As a result, you can enjoy a wide range of foods with confidence and ease.
Cleaning Your Fixed Implant Supported Dentures
Maintaining your fixed implant supported dentures are relatively straightforward and requires routine care to ensure longevity and oral health:
- Remove the prosthesis for cleaning after each meal or as directed by your dentist.
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and a non-abrasive denture cleaner to clean the prosthesis thoroughly. Avoid using regular toothpaste, which can be abrasive and damage the prosthesis.
- Rinse the prosthesis under running water to remove any remaining debris.
- For implant retained overdentures, cleaning around the abutments and attachments is essential. Your Aria dentist or dental hygienist can demonstrate proper cleaning techniques.
- Soak the removable implant supported dentures overnight in a denture cleaning solution to keep them moist and maintain their shape. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the cleaning solution.
Regular Dental Check-ups:
- Schedule regular dental check-ups with your dentist to monitor the health of your implants, the prosthesis, your abutments, and general oral health.
Need an Overdenture? Aria can help.
Overdentures offer an exciting and practical solution for individuals with missing teeth, combining the stability of four dental implants in your jaw bone, with the convenience of traditional dentures. The are an affordable solution compared to an All on 4.
While they come with a higher upfront cost and a more extended treatment process than a traditional denture, a fixed implant denture provides enhanced stability, improved chewing ability, and better long term health. Their ease of maintenance and potential long-term cost savings make them an attractive choice for many patients.
To determine if overdentures are right for you, consult with your dentist, who can assess your specific needs and guide you through the treatment cost process, ensuring you regain a confident smile and improved oral health.
To book your free implant overdentures consultation, call 08 9226 2135 and speak to one of our Patient Services team members about a suitable time and your nearest Aria Dental Implant Centre.