Overdentures (Denture Stabilisation)
Loose dentures are very common, particularly in the lower jaw and this can be embarrassing and distressing. Research also shows that denture wearers can suffer from nutritional disorders because their chewing action is ineffective. One of the most useful applications for dental implants is to stabilise loose dentures. Although we are often asked for denture implants, this dental solution is known as ‘overdentures’.
In the lower jaw, we connect the denture to 2 implants via press-stud connections. We can do the same to the upper jaw with 4 implants to stabilise the denture successfully.
An overdenture is a denture that “clips” onto implants. The idea is that these clips prevent the teeth from dislodging during normal chewing function. The most commonly used type of clip is called a “locator abutment” which is very similar to a press-stud. To use this option in the upper jaw, you need four implants. In the lower jaw only two implants are needed.
Overdentures are custom-made to fit around the implants with a Chrome Cobalt alloy strengthener. This gives the denture added strength, due to the increased biting force that is now possible.
This represents the most cost effective way to stabilise dentures using implants and we frequently use them with great success. The upper denture will also have the middle section of the palate removed, so it looks more like a horseshoe and helps to improve taste and sensation of eating food. It is also helpful for patients with a strong gag reflex.
Overdentures are particularly useful for patients who struggle with an existing loose full lower denture. Patients treated this way report a dramatic and instant improvement in their chewing function. In some cases, it may be possible to modify an existing denture and fit them to the implants via the locator abutments. However, some patients may still be aware of a very small amount of movement in the dentures when they chew.
Denture stabilisation through implant overdentures offers a cost effective solution to securing loose dentures and can make a massive difference to the quality of life.
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