An overdenture is a complete denture that fits over your own remaining natural roots or dental implants that have been placed by your dentist. The retained tooth root or implant provides you with excellent stability and support for your overdenture.
There is limited retention and stability with a traditional denture which relies on suction alone. Over time, retention only worsens due to continual bone loss (atrophy) of your dental arches from the lack of teeth, and this can have a negative impact on your overall health. Saving your natural roots or having dental implants placed will preserve bone and will dramatically reduce bone resorption and deterioration that results in loss of jawbone height and width.
Unlike traditional dentures, root-supported or implant-supported overdentures are held in place by dental attachments which provide the retentive strength that you desire. Overdenture attachments are composed of two working components; the root post which is cemented into your root or an implant abutment that is threaded into your implant, and the denture cap which is retained in the underside of your denture. The denture snaps down over these implant or root attachments. The attachments under the denture do wear out over time and need to be replaced periodically. This just takes a few minutes.
The home care for the overdenture is similar to that of a traditional denture. It needs to be removed and cleaned after meals and before bed. The implants and/or teeth also need to be kept clean on a daily basis. Visiting the dentist for a professional cleaning and examination at least every six months is also recommended.
Overdentures will allow you to chew your food better and speak more clearly because they are held in place much better than a traditional denture. Studies have proven that overdentures contribute to improved chewing efficiency and phonetics. Loose dentures that cause embarrassment will be eliminated. Messy denture creams and adhesives are no longer needed.