A large percentage of the U.S. population have full dentures: it is estimated 23 million have no teeth in both the upper and lower jaws, and 12 million have no teeth in one jaw. 90% of these people wear full dentures.
There is a dental implant solution known as an “overdenture.” An overdenture is a full denture that snaps onto dental implants that are placed within the jaw. The implants eliminate, or significantly reduce, problems such as denture movement, pain, frustration, and embarrassment.
The number of implants placed can vary. Two, three, or four implants are the most common configuration for the lower jaw, and 4 to 6 implants for the upper. It depends greatly upon the amount of bone available, and the amount of money a patient wishes to invest.
It is important to realized that the final denture is still removable, meaning the teeth need to be taken out after meals to clean, and at bedtime, the teeth should be removed to rest the tissues in the mouth. In contrast, there are some implant solutions that are non-removable, meaning the teeth do not come in-and-out.
Temporary dentures are sometimes required in the process of making overdentures. Reasons include: to allow the mouth to heal after extractions; to allow implants to integrate with bone for a few months; or to try out a re-designed smile. At times, these temporary dentures might be utilized as the final teeth.
Costs for treatment can vary from $4,000 to $16,000. There are many variables involved, and “one size does NOT fit all.” A consultation for YOUR particular situation is something to consider, to get a more accurate estimate.
Why would a person select an overdenture versus a non-removable option? Typically finances are the reason. An overdenture provides a great service, as it allows a person to increase their chewing ability, and provide comfort since the overdenture doesn’t move around as much as a traditional denture. The implants also help to preserve bone in your jaw, which is important for strength and integrity.
Maintenance of an overdenture is something else to consider. The denture will still wear out like a regular denture, typically with an average of 7 years. The “attachments” or “snaps” that go into the overdenture will need replacement on a regular schedule, too: this is typically 10 months to 2 years.
If you have been considering a denture, or are a current denture wearer, overdentures are one treatment option worth considering!
About the author: Dr. Ira Goldberg has been performing implant procedures for 26 years. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology / Implant Dentistry, a Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. He performs all phases of implant dentistry at his office in Succasunna, NJ. He lectures to dentists in the field of implantology. For a free consultation, including a free 3-D scan (if necessary), please call his office at (973) 328-1225 or visit his website at www.MorrisCountyDentist.com Dr. Goldberg is a general dentist, and also a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry.