Loss of multiple teeth requires a more robust dental replacement plan than the loss of one tooth. Partial dentures are a potential type of prosthodontics used to replace multiple teeth. Overdentures are a partial denture alternative that sits on a base of dental implant roots.
Overdentures have some pros and cons when compared to traditional partials. What are some advantages and disadvantages that you can discuss with your cosmetic dentist and denturist?
Overdentures Pro: Added Security & Comfort
The overdentures snap down onto titanium dental implant roots that your dentist will insert into a drilled channel in your jawbone. The bone naturally fuses around the screw grooves of the root over time and that fusion ensures the root, and the eventual artificial tooth snapped to the top, will held steady and security.
The security of the dental implant roots greatly minimizes the chance of your dentures sliding around or moving when you chew. Poor denture fit is a common complaint in both partial and full dentures and the looseness can cause discomfort and soft tissue injury.
Overdentures Pro: Low Maintenance
Removable partial dentures hover over the gum line so you will want to remove the dentures for proper oral healthcare. You can clean the dentures with a commercial denture cleaner then brush your gums with your toothbrush. The process isn't difficult but does require more steps than overdentures.
Overdentures, which aren't removable, sit flush with the gums so no bacteria is going to crawl underneath. You simply brush the overdentures the same way you brush any of your natural teeth and the maintenance care is done.
Overdentures Con: Lengthy Treatment Period
Partial dentures take a few appointments to receive because your dentist first needs to make molds of your mouth then send those molds to the lab for the denture creation. You will have a follow-up appointment to ensure the dentures fit then potentially another appointment if any adjustments were needed. But overall the denture process isn't terribly long or involved on your end of things.
Overdentures have a more lengthy treatment period. The longest wait is when the bone is healing around the metal roots, which alone can take several months. If you have weak jawbone that requires a bone graft before the root placement, the treatment period will stretch even further. After the bone has healed around the root, the dentist will snap on a post that requires the soft tissue to heal around it for stability. Then the denture plate can finally attach to the post.
Note that with overdentures, you typically receive at least two dental implant roots. If you can't receive both roots at the same time, the treatment period can stretch out even further.
Still unsure whether overdentures are right for you? Call your dentist or denturist for a customized consultation to find out the pros and cons specific to your situation.