Overdentures An overdenture is a precision device that is secured by dental attachments. Types of overdentures include bar joint dentures and telescopic dentures. Over dentures are basically any non-permanent tooth replacement appliance that is worn over your existing teeth or their remnants, replacing missing teeth with false teeth. With the advent of modern dentistry, making teeth removal safer and far less painful, over dentures are sometimes a cost effective alternative to implants, and certainly a better choice than full dentures, if they can be avoided.
Today, teeth that seem beyond hope are usually extracted before the insertion of an over denture, although there may be times when those teeth can be salvaged for the patient’s best interest. Currently, the most commonly seen over denture involves teeth that have had root canal procedures. If the roots of these teeth are still healthy, the crown may be cut off at the gum line and a removable device fitted over the remaining stumps. Often, your dentist will place a filling material or cast metal copings over the stumps first to help protect them from decay.
The great benefit to this is that the roots of these teeth help preserve the bone that supports them. This bone, that is vital to supporting the denture, would otherwise quickly resorb. Also, the root itself serves as a vertical foundation for the denture, providing for more stability than would otherwise be possible.
The addition of a soft denture material such as CuSil on the denture surface that directly covers the stiff root stumps permits the overdenture to sit more snugly into the soft tissue on the roof of the mouth. This allows for more suction to build up and will usually improve the retention of an overdenture.
Implant Retained Dentures A full set of implants can be cost prohibitive for many people, however, a minimum of two implants can retain a lower denture, which may not have been tolerated by that patient otherwise. Generally speaking, more than two implants are required for upper implant retained dentures.
Even though the dentures that fit over implants are significantly higher priced than standard dentures, they present the benefit of allowing upper dentures to be created in the shape of an arch instead of having to cover the entire palate. This is of special importance to people who have severe gagging reflexes, and probably could not wear full dentures because of that.
Implant retained dentures are also of particular value to patients who cannot wear lower dentures. As a toothless patient ages, and the bone continues to resorb, lower ridges often fade away entirely. This leaves no vertical bone underneath the gums to steady a lower denture. The placement of just two implants in the front of the lower jaw can make it possible to retain a lower denture, which would otherwise not be possible for the patient to endure.
Mini Implant Retained Dentures Mini implants, first introduced in the late 1990’s, have come to be the gold standard for holding lower dentures. An attractive feature is that they can usually be inserted into the lower jaw without having to cut an incision into the gums. Anesthesia is generally injected immediately into the position for each individual implant only. The original lower denture may then be retrofitted for immediate placement over the new implants. Also, patients who have been advised that they may not have enough bone left to consider standard implants are often candidates for minis, since they are only the size of a basic toothpick.
Another nice feature is that this can all be achieved in under an hour. It is virtually pain free, and usually creates very little postoperative discomfort. In conclusion, this procedure is far less costly than standard implants for retaining lower dentures.
Duplicate Dentures When a full denture is first created, it is often an affordable option to order a duplicate set made at the same time. Duplicate dentures are made by flowing liquid agar around the finished denture and allowing it to harden. Agar is a thick, gelatin-like material made from seaweed, which is liquid when hot, but cools to form a supple, rubbery substance. The original denture is then removed from the agar mold, leaving a hole in the agar where the denture used to be. Liquid plastic is then used to fill in the mold; white plastic in the tooth indents and pink to form the foundation and flanges. The two halves of the agar mold are then placed back together and the liquid plastic is allowed to solidify.
Duplicate dentures are not particularly high quality since the plastic used to create them is somewhat porous and less resilient to wear, and they may not appear as natural as the original set, however they do provide a great alternative to going without if the primary denture is lost or must be sent out for repair, et.
The duplicate denture is generally given tot he patient with no follow up fittings or treatments for sore spots, etc, since they are made inexpensively and are meant to be used only in emergencies.