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What Are the Different Types of Overdentures?

Alexis Duchâteau, a British physician, first invented porcelain dentures. Dentures have been around for a long time and the reason why they still exist today is that they are affordable and they work. Unfortunately, they also come with several issues, which is why most patients prefer overdentures. If you’ve tried wearing dentures in the past, you’re well aware of the struggles of dealing with the device loosening or slipping when you sneeze or laugh. This is not the case for overdentures. 

sample of overdentures in dentist office

What Is an Overdenture?

An overdenture is a dental prosthesis uniquely supported by dental implants. Since they are anchored to implants, you can be confident that they’ll stay in place, allowing you to eat comfortably and smile confidently without worrying that they might slip or loosen.  

Overdenture implants help improve smile and oral function by preventing bone degradation and allowing you to chew better, supporting your nutritional needs. 

What Are the Different Types of Overdentures?

#1 Implant-Supported Overdentures

You’ll need at least four to six dental implants with an implant-supported overdenture. Unlike traditional dentures that only sit atop your gum tissues, implant-supported overdentures are surgically implanted into your mandibular and maxillary jawbone. As a result, your existing jawbone tissues are preserved. When you stop bone resorption, you’ll be able to retain your facial structure giving you a more youthful look.  

You’ll need two procedures to get an implant-supported overdenture. The first one is the placement of the implants into your jawbone, and the other one is for the customized dental prosthetic. You can remove your implant-supported overdenture if you’re going to clean it and when it’s time to sleep.  

#2 Fixed Implant-Supported Overdentures 

The features of a fixed-implant-supported overdenture are the same as the removable one. However, it is different because it is securely locked in using screws. You cannot remove it yourself. To take it out, you’ll need to visit your dentist so they can unscrew the device.  

Out of all types, this one is the most reliable and stable option. Perhaps the only downside is that it can be challenging to clean. As for the price, it’s also more costly because it requires four dental implants, abutments, and screws.  

#3 Bar Retained Implant-Supported Overdentures 

As the name suggests, this type of overdenture has a bar affixed to dental implants. The denture is clipped to the bar. It can be clipped on and off whenever necessary. However, despite their clip-on and off features, they are still more secure than traditional dentures. Most patients prefer to remove their overdenture when they sleep or need to clean it.  

#4 Ball Retained Implant-Supported Overdentures 

If you’ve lost several teeth at the bottom arch, you may want to try ball-retained implant-supported overdentures. It’s the ideal option because it typically requires two to four dental implants surgically embedded in your jawbone. The device is coined ball retained since the abutment is connected from the implant post to a ball-shaped denture.  

Again, a ball-retained implant-supported overdenture provides more stability and functionality than conventional dentures. Furthermore, the ball attachments also offer their fair share of advantages. One, they are convenient to clean, and two, the parts are easy to replace.  

#5 Overdenture Partials 

Not all patients have lost all their permanent teeth. If some of your natural teeth are still intact and healthy, your dentist may recommend a partial denture. There’s also an option to get an overdenture partial.  

The function of this unique overdenture type is the same as a complete implant-retained denture. It replaces lost tooth roots with implants. The metal implants are where the partial overdenture can clip into. Compared to a traditional denture, an overdenture gives your smile a more natural look.  

What Are the Benefits of Overdentures Compared to Traditional Dentures?

The following are some of the advantages of choosing overdentures: 

  • Offers More Stability Conventional dentures remain in place as they create a tight seal in your mouth through the saliva between your gums and the device. The natural suction that keeps traditional dentures secure is nothing compared to the stability offered by overdentures since they are anchored to permanently affixed implants.  
  • Better Chewing – When your dental prosthetic is stable, eating and speaking will feel natural. While dentures will stay in their place with adhesives, they are not as secure as overdentures, which means chewing foods; specifically, the hard ones can be challenging. With overdentures, you can eat whatever you want without worrying that the device will slip or fall out.  
  • Bone Preservation – One of the disadvantages of tooth loss is that it will eventually lead to bone loss. Without your tooth roots, you’re removing the stimulation from biting and chewing that causes bone regeneration. Since overdenture requires implants in your jawbone to function as natural tooth roots, it will help prevent your jawbone from shrinking and deteriorating. Conventional dentures do not provide this benefit.  
sample of overdentures in dentist office

Find Out if an Overdenture Is Right for You

An overdenture combines implants and dentures so that you’ll get the best of both worlds. It provides benefits that other tooth restorations don’t. At Ferber Dental Group, we offer a wide variety of restorative dental treatments, including overdentures. Our team has years of experience and training to provide the best care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.