Although removeable dentures were once the only solution available for missing teeth, they present many problems. The most serious of these is the bone loss that always follows tooth loss. Implant overdentures prevent bone loss and solve the other problems associated with removable dentures.
What are Implant Overdentures?
Dental implants are root forms that are surgically placed in your jaw. As the jaw heals, the body fills in bone around the implant so that it actually becomes part of the jawbone. Once it has healed, the implant is strong enough to support a denture.
The model pictured on the left shows a hybrid overdenture anchored by eight dental implants. The overdenture replaces both teeth and missing gum tissue. The implants secure the teeth, eliminating the tissue irritation that occurs with removable dentures.
Implant overdentures do not always require eight dental implants. The drawing on the right shows a denture arch anchored by six implants, and methods have been developed to anchor a full arch with just four, or sometimes even two implants. Dr. Murphree will help you decide which method will work best in your situation.
Preventing Bone Loss with Implant Overdentures
Your natural teeth are anchored by roots that are part of your jawbone. When you lose a tooth, your body will immediately begin to reabsorb the bone that surrounded and supported it. This is a natural process that redistributes the minerals for other uses. It happens very rapidly in the beginning and then slows down. And if you have lost all of your teeth, the process will eventually lead to a condition called facial collapse.
When there is no bone left to support dentures, it becomes impossible to eat efficiently, and this can lead to serious health consequences.
Most solutions to missing teeth don’t prevent bone loss because they only replace the visible part of the tooth. Implant overdentures replace some of the tooth roots, so your body will leave the bone in place.
Preventing Other Problems
Implant overdentures also prevent the other problems that usually accompany traditional dentures. Unsecured dentures take time to get used to. The top arch is held in place by suction because the structure covers the entire palate. This interferes with articulation when you speak. And it covers the taste buds in your palate, so you cannot enjoy your food as fully.
In addition, the lower arch is held in place by your tongue and cheeks, which means it can slip quite easily. And although dentures will fit very well when they are first designed, they will become looser as the bone support disappears over time.
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If you’re ready to resolve your dental issues, you can call our office or fill out our request an appointment form to schedule a brief complimentary consultation or a full exam. We’ll be happy to help you find an appointment time that best fits your schedule.