Dentures + Implants: A New Treatment Standard
Dentures have long since been used as the primary treatment option for edentulism, or loss of teeth. Because dentures were not designed to function in the same way natural teeth do, many patients complain that they make chewing and speaking especially difficult—creating an embarrassing stigma that many would argue affects their quality of life.
Fortunately, dentures are not the only solution to partial or complete tooth loss. In today’s modern dentistry, edentulism is often treated with a dental implant, a surgical procedure that involves placing an implant in the jawbone (below the gums) as a tooth root. After the implant fuses to the jawbone—a process called “osseointegration”—an abutment is attached, acting as an anchor for a permanent tooth or crown.
Although implants are an effective solution for missing teeth, this treatment option does not always solve all the defects caused by edentulism, and the expensive procedure can cause financial hardship for some.
Implant Overdentures for the Lower Jaw
When implants or dentures are not feasible choices, there is an effective treatment option that offers the long-term durability of dental implants at a cost comparable to dentures: the lower jaw two-implant overdenture.
In essence, an implant overdenture is both a denture and an implant. First, the process involves placing two dental implants in the lower jawbone, a procedure that requires precision. Once the implants have healed, a modified denture is affixed over the implants for a secure hold. Just like traditional dentures, patients may remove the implant overdenture for easy cleaning.
Benefits of Two-Implant Overdenture
The success of the two-implant overdenture has revolutionized cosmetic dentistry. In fact, implant overdenture for the lower jaw is widely recognized in cosmetic dentistry as the primary care option for patients suffering from edentulism.
In comparison with traditional dentures, implant overdentures offer several benefits, including:
- Reduced bone loss
- Enhanced comfort
- Improved stabilization for natural chewing and speaking
Because the denture is firmly secured by two implants, many patients describe feeling more confident with implant overdentures rather than conventional dentures, a sign of improved quality of life. Conventional dentures, however, are notorious for slipping and causing embarrassing moments for edentulous patients.
Some researchers even argue that implant overdentures improve nutrition and overall general health. Although difficult to fully substantiate, this theory is based on an idea that patients who use traditional dentures are more likely to change their diets to unhealthier foods that are easier to chew in an effort to reduce chewing problems.