There is a large percentage of the U.S. population that wears full dentures: it is estimated 23 million have no teeth in both the upper and lower jaws, and 12 million have no teeth in one jaw. 90% of these people wear full dentures. Dr. Ira Goldberg of Morris County Dental Associates, a dentist in Succasunna, NJ, explains the benefits of overdentures for a full-mouth restoration.
What are Overdentures?
A full denture in the upper jaw quite often fits reasonably well, but the lower denture can be troublesome: it can slide around within the mouth, causing pain, frustration, and embarrassment.
There is a dental implant solution known as an “overdenture.” An overdenture is a full denture that snaps onto dental implants that are placed within the jaw, typically the lower jaw. The implants eliminate or significantly reduce these issues of denture movement, pain, frustration, and embarrassment.
The number of implants placed can vary. Two, three, or four implants are the most common configuration. It depends greatly upon the amount of bone available, and the amount of money a patient wishes to invest.
It is important to realize that the final denture is still removable, meaning the teeth need to be taken out after meals to clean, and at bedtime, the teeth should be removed to rest the tissues in the mouth. In contrast, there are some implant solutions that are non-removable, meaning the teeth do not come in and out.
Getting an Overdenture
Temporary dentures are sometimes required in the process of making overdentures. They might be needed to allow for healing after extractions, to allow implants to integrate with the bone for a few months, or to try out a re-designed smile. At times, these temporary dentures might be utilized as the final teeth.
Costs for treatment can vary from $4,000 to $16,000. There are many variables involved, and one size does NOT fit all. A consultation for YOUR particular situation is something to consider, to get a more accurate estimate.
Why would a person select an overdenture versus a non-removable option? Typically finances are the reason. An overdenture provides a great service, as it allows a person to increase their chewing ability, and provide comfort since the overdenture doesn’t move around as much as a traditional denture. The implants also help to preserve bone in your jaw, which is important for strength and integrity.
Maintenance of an overdenture is something else to consider. The denture will still wear out like a regular denture, typically with an average of 7 years. The “attachments” or “snaps” that go into the overdenture will need replacement on a regular schedule, too: this is typically 10 months to 2 years.
If you have been considering a denture, or are a current denture wearer, overdentures are one treatment option worth considering!
For a free consultation, including a free 3-D scan (if necessary), please call his office at (973) 328-1225. Dr. Goldberg is a general dentist, and also a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry.