Removable dentures can be a great way to replace missing teeth, and Dr. Root has provided beautiful, natural-looking, and comfortable dentures to many patients who are very happy with their choice. We’ll use this page to discuss how implant overdentures, also called implant-supported dentures, can alleviate the problems that some people experience with their dentures. And we want you to understand from the beginning that you will never be pressured to choose implants over dentures here. We want you to be completely comfortable with the treatment options you choose for yourself.
What are Implant Overdentures?
Implant overdentures are denture arches that are supported and held in place by dental implants. Such implant-supported dentures are normally anchored to four to six implants, but the number can vary.
The dental implants are tooth root forms that are surgically placed in the jawbone. As they heal, the body draws more bone-building minerals to the root forms and encases them in new bone, so they become part of the jawbone. Once this process is complete, a dental arch is attached to the implants, providing a solid foundation.
Advantages of Implant-Supported Dentures
Upper removable dentures cover the palate, and they are held in place by suction. Some people find that because the taste buds in the palate are covered, their enjoyment of food is diminished. And some find that removable dentures affect their speech. Some people develop a slight lisp or a whistling sound when they speak.
In addition, lower dentures are held in place by your cheeks and tongue, and it can take some time to train your muscles to keep them secure. Some people experience slips, and even find that a denture can fall out at embarrassing moments. And finally, most people experience less chewing efficiency with dentures. When dentures are supported by dental implants, all of these problems are alleviated.
Preventing Bone Loss
An even more important consideration is that implant overdentures prevent bone loss. When we lose a tooth, our body immediately responds by beginning to absorb the minerals in the jawbone where the tooth was once rooted. In essence, it interprets the loss as a chance to use those minerals in other places. When we have lost many or all of our teeth, this process of bone loss can lead, in as little as ten or twenty years to a condition called facial collapse.
This condition makes us look years older than we actually are, giving the face a shrunken appearance. But much more importantly, when there is not enough bone left to support a denture, chewing efficiency is so undermined that people are relegated to eating only soft foods. Dental implants prevent this process because they replace the tooth root, signaling the body that the jawbone is still needed.
You can learn more by reading our Dental Implants page. If you would like to find out if implant overdentures would work for you, please call our office or click here to Request an Appointment online. We will be happy to schedule you for a visit to address these issues.