What is an Overdenture?

If you have loose or painful teeth, as may be the case with advanced periodontal disease, it may be too late to save them. In this case, one option is to remove some of them and replace them with an overdenture. In this way, infection can be avoided and your mouth will be much healthier.

What exactly is it?

It looks like a regular denture. But there’s a big difference. With regular dentures, all the teeth are extracted, or have been lost. And that means there’s nothing to prevent the bone in your jaw from receding.  With an overdenture, some of the natural teeth, or parts of them, are retained. And that means, with the roots in place, bone loss doesn’t happen. And that gives you a much more stable denture.

How is it done?

With some remaining teeth, the part that extends above the gum line is removed. Then root canals are performed—just in case of infection. Oftentimes a small metal cap is placed over each one, for more protection.

Then impressions are taken in your mouth, and the denture is made according to those impressions. Of course, you have say in the color and shape of your new teeth.

This procedure is also possible using dental implants.

The overdenture is attached by special dental attachments in the roots or implants.

One type is a bar joint overdenture.  The dentist screws the denture into implants and surgically inserts it into the bone, where the denture is then anchored. And these bar joints actually support the dentures better than just implants. But you still need implants to support the bars. Bars on the upper jaw arch need more implants than the lower jaw—because there’s less bone density in the upper jaw arch. When this is done, it’s great, because you can chew food normally—just about any kind of food, just as if you had your natural teeth.

Another type, usually used if an oral disease has caused your tooth loss, is telescopic overdenture. With this procedure, inner and outer metal crowns are placed over the remaining teeth. In this case, the dentures are natural looking and you can take them out. One thing, though, is that each tooth that gets a crown requires a root canal.

Benefits of overdentures:

1. The prevention of bone loss. The implant overdenture actually strengthens the bone structure. And this is a BIG benefit; because bone loss can actually change the way your face is shaped.

2. A much easier time talking and eating.

3. Align the jaws accurately and restore 90 percent of chewing power.

4. Better oral hygiene.

5. Decreased risk of gum disease.

Overdentures can be the answer to your tooth loss problem. So be sure to ask about it when you talk to your dentist.