The main concern with dentures, especially complete dentures, is they often don’t stay in place! Even high-quality, properly fitted dentures become loose over time. The dentures typically don’t change, it’s the continued loss of jaw bone underneath the dentures that causes this troublesome slippage. If there is no tooth root or implant to support, the jawbone melts away, leaving you with nothing to support your dentures.
To reduce this problem, sometimes endodontically treated tooth roots are intentionally left in place, or dental implants are placed while there is still enough bone. This causes the bone to remain, providing stronger support for your denture. When this technique is used, the denture is known as an overdenture.
In addition to preserving the bone, a variety of attachments can be used to secure the denture to the anchor, whether it be a natural tooth root or an implant.
There are several different types of overdentures:
- Complete Overdentures with no attachments: a permanent solution, or a transition to a more advanced design. Even with no attachment, your denture has more retention due to the increased remaining bone. Like a conventional denture, it is removable for cleaning and will need regular maintenance, such as professional relines as your jaw changes shape.
- Implant Or Root Stabilized Overdenture: uses simple attachments to keep your denture from slipping. However, more like a conventional denture, an implant or root stabilized overdenture rests comfortably on your mouth’s soft tissue. Also like a conventional denture, it is removable for cleaning and will need regular maintenance, such as PROFESSIONAL relines as the jaw changes shape.
- Implant Or Root Supported Overdenture: uses more anchors and stronger attachments. These dentures rest just above the soft tissue, but are firmly supported by the attachments underneath. Like a conventional denture, it is removable for cleaning. These dentures do not require reline, but may need occasional replacement of the attachments.
- Fixed Dental Implant Supported Overdenture: also known as a fixed/removable denture. This provides you with replacements that are as close to having your natural teeth as possible. This overdenture requires more implants and is securely attached to the implants. It is not removable by you, but can be removed by Dr. Funderburk for any needed maintenance