Whilst many patients assume that their only choices are either traditional dentures or dental implants when they need major smile revision, there is actually a hybrid option as well. By combining dental implants and overdentures, you may be able to save money whilst still achieving the look that you want. Here's what you need to know about overdentures and how they work in combination with dental implants.
What Are Overdentures?
Overdentures are teeth replacements that are made in the same way that traditional dentures are. Whilst overdentures look similar to traditional dentures, they're quite different because they don't require the same plastic base. Instead, overdentures are kept in place with dental implants.
Overdentures are used for both single tooth replacements and whole-mouth teeth replacements—they're done according to your needs. There are two types of overdentures, removable and fixed. The removable overdentures are set into place directly above the dental implants each morning and then taken out each night. Removable overdentures are soaked in a special denture solution to keep them clean.
Fixed overdentures aren't removable—they're attached to the dental implants with dental cement. Whilst dental implants are typically topped with porcelain crowns, the fixed overdentures are made from an acrylic resin. This material is significantly cheaper than the porcelain or porcelain composite used in crowns, and this is the main advantage to fixed overdentures.
Implants and Overdentures: Working as a Team
To make sure that the overdentures work in the optimal way, it's necessary to have the proper dental implants for support. Usually, this means that a minimum of two dental implants must be placed at specific points within the mouth—typically, where the canine teeth occur naturally.
If you need full teeth replacement on both the top and the bottom of the mouth, you'll typically need to have a total of four dental implants, two on top and two on bottom. With those key dental implants in place, either removable or fixed overdentures can be customised and put into place.
Is the Overdenture/Dental Implant Combo Right For You?
Many patients wonder whether an overdenture and dental implant combo is right for them. Whilst every patient is unique, it's generally a good option if you're looking for a cost-effective way to replace multiple teeth. The overdenture and dental implant combination can look quite natural, and it may just make you feel like smiling again. Call your dentist today to learn more.