If you’re familiar with false teeth, you’ll be happy to know that an overdenture can solve many of the common problems with false teeth.
What is an overdenture?
An overdenture is a denture that is secured in place by connecting it to dental implants. This is accomplished by using connectors, snaps, or screws to secure it to two to four dental implants.
The primary benefit of an overdenture is that it provides more chewing stability than a conventional removable denture.
What is the process for placement of overdenture implants?
After two to four dental implants are placed and have integrated, an acrylic denture is secured onto the implants using snaps, clips, or other attachments. These attachments secure the false teeth in place and add retention and stability to removable dentures.
If you’re planning to use dental implants to stabilize a denture, it’s best to have the implants placed soon after the natural teeth are extracted. This is because bone resorbs quickly and continuously after teeth are removed, and dental implants actually prevent further bone resorption. As a general rule, the sooner the implants are placed, the better the overall foundation for implants.
Are you a good candidate for an overdenture?
If you wear false teeth you, no doubt understand the difficulties that come with dentures. Sore gums, movement, and pain associated with chewing are just some of the problems denture wearers face every day. Dental implants offer the stability necessary to make dentures tolerable and functional.
Average cost of an overdenture
According to our survey of Implant Evolution dentists, the total cost of an overdenture supported by four implants ranges from $5,600 to $9,800. This cost estimate includes both the implants and the overdenture.
You can learn more about average prices of overdentures in our Comprehensive Guide to Dental Implants Cost.
Bone density requirements and required scans
There is a minimum amount of bone volume that is required to support dental implants and an overdenture; this minimum varies from patient to patient. Typically implants used for overdentures are placed in the anterior mandible (chin) region because this area is often the last remaining bone that can be used for a lower overdenture.
As with any implant procedure, preoperative planning is essential to success. State-of-the-art diagnostic imaging equipment—typically cone beam or CBCT imaging—allows your implant surgeon to review detailed 3-D images of the surgical area and to produce a surgical plan that will produce the best possible results.
Dental implants for overdentures can be placed with a local anesthetic, which is administered in the area where the surgery is performed. Alternatively, you can choose to be sedated or be put to sleep using general anesthesia, where medication is delivered intravenously.
Anesthesia and sedation options should be discussed early in the treatment planning process, but in many instances the decision is the patient’s choice.
Preoperative advice and tips
Preoperative requirements typically include the following do’s and don’ts:
- Do brush your teeth prior to your appointment
- Do wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing
- Don’t drink alcohol for at least 24 hours prior to the procedure
- Don’t eat or drink anything for at least eight hours prior to surgery if you are scheduled to have general anesthesia
It is extremely important to follow preoperative instructions precisely because each directive is specifically designed to increase the chances of successful surgery.
Is this a same-day procedure?
No. The dental implants must be placed first and given proper time to integrate before the overdenture can be attached. If the implants are loaded too soon, they can fail and the surgical procedures must be repeated.
Duration of recovery
The implant surgery requires minimal recovery time and postoperative pain is easily controlled, usually with over-the-counter medication. Generally, patients can go back to work the next day, sometimes even the same day.
After the initial surgical phase, the attachment of the overdenture is relatively straightforward and requires no postoperative recovery time.
Post-surgery tips and advice for proper healing
Similar to regular dental implant surgeries, overdenture implants require post-operative care to ensure the best implant osseointegration possible. Three to four days of soreness is normal, but postoperative pain can be controlled by medication. An antibiotic or antimicrobial mouth rinse may also be prescribed. It is very important that you follow all postoperative instructions to ensure proper healing.
Proper upkeep, issues with recovery & rejection, and peri-implantitis
Most implants have success rates greater than ninety-five percent but proper postoperative home care is imperative to ensure proper healing.
Peri-implantitis—a condition characterized by inflammation and progressive loss of supporting bone—can occur over time in the absence of regular checkups and maintenance. Without proper home care—including brushing and caring for implants—dental implants can develop bone loss just like natural teeth. And like any dental implants, overdenture implants can be damaged by smoking, which can lead to implant failure.
For individuals who are missing all of their natural teeth, there are few options available for replacing them. For many people the only other option is wearing regular dentures or “false teeth.” Assuming you have adequate bone, other possibilities include an All-On-4 type treatment or an implant-supported dental bridge.