Dental Innovation: The Impressive Presence of Implant Overdentures
Implant Overdentures, or “Snap-On Dentures,” are the newest and most innovative methods for replacing teeth. What makes them so great? No more adhesives, no more slippage with clunky mouthpieces. Carolina’s Dental Choice is happy to announce that we know offer the Implant Overdenture procedure, and we can’t wait to share the incredible benefits we are already seeing.
Our mouths are filled with a mixture of both soft and hard tissues. The hard tissue areas, such as the teeth and jaw, are connected to soft tissue areas like the gums and tongue. Sometimes, whether due to an accident or occurring naturally, problems can arise with the tissues in the mouth. These problems consist of missing or broken teeth, improperly seated jaw joints, faulty bites, gum and jawbone damage, warn-down dental work, and even some mouth diseases. Reconstructive dentistry, such as Implant Overdentures, is the procedure of replacing missing teeth with materials that are just as durable and long-lasting as the real thing—if not better.
Before implants came along, individuals with missing teeth had to wear dentures or bridges, which simply sit in the mouth. These devices can move around, stick to food, and even fall out since they are not permanently connected to the gums and jaw. Implants, however, are fused to the patient’s jawbone to ensure they do not budge. Once they are in, it’s virtually impossible to tell they are not original. As a matter of fact, it won’t take long at all for you to forget they are implants as well.
What Exactly Are Implant Overdentures?
Overdentures are full implants made of titanium anchors and they are permanently placed into the upper and/or lower jawbone. Time is given for the implants to fuse with the bone—which is critical, as this melding of metal of bone is what keeps the implants from moving. Once the implant is fully integrated into the jawbone, the foundation is set for the dentures to be put into place. Now the patient has a full set of beautiful teeth that are impossible to differentiate from natural teeth.
The process may seem a bit arduous, with multiple visits and healing times needed, but the end result is more than worth it: teeth that look, feel, and operate like new.
How Do They Work?
It’s not difficult to think of what led to the creation of Implant Overdentures. Imagine having a set of teeth glued to your gums. A tooth becomes loose or falls out; the entire rack slips around while you talk or chew. It’s not fun, and often it’s embarrassing and distracting. With Implant Overdentures, the negative aspects of dentures are eliminated.
Overdentures are implanted over a multi-step treatment process:
- As mentioned earlier, Overdenture implants are first screwed into the jaw and left to adhere to the bone for two months or so. This allows the bone to grow to the implant at a cellular level. A few months sounds like a lot of healing time, but this is the most important part. Also, during this period of time, the patient will be given a temporary set of dentures that covers the gums until it is time for the Overdentures.
- While you are waiting for your gums to heal, a customized set of Overdentures will be made so that they can perfectly fit in your mouth. This set, or sets, of Overdentures is created to precisely mimic the color and shape of your natural teeth, so there is no worry of looking or sounding different once the procedure is completed.
- The final step is to have the implants securely attached—they snap right in—and inspected. Then your new smile is completed.
At Carolina’s Dental Choice, we offer three types of Overdentures:
- Implant-Retained, Gum Supported
This treatment is known as the minimum standard for those in need of a full set of new teeth. Implant-Retained Overdentures sit right on your gums and are kept in place by fastening to the jawbone—upper and/or lower. This Overdenture is removable, as it is secured to the gums with retentive attachments built into the denture itself.
- Bar-Retained, Implant Supported
Bar-Retained means that a metal bar is fastened to the gums and is connected to the bone for stability, much like the Implant-Retained. The Overdenture itself is created with attachments that slide onto the bar and lock-in. These are easy to remove and place back in and are typically a bit sturdier than an Implant-Retained Overdenture.
- Fixed, Implant Supported
With this treatment, the connecting piece and the Overdenture and combined into one piece. This piece is then attached to the jawbone (with screws), and the only way to have the Fixed Overdenture removed is by scheduling an appointment with a dental clinician. Patients typically like this method most because it is the closest to having natural teeth—no metal bars or brackets that slide or snap into place. It’s one, solid piece that perfectly fits right in.
But Are They Worth It?
There’s a lot more to Overdentures than the old-fashioned ones that are glued to the gums. It is a serious procedure, but so many patients are going this route because the benefits are so much better than any other method. For one, they are much easier to clean, as they are brushed and flossed just as regular teeth are—whether you choose to clean them while they are inside your mouth, or if you pop them out and clean them that way.
Another benefit is that those with severe bone loss due to an accident or simply due to old age, the Implant Overdentures can actually provide additional bone support. The titanium screws used to secure the implants can fill in the space where the bone once was, and this creates added facial stability.
What About Cost?
Just the Implants themselves can cost around $2,500 to $3,000 each, and the dentures could be anywhere from $1,700 to $1,800. This is a lot of money, but a lot rides on the type of insurance the individual has. Luckily, most full dental insurance policies include some restorative coverage, which usually means that up to 50% of the cost can be covered. Your best option is to first contact your insurance provider to see what is covered. It’s also a good idea to schedule an appointment with us to come in and receive a diagnosis and cost estimate. This way you know exactly what you need and what it will cost.
Implants for Individual Teeth
Not only do we offer Overdenture Implants, but we can also replace individual teeth for those who don’t need a complete overhaul. We offer both types of implants because what’s nice about them is that they do not require any further care than one would provide for natural teeth, such as rinsing, flossing, and brushing a few times a day.
After consulting with a dentist, the dental implant procedure is completed in only three steps (similar to the procedure for Overdenture implants):
- To begin, the gums are opened and the implant is screwed atop the jawbone. Once it is secure, the gums are replaced and left to heal for a few months.
- Next, what is called a “post” is applied to the implant. For this to happen, the gums are separated again at the location of where the implant was connected to the jawbone. The post is attached, which acts as a base for the replacement tooth, and is this is then left to heal.
- Lastly, a crown is made and fitted perfectly to match the rest of the teeth.
Though some patients may feel a bit of reluctance to this type of surgery, due to the idea of having titanium pieces applied to the jaw, this really is the healthiest and most successful method of replacing missing teeth. The titanium components meld perfectly with the bone and gums without causing a threat to oral health. As for the stability of the new tooth/teeth, they are just as secure and strong as the surrounding natural teeth.
What Sets Us Apart
You will not find a dental practice that cares about you and your well-being more than we do at Carolina’s Dental Choice. Not only does our family atmosphere immediately put you at ease, our variety of services offered, and the technology used, provide the highest quality of dental work you will find. When it comes to practices such as teeth whitening, preventative care, and restorative and cosmetic dentistry, we have the latest, newest technology to complete all services quickly, easily, and professionally. Here are just a few of the other services we offer:
One thing other dental practices do not want you to know about us is our ability to conduct difficult, in-depth dental procedures. These types of procedures are often left for those few specialty dentists with steady hands and a vast knowledge of the practice. Like us!
What in-depth procedures do we conduct, exactly? A process called restorative dentistry is one. This is any process by which extremely damaged teeth are repaired by adhering bone and tissue with metal and ceramic materials in order to make them whole again. Once the materials are adjoined to the teeth, they are sanded and smoothed to perfectly match the other healthy teeth. And, over time, your mouth begins to accept these new materials and strengthen them by growing new bone and tissue around the restored teeth. Needless to say, this process requires a steady and experienced hand. Lucky for us, we have multiple dentists who excel in this type of procedure.
At Carolina’s Dental Choice, our expert team is ready to perfect your smile. If you have missing teeth and are ready to get your beautiful smile back, come let us take care of you. Using our top-of-the-line technology and equipment, we can create dental implants to fit perfectly in your mouth and fill those voids where teeth used to be.