Are Overdentures Right for You?
Tooth loss is all too common today, and the solutions of the past may have worked, but today’s top alternative is proving to be a far more practical way to deal with missing teeth. When our patients are dealing with problems related to missing teeth, at Gulfside Periodontics, we strongly recommend considering overdentures.
What are Overdentures?
The majority of our patients with multiple missing teeth have generally resorted to dentures as a primary solution for replacing those teeth. However, dentures tend to be difficult for some patients to manage. In many cases, people simply refuse to wear those dentures because they are uncomfortable and slip, causing problems with eating and communicating.
Several years ago, gulf coast dentists started suggesting dental implants to replace missing teeth, but the dental implant cost involved when replacing multiple missing teeth is prohibitive for the majority of our patients. Although there are people who still opted for multiple dental implants even when faces with relatively high costs, others continued to choose dentures.
That didn’t resolve the problems our patients experienced, as there is no truly effective way to anchor dentures securely, especially in the lower jaw. Adhesives were a step in the right direction, but those products often proved to be ineffective or caused other issues. That’s when the concept of an overdenture comes into the picture
Overdentures use a minimal number of implants to stabilize dentures. Of course, the costs are somewhat higher than dentures alone, but those costs are nowhere near the expense of replacing multiple teeth with individual implants. Our patients who select overdentures get their teeth replaced and once again eat or speak in public with confidence.
What Advantages Do Overdentures Provide?
There are numerous physical and psychological benefits provided by overdentures. While every person’s experience will be somewhat different, there are several benefits virtually everyone choosing overdentures enjoys.
- They restore an individual’s ability to chew correctly. Good health relies on proper nutrition. Overdentures allow our patients to chew just about any type of food without dislodging their dentures in the process.
- Anyone with numerous missing teeth will face speech problems that create confidence issues in both private and public settings. When discussing those issues with a local dentist, overdentures will almost certainly be recommended as a solution.
- Having numerous teeth replaced with individual dental implants will result in a number of procedures provided by a periodontal dentist. However, when overdentures are selected, the entire process will be far less invasive. It pays to discuss the option with dental professionals to determine how invasive the process would be to meet your needs.
- When overdentures are used, the discomfort and gum irritations many people experience with traditional dentures are virtually eliminated. That also means the temptation to go without those dentures will also be gone. Our periodontal associates will gladly explain how overdentures minimize any discomfort.
- Your costs will be reduced. When discussing the expenses involved with overdentures, it’s important to discuss both initial and long-term costs. Our dental health team will go over the projected costs and compare overdenture expenses to other options for replacing multiple teeth.
The psychological benefits can’t be overstressed. Tooth loss creates a number of issues not related to eating. Confidence when dealing with other people generally suffers when tooth loss is experienced. Even close family members may not be as understanding as they could be when numerous teeth are lost. Rather than suffer from a loss of confidence, dealing with tooth loss now can resolve the problems permanently.
Are There Other Physical Issues Overdentures Resolve?
One of the issues our patients routinely experience when teeth are missing is bone loss. Overdentures continue to provide the stimulation your jaw bone needs to generate growth. Bone loss is one of the reasons we strongly recommend our patients replace missing teeth as soon as possible after those teeth are lost.
Another problem people face after teeth are lost is changes to their facial structure. In other words, the actual shape of a person’s face will change after teeth are lost. In some cases, those changes are minimal and won’t be noticed but, in other cases, the changes can be more dramatic. If you’ve got questions about potential structural changes and how overdentures can help, discuss them with our staff.
What Choices are Available When Choosing Overdentures?
There are three primary types of overdentures to consider. The option recommended will depend on your unique needs.
- Fixed dental, implant-supported overdentures are the first option. This option is often preferred when all of the upper or lower teeth are missing. The overdenture is affixed and won’t need to be removed every day for normal care. When periodic care is needed, we’ll remove the overdenture and provide any needed maintenance.
- The second option is a removable implant-supported overdenture. The actual construction is similar to the fixed option, but this choice allows the user to remove the overdenture. This option is often used for patients who already have a denture that’s modified to be supported by implants. The overdentures will simply snap out and back in when cleaning is needed.
- A dental implant-stabilized overdenture is the third option. This choice is normally used when all the lower teeth are missing and a removable denture is already in use. This is a cost-effective solution for some of our patients. Again, this option can be snapped out at night for routine cleaning.
The best way to determine which of the options should be considered is to discuss them with our team. We’re here to make sure your choice is the best one for your specific needs.
Whether you’re currently dealing with missing teeth or are facing the need to remove multiple teeth, now is the time to schedule an appointment to evaluate your needs and explore the available options to resolve those issues.
Ignoring missing teeth will not help anyone and may lead to other issues developing, especially bone loss. Rather than waiting, take the time now to contact our office to schedule that all-important first visit and evaluation.