Dentures have been the go-to solution for individuals experiencing tooth loss for many years. However, modern dental technology now provides a wide range of additional options. Dental implants are one technology that allows for other tooth replacement options, including implant-retained overdentures.

Are they dental implants or dentures?

What exactly are implant-retained overdentures? They’re a hybrid of dental implants and dentures, bringing together benefits from both solutions to provide an effective tooth replacement option for a wide range of situations.

These dentures are a type of implant-supported denture that is removable, similar to conventional dentures. However, they also benefit from the strong support implants provide, along with other benefits.

The overdentures are attached to two or more dental implant posts. These posts are surgically implanted into the jawbone, providing an incredibly strong and permanent foundation. The overdentures snap on and off the dedicated supports for easy removal, but hold tight while you’re smiling, speaking, and eating.

Dental implants are also used to support crowns, bridges, and other types of implant-supported dentures that are attached permanently. Implant-retained overdentures are similar to conventional dentures in that they can be removed for cleaning and while sleeping.

Implant-retained overdentures also provide long-term health benefits over conventional dentures. When a patient is missing most or all of their teeth, the lack of resistance and pressure from their roots causes the jawbone to deteriorate.

Conventional dentures simply sit in the mouth and don’t provide the resistance to stop this from happening. Dental implants are firmly embedded in the jawbone, which provides resistance similar to natural teeth. This can reduce the impact of jawbone deterioration over time.

Who are implant-retained overdentures right for?

Implant-supported overdentures are a potential option for patients missing most or all of their existing teeth. However, they aren’t right for everyone. Each patient will have a unique dental situation that will have to be carefully evaluated by a dentist to determine whether implant-retained overdentures are the right treatment option.

Like with other tooth replacements that rely on dental implants, jawbone health and size are going to be important factors for any patient considering implant-retained overdentures. Dental implants need a strong foundation, so patients who have already experienced jawbone deterioration may not be good candidates.

Other conditions, such as osteoporosis, can also affect the strength of the jawbone. In some cases, the jawbone is naturally too thin to provide adequate support. Bone grafts are sometimes an option to bulk up the jawbone in these cases.

Having the dental implants placed will require a surgical procedure, which is also a factor to consider. Patients who require bone grafting will have additional surgery with several months of healing time before their implants can be placed.

Implant-retained overdentures are often a good choice for patients who wish to avoid some of the common issues associated with conventional dentures. The solid foundation provided by dental implants prevents the shifting that often leads to irritation and sore spots with conventional dentures.

Speaking and eating can also be done much more confidently, knowing that the dentures aren’t going to move unintentionally. Patients with implant-retained overdentures can enjoy improved confidence and quality of life.

Getting Your Implant-Retained Overdentures

The first step to getting implant-retained overdentures is a consultation with your dentist. They’ll be able to evaluate your dental situation and determine whether implant-retained overdentures are the best treatment option for your needs.

You may need bone grafting before the dental implants can be placed. This is a surgery in which bone from another area is transplanted into the jawbone. Recovery takes several months, over which time the bone integrates to provide a strong foundation.

The implant placement itself is a surgery in which the implant posts are embedded into the jawbone. The posts have a screw-like base that lets them embed firmly in the bone. You can see our patient education video on locator retained overdentures for a visual explanation of this process.

The overdentures themselves are custom-made based on measurements of your mouth to provide a great fit and a natural appearance. They can be made from a variety of different materials, including ceramics and resin.

Once your gums have healed following the implant surgery, the overdentures can be attached, and any potential fit issues can be addressed. From there, you can enjoy the reliability and confidence that come with this effective tooth replacement option.

Are implant-retained overdentures right for you?

Are you looking for a way to restore the form and function of your smile? Monroe Family Dentistry is your implant dentist in Greenville who can determine whether implant-retained overdentures or other restorative dentistry treatments could be just what you’re looking for. 

Contact us to schedule an appointment and learn more about implant-retained overdentures today.