One of the first recorded uses of dental implants in a patient was back in 600 A.D. by the Mayans. Since this first encounter with dental implants, technology has continued to improve and treatment has become much more routine in nature. Dental implants are considered one of the premiere options in dental treatment for people who are missing one or more teeth. These small titanium posts are placed into your upper and lower jawbone and are meant to be permanent. Over time, the artificial post will integrate into your bone and serve as almost a natural root in place. This integration is needed and it creates a solid foundation, so that you can attach single and multiple dentures or crowns to it. (This process will also help reduce the chances of bone loss, as your jawbone will recognize a tooth root in the bone.)
Dental implant therapy is often recommended for patients who are missing one tooth all the way up to all of their teeth. If someone is missing all of their teeth, they may need to have partial or complete dentures attached to the implants and these are known as overdentures. Overdentures are best known as replacement teeth that are retained in place with dental implants. This option was developed for both partial and full tooth replacement options and they allow patients to restore their quality of life.
Benefits of Overdentures
There are many benefits that come along with having overdentures placed in your mouth. Below, Dr. Cho will explore some of those benefits.
Better Digestion – Patients who have overdentures find that they are firm in place and they are more stable because they make use of dental implants as opposed to adhesives. Since the dentures are in place, patients find it is easier to chew food, which allows for more absorption of the nutrients and it allows food to break down better in the stomach.
2. Retains Facial Features and Structure – Shrinkage occurs once the teeth in your mouth are lost, especially if you have unhealthy bone under the gums due to disease. When your teeth are lost from your mouth and never replaced, the area between your nose and chin will shrink due to bone loss and this causes your facial structure to appear different over time. You may notice that you have a shrunken in appearance. Overdentures prevent bone loss from occurring.
3. Slows Bone Loss – Whether you have an overdenture that is retained via dental implants or your natural teeth, it will continue to stimulate your jawbone as you chew. This stimulation will help slow bone loss over time.
4. Comfortable – Dentures that are retained via dental implants are more comfortable than ones held in place via adhesives. The stability of the dentures helps to ensure you do not experience irritability of your gums and that you do not lose the dentures as you chew or speak.
Types of Overdentures
Overdentures come in both full and partial options to provide patients with the teeth replacements they need. There are three main types of overdentures that a patient can receive and Dr. Cho will discuss them briefly below.
Implant-Retained, Gum Supported
This type of overdenture sits on the gums directly, but is retained in place through implants that have been placed in your upper or lower jaw. The overdenture does come out of your mouth, but the implants stay in place at all times. The bottom of the overdentures will have attachments that allow you to place them onto the implants. Implant-retained, gum supported dentures are the minimum standard of care for patients who need teeth replacement options.
Bar-Retained, Implant Supported
In this type of treatment, the overdenture is engaged with retentive attachments that are placed onto a metal bar that connects to the implants, which are placed in either the upper or lower jaw. The overdenture is removeable and is secured to the bar via the attachments.
Fixed, Implant Supported
This option includes just one piece, which consists of the bar and overdenture working together. A screw to implant system is used and placed on the upper and lower jaw for the best support. The overdenture is NOT removable and can only be taken out by a dental clinician. These overdentures act just like natural teeth and are the more advanced version of overdentures available.
Overdentures and You
Only Dr. Cho can determine if you are a good candidate for overdentures and he will speak with you when you come into our La Habra office for a consultation. Replacing your missing teeth is not always as easy as just implanting a titanium post into your jawbone and calling it a day.
When you come into our La Habra office for a consultation, Dr. Cho will go over your options with you and help you understand why or why not you can have overdentures. Some of the areas you and Dr. Cho will explore include:
• Reviewing your dental history
• X-rays and other images of your mouth and teeth
• Determining why you are unhappy with your teeth and what results you want
• Recommending the correct procedures and choosing the best one for your needs
Once the assessments are complete, you will know what your options are and you can choose the best one for your needs. At Dr. Kenneth Cho Dentistry, we will work with you to make sure you are comfortable and that you have a smile you love. Call our office now to schedule your FREE consultation.