Understanding Implant Overdentures: How They Work and Who Can Benefit

implant overdentures

Before implant overdentures were introduced, traditional dentures used to be retained in the mouth using quite uncomfortable silicone-based adhesives. These techniques were never really as retentive as advertised because the adhesive properties of the glue had a chance of being compromised by perspiration, sometimes even causing awkward situations due to a public displacement of the prosthesis. 

We live in a time when we have let go of such dated techniques, and more advanced ones have taken their place, which promises a retention level almost the same as your natural teeth. 

In this blog, we will discuss a sophisticated dental restorative technique called Implant Overdentures. These have a significantly higher rate of retention, coupled with many more benefits such as security, comfort, and cost. Let’s dive into the details of this remarkable treatment.

Implant Overdentures, An Overview

A long-term study (up to 23 years) involving 495 patients with implant-supported mandibular overdentures followed up with them and reported a cumulative survival rate of over 95% for the supporting dental implants. Only 3.9% of the implants failed, including early and late failures​. Few medical treatments can boast such a high success rate over such a long period.

Simply put, dentures must be placed in the mouth of a person suffering from compromised teeth (damaged due to trauma or missing teeth), and the bone in the jaw is utilized as their primary retentive force. This force is exponentially stronger and longer-lasting than traditional methods using adhesives and is especially beneficial for individuals who have lost teeth.

Components Of Implant Overdentures

The components that make up the implant overdenture are the implant, or ‘posts’ themselves, which are drilled into the tooth sockets in the jawbone using special surgical drills made specifically for this purpose. These posts are made of titanium, a biocompatible metal, a scientific term that means the body will not treat the material as an invasive, foreign element. The other structural element is the abutment, the bridging piece between the implant and the crown, which is the most visible piece of the implant and will look like a tooth.

Types of Implant Overdentures

There are two types of overdenture, namely, fixed ones and removable ones. The difference goes beyond just the functionality of removing them; let’s explore them in more detail.

Fixed Implant Overdenture

As the name states, these are like permanent teeth and are non-removable by the patient. The dentist might remove them in future maintenance visits but the patient does not have the ability to do that. These offer a higher level of comfort and functionality and also closely mimic natural teeth. These typically require a minimum of four implants for the upper jaw and two for the lower jaw to make adequate stability certain.

Removable Implant Overdentures

The patient can easily take these out as they wish for maintenance and cleaning. These types of implant dentures are typically used when fewer implants are available and are a more economical option compared to fixed overdentures. For removable implant overdentures, two to four implants are enough, and they have further customization options based on abutments.

Bar-retained implant overdentures utilize the functionality offered by a metal bar attached to the implants with clips or other attachments, securing the overdenture that follows along the gum line and the curves of the jaw.

Locator attachments use locator abutments that use a snap-on system that ensures the denture stays in place but can be removed as needed.

Determining Candidacy for the Implant Overdentures

The final decision for any sort of dental treatment, especially implant overdentures is made through reaching a unanimous vote between the patient and the doctor. Multiple factors on both the dentist’s and the patients’ side are assessed in the consultation to reach the best course of action.

General Health

Your overall health will be crucial in checking your eligibility for All-on-4 Implants. Your medical history, whether you have a history of chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease, can influence the decision. Additionally, some of the things they will consider are any medications you may be currently taking, especially those that affect bone density or blood clotting. They will evaluate whether you’re healthy enough to withstand the surgical procedure and the following healing process. For instance, patients with compromised immune systems or those who are undergoing treatments like chemotherapy may face a higher rate of complications.

Patient Preferences

What a patient’s preferences are, coupled with the willingness to undergo invasive procedures, heavily determines the eventual decision. For example, let’s say an invasive treatment like bone grafting, a procedure that uses transplanted bone to rebuild deteriorated bones, becomes a requirement for a certain treatment. In this case, your willingness to undergo the treatment is a vital determining factor for the decision. There is a chance of a similar situation arising in the case of implant overdentures if your bone is found to be deficient. 

Apart from this, your personal aesthetic preferences will also be given weight as a satisfactory dental self-perception of the patient is one of the primary goals of dental reconstructive treatments.

Cost of the Treatment Compared to Alternatives

The financial aspect of the process is important for multiple reasons. Implant procedures are costly, and not all insurance plans necessarily cover them. One of the jobs of the dentist is to provide you with a comprehensive list of all costs associated with your treatment, which could include things like implants, surgery, and any additional treatments that may be required. They also provide you with various alternative treatment options and their specific advantages and disadvantages, with varying costs, so you can make a more informed decision. As a patient, you reserve the right to weigh all of the factors, long-term benefits, and costs to make an informed decision.

Who Can Benefit From This Procedure?

The type of person that can benefit most from this treatment is one who is suffering from a lack of an arch of teeth. Along with this, those who suffer from an asymmetry or ‘sagging’ in the facial structure due to a staying in a prolonged state of edentulism, those who are suffering from chewing and speaking difficulties due to their condition, those suffering from perceived dental self-perception issues or those who are seeking an alternative to wearing traditional dentures, as the uncomfortable use of adhesives and general lack of reliability may have disillusioned them. People who want to maintain a gradually diminishing level of bone density due to their edentulism may also find this treatment an attractive option. 

Conclusion

In this blog, we provided a brief exploration of Implant Overdentures and also detailed their placement procedures. We also discussed the types of implant overdentures, as well as factors that determine candidacy.

If you want a personalized, more comprehensive discussion, feel free to contact us or visit the Albany Implant Clinic in Albany, New York. Our highly skilled staff is experienced in implant overdenture procedures and can provide an individualized assessment handcrafted to meet your needs. Schedule a consultation today and chart a course toward better oral health.

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