Dental implants are often paired with a crown, but for those who have many missing teeth, the dental implants can hold an actual denture. These are also known as implant-supported dentures. Unlike regular dentures, these can stay in place and don’t move around when eating or speaking. If you are wondering if this dental restoration can work for you, here are some things you should know.

Dental Implants: How Do They Work?

Dental implants are made of titanium and look like small threaded screws. These small metal posts are buried into the gums, serving as replacements for tooth roots. They provide maximum hold onto the gums because of a process called osseointegration, wherein the gum tissue and bone grow around the implant thread. The bond tightens and the body accepts the implant as a part of itself. Dental implants are used to support single-tooth crowns, partial dentures, and full dentures.

How Implants Support Dentures

The implants serve as snap-on buttons that connect with metal components attached to dentures. When worn with implants, dentures are called “overdentures”. The implants are still surgically embedded the same way, but the abutment attached on top of it may vary depending on the type of denture used. For removable overdentures, the implants are easy to detach, while fixed ones can only be removed by dental professionals.

Partial and Full Overdentures

● Partial Overdentures

Unlike partial dentures which are only made with the missing teeth framed with the plastic and metal components, partial overdentures are made with the whole gum framework and only holes are provided for the currently healthy, existing teeth to fit into. Two to three dental implants are usually enough to support them. Partial overdentures are ideal if you have a lot of missing teeth and only a few remaining healthy teeth. If you only have two or three missing teeth, it may be beneficial to use bridges, implant-supported crowns, or partial traditional dentures.

● Full Overdentures

Full overdentures are made with the entire dental arch and are usually supported by 5 implants. The artificial gums are made to fully cover the patient’s existing gums. This keeps the implants and the overdentures from becoming visible to other people, even if the wearer gives a wide smile. Full overdentures are great to use for patients who want to get the best and closest-to-natural dental restorations.

Advantages of Overdentures

If you get overdentures, you can experience the following benefits:

1. Esthetics. Overdentures have the most natural appearance compared to other dental restorations.

2. Functionality. Overdentures provide force distribution among teeth and gums, preventing gum irritation and recession.

3. Optimal fit and longevity. Overdentures are more long-lasting than regular dentures because they can be worn all the time, preventing changes in the shape and form of the framework and maintaining a good fit.

4. Stability. Overdentures don’t move around like regular dentures because they are kept in place by the implants.

5. Preservation of healthy teeth. Partial overdentures keep the healthy teeth from getting damaged because of the protective gum covering.

6. Eating comfort. With overdentures, it’s easier to eat because of the force distribution.

7. Facial contouring. Regular dentures require removal at night, causing facial distortion due to the lack of muscle support. Overdentures can stay in the mouth 24/7 which means the face remains in shape and well-contoured.

8. Ease of maintenance. Overdentures are easy to clean, just like real teeth. They only need to be cleaned by dental professionals a few times a year.

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