Implant Supported Overdentures
Paradise Valley, AZ
The need to replace a missing tooth can result in extremely confusing considerations. The case even worsens when one is considering replacing the entire set of teeth. In attempting to reclaim your smile and chewing power, do you choose dental implants, bridges, or dentures?
When visiting David R. Moyer, DDS, you may hear of an option different from the three from our Paradise Valley dentist: Implant-supported overdentures.
What Is an Implant-Supported Overdenture?
An implant-supported overdenture refers to a restorative procedure that replaces missing teeth using a full dental bridge placed on dental implants. This treatment concept integrates implants and dentures.
Implants are man-made tooth roots placed within the jawbone. Dentures are crowns placed on either natural teeth or on abutments sitting on implants. Experts use either abutment-based attachments or bar and clip techniques to connect the overdentures together.
Implant-supported overdentures can be described as a set of interconnected artificial teeth sitting on artificial tooth roots.
Overdentures can be placed on implants or natural teeth leading to two broad categories: implant-supported overdentures and tooth-supported overdentures. In comparing hybrid dentures versus overdentures, the latter is less expensive.
What Are the Advantages of Implant-Supported Overdentures?
Overdentures restore the confidence of the individual while speaking and laughing. Traditional dentures sitting on the gums or other natural teeth have been observed to negatively affect speech.
People using implant-supported overdentures do not have difficulties with speech. Speech difficulties can severely affect one's self-esteem and confidence. In the long-term, embarrassment stemming from a compromised ability to speak confidently due to ill-fitted dentures can harm relationships and lead to isolation. The use of implant-supported overdentures prevents the occurrence of these possibilities.
Another significant advantage is that implant-supported overdentures confer the merits of dental implants with an exemption of their high cost. With dentures, one is required to remove them every night and soak them. Failure to remove them not only decreases their longevity but also exposes the user to oral health risks.
Dental implants, on other hand, are permanently placed and one is not required to remove them for whatever reason. Unfortunately, dental implants can be unaffordable to a significant number of people. Implant-supported overdentures take away the inconvenience of removing artificial teeth every night.
What are the Disadvantages of Implant-Supported Overdentures?
One of the most common disadvantages of this treatment stems from the fact that oral surgery is involved. There are risks that surgeries carry that other options such as dentures do not have.
For example, doctors can unintentionally exert damage on nerves and tissues while placing dental implants. During oral surgeries, there is the risk of interfering with the normal functioning of sensory and motor nerves located in the mouth. Sensory nerves aid the brain in understanding the environment. The brain realizes that food or drink is hot using sensory nerves. If these nerves fail to function as they ought, the patient has to adopt a whole new lifestyle.
The temperature of every drink or food has to be assessed before intake. Motor nerves facilitate movement. If this category of nerves suffers damage, movement of the lips, tongue, and jaw can prove difficult. Some of the nerves facing this risk are the inferior alveolar nerve and the mandibular nerve. Our team of experts has the requisite skill and know-how in selecting the right size of dental implants and placement.
Lack of universal suitability is the other major shortcoming of implant-supported overdentures. Not everyone can qualify for this treatment. The overdentures sit on implants. Placement of dental implants requires that the jawbone has attained full growth. Thus, children do not qualify for dental implants. The best option for children with missing teeth could either be dentures or bridges.
Also, placement of dental implants requires healthy and strong bones and gums. Gum diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis weaken and dissolve the bone and surrounding tissue. Research has shown that people with a history of gum disease experience high failure rates with dental implants. While the diseases can be treated, their impact on the jawbone is long-lasting.
Another category of people who do not qualify as suitable candidates for implant-supported overdentures is expectant mothers. The idea of having a surgical procedure can trigger stress. For pregnant mothers, exposure to stress can trigger gestational hypertension. In addition, evaluation preceding placement can demand the use of x-rays.
During pregnancy, it is recommended to avoid x-ray imaging, especially during the first semester. Expectant mothers should consider waiting to have the procedure until after delivery.
What Does the Procedure for Implant-Supported Overdentures Involve?
Upon undergoing all the necessary evaluations, the procedure of placing an implant-supported overdenture can last anywhere between six to 12 months depending on the patient's response. The first step is the placement of the dental implants. This phase entails gently placing artificial tooth roots into the jawbone. If the patient's jawbone is not strong enough to support the implants, bone grafting comes first.
After healing from this process of attaching new bone to the jaw and implants placed, the process of osseointegration begins. Basically, osseointegration refers to the process through which the jawbone fuses with the implants for support. If this process fails, the dental implants have to be removed and placed later.
Upon certifying that the implants have integrated properly with the jawbone, an abutment is placed over the implants. An abutment is a connector between the implant and the crown. Again, the placement of abutment is a minor surgery that then requires a few weeks for healing.
It is after the patient heals from the abutment procedure that the overdentures can then be placed. Implant-supported overdentures are long-lasting. One does not have to keep going back to the facility after the process is done and healing is over.
Schedule An Appointment for Dentures Today!
If you are considering moving from the use of dentures, you can visit us in Paradise Valley at David R. Moyer, DDS. If visiting is not possible at the moment, you can place a call at 480.935.6295. Engaging with our team of professionals can help make a better decision when it comes to restoring your smile and chewing ability.