Difference Between Implant Retained Overdenture and Implant Supported Overdenture

Patients who are missing one or more teeth have more treatment options than ever, including solutions beyond traditional dentures. Traditional dentures are known for having significant challenges like having a poor fit, being unstable, requiring daily removal to clean, not stimulating the jawbone, and generally being uncomfortable. Modern dentistry has introduced alternative solutions such as implant supported dentures. This article will compare implant supported dentures with traditional dentures and highlight key differences.

Traditional dentures have been used for centuries as a tooth-replacement option. Due to production and technology improvements, the cost has gone down and the fit has improved significantly. When they are properly designed, dentures can be attractive and a well-trained dentist can achieve a good fit. Traditional dentures are a relatively affordable tooth-replacement option.

While there have been significant improvements, traditional dentures still have noticeable challenges and limitations. Because dentures rest on top of the gums, the bite force is reduced and they are more likely to slip. Upper jaw dentures are typically more stable than dentures in the lower jaw. Upper dentures also contain an acrylic palate that suctions to the roof of the mouth. This added stability can negatively impact the comfort and patient’s ability to taste.
Traditional dentures fail to stimulate the jawbone, making patients more likely to experience bone resorption. Dentures must be adjusted when the bone structure changes. Bone resorption can negatively impact the patient’s facial appearance, cause additional wrinkles, and make the patient look older.

Implant Supported Dentures

Implant supported dentures are able to resolve many of the challenges associated with traditional dentures. Dental implants are surgically placed in the jawbone and serve as the foundation for the prosthetic teeth. Implants are incredibly secure and provide the dentures with support while simultaneously stimulating the jawbone.
There are two main types of implant supported dentures and a hybrid option. This includes a removable overdenture or implant retained dentures. This device can be removed by the patient when necessary for cleaning or sleeping. Another option is a fixed implant bridge or fixed implant supported denture. This device is permanently secured in the mouth and cannot be removed.

Removable overdentures can be secured using just two to four implants, making the treatment more affordable. The number of implants can vary based on the patient’s individual needs. The denture then connects or snaps onto the implants. This option requires just a few implants and retaining devices, meaning it costs a bit more than traditional dentures. Dental implants give the patient incredible stability and a stronger bite.
There is also a hybrid option which uses a metal bar to connect the overdenture to the implants. This evenly distributes the forces of chewing. This solution requires the placement of additional implants, making it more expensive, however, it offers additional stability and eliminates most dietary restrictions.

A fixed implant bridge is the most expensive solution and the solution which mimics the natural teeth. Several implants are placed and attached to a fixed bridge. The fixed bridge can replace the entire upper or lower arch of teeth. Prosthetic teeth are permanently attached to the implants and only a dentist can remove them. The bridge is relatively easy to care for and can be treated just like the natural teeth.

Patients who are interested in replacing their missing teeth should follow up with a dentist to determine which solution will best meet their needs.

Bar Retained Dentures versus Overdentures

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