Implant Overdentures - Dr. Jonathan Penchas Has Examined Studies That Show a High Success Rate and Advantages over Long Period

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In its November issue, the International Journal of Prosthodontics reports on the high success rate of implant overdentures over five and ten years of use.

overdenture with implants

with 98% success over 10 years - overdentures with dental implants are proven to last

The International Journal of Prosthodontics, a leading dental journal, has compiled studies of the success rate of implant overdentures. They found 17 of every 1,000 implants in the lower jaw are at risk of failing after 10 years. This is 98% success over ten years - and the most successful use of an implant in the human body.

Overdentures are dentures that are held securely in place with dental implants. The exact number of implants required can vary from patient to patient. The overdenture is constructed in such a way that it is able to snap firmly into place, but can be removed for cleaning. As with any system there are overdentures advantages and disadvantages which need to be taken into consideration before deciding if this is the right course of action for the patient.

The Problems with Conventional Dentures
Many people struggle with wearing conventional dentures, and will often simply leave them out completely because they move around too much. This is often a real problem with lower dentures, especially amongst people who lost their teeth some time ago. The problem can be worse with lower dentures because the bony ridge that used to support the teeth will gradually flatten off as the years go by. Once the tooth roots are removed the bone in this ridge doesn’t receive sufficient stimulation to keep it healthy and strong, so it slowly reabsorbs. It can be embarrassing to deal with dentures that slip, especially if this occurs in public. It can make eating and speaking difficult, and denture adhesives are often ineffective and messy.

The Advantages of Overdentures
In comparison overdentures offer superior stability, allowing a greater choice of foods to be eaten, leading to improved nutrition and overall health. They can restore someone’s confidence in dealing with social situations, as there is no longer any chance of dentures slipping around, or even worse, falling out. Overdentures can be much more comfortable to wear as there is less chance they will rub and irritate the gum tissue.

If they are used to replace upper dentures then patients will often find their enjoyment of food increases, as upper overdentures don’t cover up the palate. In addition the presence of dental implants will help preserve more of the remaining bone in the jaw.

They do need removing every day, as it is important to clean the overdenture, and to thoroughly brush around the implants to remove the build-up of food and plaque. Brushing the gum tissue helps to stimulate circulation, keeping it healthy. This is no more than is required for maintaining a traditional denture and a mouth that doesn’t have implants.

When comparing overdentures advantages and disadvantages it would appear that the advantages will always outweigh the disadvantages, but there are other aspects of this treatment that do need to be taken into account. It does require a small surgical procedure, and patients do need to make sure they clean the implant site thoroughly to avoid infection and to minimize the extremely small risk that the implants may be rejected.

Planning for an Overdenture
Before treatment can begin, the doctor will need to decide whether or not the patient is suitable for dental implants. This will mean having a CT scan and x-rays so a full assessment of the jaw bone can be made. These scans also enable the doctor to accurately plan the implant placement. Sometimes it may be necessary to have an additional surgical procedure such as a bone graft before the implants are placed.

Implant surgery is a relatively routine procedure, but the patient may experience some discomfort for a few days afterwards. The level of discomfort depends on the number of implants and their position. Some types of implants allow the overdentures to be placed almost immediately, while other types must be allowed to heal before the final overdenture can be made.

Another important thing to consider when comparing overdentures advantages and disadvantages is the cost, as some dental insurance plans may cover a portion of the cost of implants, but others exclude this treatment. However the overall benefits of being able to eat, smile and generally live life with more confidence cannot be ignored. Many patients find the advantages of having stable dentures after years of struggling with conventional dentures far outweigh any disadvantages, and that the initial extra outlay is well worth it.

A study published last year recording patient’s improvement in quality of life after having immediate lower overdentures showed 100% satisfaction rates six months after the procedure, while satisfaction rates for upper and lower dentures were 87.5% after six months regarding retention and stability.

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Dr. Jonathan Penchas

Dr. Jonathan Penchas
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