Whether you have lost a single tooth, most of your teeth, or all of your teeth, your dentist is likely to recommend that you replace these missing teeth. Tooth loss makes chewing your food more difficult but also contributes to a loss of bone in the jaw. Replacing lost teeth with implants or overdentures helps to maintain jaw stability while improving your smile. But which one is better? While overdentures are a perfect solution for many situations, both overdentures and implants each have different situations where one is more superior to the other.
To get a clearer picture of overdentures and implants, we will dive into both, seeing what makes them a successful tooth replacement option as well as what scenarios best fit each option.
Choosing the right option for your smile will depend on a variety of different factors that you can discuss with your dentist or oral surgeon.
- Dental implants and overdentures both offer ways to replace lost teeth, helping maintain jaw stability and improve smiles. The best choice depends on individual circumstances.
- Implants, artificial tooth roots made of titanium, are great for replacing a single missing tooth. They look natural, improve speech and comfort, and can last a lifetime. But they require surgery, cost more, and may not be suitable for everyone.
- Overdentures, which fit over dental implants, are good for those who’ve lost most or all teeth. They offer stability, improved oral health, and comfort. They can be either removable or fixed. However, they can be expensive, require surgery, and aren’t as strong as natural teeth.
- The choice between implants and overdentures depends on many factors: the number of missing teeth, personal lifestyle, cost, and consultation with a dental professional.
Understanding Dental Implants
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots, or screws, made of titanium that is placed directly into the jawbone in order to replace a lost or missing tooth. Over time, the screw fuses together with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration, creating a very stable tooth support. Once the implant screw is in place, a dental crown made to look like your natural teeth are put in place, restoring your smile. Individual dental implants are great for replacing a missing tooth.
Benefits of dental implants
Dental implants offer several benefits, including:
- Improved appearance: Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth, which can improve the appearance of your smile and facial structure.
- Improved speech: With dental implants, you won’t have to worry about dentures slipping or sliding in your mouth, which can cause slurred speech.
- Enhanced comfort: Since dental implants become a part of your jawbone, they provide greater stability and comfort compared to dentures.
- Improved oral health: Unlike bridges, dental implants don’t require support from neighboring teeth. This means neighboring teeth won’t be damaged or altered during the implantation process.
- Improved functionality: Dental implants function like natural teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with ease.
- Long-lasting: Dental implants are a long-lasting solution to a missing tooth. With proper care, they can last a lifetime.
Potential drawbacks of dental implants
Although dental implants have many benefits, there are also potential drawbacks to consider. These drawbacks include:
- Surgical procedure: Dental implants require a surgical procedure, which can be uncomfortable or painful for some patients.
- Higher costs: The cost of dental implants is often higher than other tooth replacement options, such as dentures or bridges.
- Extended treatment time: Implants require a longer treatment time than other options, as the implant must first fuse to the jawbone before a crown or other restoration can be attached.
- Not beneficial for everyone: Dental implants may not be suitable for everyone, as certain medical conditions or habits, such as smoking, may affect the success of the procedure.
To learn more about dental implants, CLICK HERE.
If you have lost most or all of your teeth, the traditional option for tooth replacement was dentures or partial dentures. Unfortunately, these rely on adhesives that are often not strong enough to prevent slippage or movement of the denture during speech or chewing. Because of this, many are now choosing overdentures instead.
Overdentures are a type of dental prosthesis that fits over dental implants. Overdentures can help restore a patient’s ability to chew and speak properly while providing an aesthetically pleasing and natural-looking smile.
Overdentures can either be removable or fixed in place.
Types of overdentures
As we mentioned above, overdentures can either be removable, allowing for easier cleaning, or fixed in place, providing increased stability. Here we take a closer look at the four overdenture options available.
Implant-supported overdentures involve the placement of two to six implants in the jawbone. Once in place and stable, your dental professional will attach a removable denture to the implant attachments. This option provides denture stability while still allowing you to remove the denture for more thorough cleaning.
Fixed implant-supported overdentures
Similar to standard implant-supported overdentures, these fixed overdentures are attached with implants in the jaw, typically requiring four implants. In this case, however, the overdenture is locked into place with screws and unable to be removed at home. This option is one of the most stable of the overdentures, however, cleaning can be more difficult. This is often the most expensive overdenture option.
Bar-retained implant-supported overdentures
Bar-retained implant-supported overdentures use dental implants attached together with a visible bar above the gumline. The overdenture then clips onto the bar, keeping it secure and in place. This provides additional stability yet still allows for denture removal in order to provide a thorough cleaning.
Ball-retained implant-supported overdentures
Similar to bar-retained overdentures, ball-retained implant-supported overdentures attach to the implants using ball-shaped connectors. This provides additional stability and support while still allowing for denture removal.
Benefits of overdentures
Overdentures have several benefits, including:
- Improved stability: Overdentures are secured in place using dental implants, which provide superior stability and support. This means that the overdenture won’t move or slip around, even when eating or speaking.
- Improved oral health: Dental implants that support overdentures can help to preserve the jawbone and prevent bone loss. This is because the implants stimulate the bone tissue, much like natural teeth.
- Improved comfort: Overdentures are custom-made to fit your mouth perfectly, which means that they are much more comfortable than traditional dentures. Additionally, the pressure on the gums is reduced because the overdentures are supported by the implants, which means less discomfort and irritation.
- Improved confidence: Overdentures can give you the confidence to speak, eat, and smile with ease, knowing that your teeth are secure and won’t move around. This can be especially important for people who have struggled with traditional dentures and feel self-conscious about their teeth.
Potential drawbacks of overdentures
While overdentures are a popular and effective option for tooth replacement, there are some potential drawbacks to consider. These include:
- Cost: Implant-supported overdentures can be more expensive than traditional dentures.
- Surgical procedure required: As with dental implants, the placement of the implants for an overdenture requires surgery. This can be uncomfortable for some patients, and there is always a risk of complications.
- Bone requirements: Implants for overdentures require a significant amount of jawbone in order for implant success. In some cases, this may require bone grafts.
- Time: The process of getting an overdenture can take several months, as it involves multiple stages, including surgery, healing time, and adjustments to the denture.
- Maintenance: While overdentures are generally easier to care for than traditional dentures, they still require regular maintenance, including cleaning and adjustments as needed.
- Not as strong as natural teeth: Overdentures are not indestructible and can become damaged or dislodged over time. It is important to follow proper care and maintenance guidelines to ensure they last as long as possible.
To learn more about overdentures, CLICK HERE.
Overdentures vs. Implants: Which is better?
Both overdentures and implants offer effective solutions for missing teeth, so how do you decide which one is better? Oftentimes, the answer to this question lies in how many teeth you have missing. If you are missing a single tooth or even a couple, single implants are likely your best solution. However, if you are missing your entire upper or lower arch, an overdenture is going to be your best solution as it can quickly and effectively replace all your upper or lower arch in one solution.
Making the right choice
When deciding on the best missing tooth solution for you, there are a few things you should consider.
Consult with a dental professional
The first step to determine whether implants or overdentures are right for you is to consult with your dental provider. They will go over your dental history and examine your remaining teeth in order to best determine which tooth replacement options will meet your needs.
Personal preference and lifestyle
When determining which option works best for you, you must also consider your personal preference and your lifestyle. Do you want overdentures that are locked in place, or do you want to be able to remove them for more thorough cleaning? Are you confident in your ability to effectively clean those overdentures that are secured in place?
Balancing benefits and drawbacks
When deciding which option to choose, it is important to discuss all the benefits and drawbacks with your dentist or oral surgeon. This allows you to weigh your options and determine which one will benefit you most.
Finding the right tooth replacement option for you
Overdentures and dental implants are both good options for replacing missing teeth, but the choice between the two depends on various factors. Dental implants are a more permanent and durable solution, as they are anchored directly into the jawbone and are designed to last for many years.
Overdentures, on the other hand, are removable and require regular adjustments, but they can be a more cost-effective option for those with significant bone loss or other dental issues that may make dental implant placement difficult.
Ultimately, the choice between overdentures and dental implants should be made in consultation with a dental professional, who can evaluate your specific needs and help you determine the best option for your individual case.
Helping promote a healthy beautiful smile
At New Leaf Rohnert Park, our team of dental professionals understand how missing teeth can affect a person’s self-confidence and self-esteem. We don’t want anyone to have to hide their smile and our team will work with you to develop a custom tooth replacement plan designed just for you. Whether this includes dental implants or overdentures, our goal is to help restore a healthy, beautiful smile and get you back out enjoying life.
To learn more about your dental replacement options, request an appointment today.