How Long Do Overdentures Last

Traditional dentures are a good solution for a full mouth tooth replacement. One of the main advantages of using dentures to replace missing teeth is their affordability. Well-made dentures can aid in restoring the function of the teeth in addition to the appearance of the patient’s smile.

Unfortunately, traditional dentures also have quite a few limitations. They often require diet modifications as some foods cause the dentures to slip and the dentures can be damaged. Complete dentures have reduced function, making it difficult to chew many types of meats and other foods. Upper dentures are typically more stable than lower dentures. The lower dentures are less stable because of the frequent movement of the tongue while speaking and chewing.

Implant Overdentures

Implant overdentures are a tooth-replacement solution which resolve many of the limitations associated with dentures. They are more comfortable and secure. The implant overdenture includes a removable denture which is connected to two or more dental implants. The implants offer a strong foundation. The dentist rarely needs to place more than two implants to provide adequate support. Additional implants may cause issues with the attachment or with device removal. An implant attachment located on the top of the implant connects the dentures to the implants. The attachment is incredibly strong and able to withstand the forces of chewing while keeping the dentures secure. The attachment also allows for removal of the dentures when necessary.

A key advantage of overdentures is that the attachments help ensure the dentures fit properly and help to prevent gum irritation. Patients with overdentures also do not have to limit or restrict their diet. Patients report that overdentures are very secure and comfortable.

Patients who have a severe gag reflex can find upper dentures to be quite problematic. Upper dentures rely on suction which covers the patient’s palate. Patients who have a strong gag reflex have a very difficult time properly extending the denture. Implant overdentures can be an excellent alternative in this case. The denture in an overdenture uses an attachment to connect to the implants and eliminates the need to cover the palate. This completely prevents triggering the patient’s gag reflex.

A disadvantage associated with implant-supported overdentures is that they may not meet all of the patient’s treatment goals. The denture is removable and rests on the gums, which can result in somewhat limited function compared to a dental implant. The function of an overdenture far exceeds that of traditional dentures, however, it fails to function like the natural teeth. Dentures are reported to restore the tooth’s function to about 20%. In comparison, overdentures improve that percentage to 40 or 50% of normal biting force. Many patients expect more from a tooth-replacement solution which includes dental implants.

Implant supported overdentures do require some maintenance due to normal wear and tear. The prosthetic is frequently snapped in and out, meaning it will eventually wear out. Over time, the function of the attachment can be compromised which can give patient’s the sensation that the overdenture is loose. An overdenture requires maintenance about every 12-18 months. The required maintenance can typically be performed during a routine cleaning appointment. The denture is supported by the patient’s gums which means the denture will require periodic modifications to maintain a proper fit. It is possible for there to be bone resorption and changes in the shape of the gumline, resulting in necessary adjustments. In order to maintain an optimal fit, an implant overdenture will need to be relined about every three to five years. When they are properly cared for and maintained, overdentures can last for many years. An overdenture can be an excellent tooth-replacement solution and alternative to traditional dentures.

Difference Between Implant Retained Overdenture and Implant Supported Overdenture

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