How Long Do Overdentures Last?
Overdenture dental prostheses, or overdentures, are a type of removable and total prosthetic device. The devices can be made from aesthetic materials such as porcelain and zirconia and are made up of bars and clips. The overdenture prosthesis is indicated in cases involving the total loss of teeth and may be the most advantageous option in this case. Overdentures are also known as attachment dentures, since they are total prostheses that attach into implants that were surgically installed in the jaw bones. Overdentures are supported by the gingival tissue, which allows for a satisfactory and almost imperceptible aesthetic effect. The accessory parts have an efficient fixation, since the structure is joined to the titanium pins (implants), making them more stable than the mobile denture. Thanks to this stability, involuntary movements of the prosthesis in the mouth are avoided, facilitating speech and chewing.
How does the overdenture prosthesis work?
Both for the upper and lower overdentures, your dentist will first assess the anatomy of your whole mouth and analyze the location where the bone structure exists to place the titanium pins. After the detection, the dentist will surgically attach the implants into your jaw, performing the procedure under anesthesia so that the whole procedure is painless.
In order for there to be a definitive and sufficient application of the prosthesis, it is usually necessary to place two to three implants. After placing the pins, it is necessary to wait for the osseointegration period, which generally lasts from 3 to 6 months. This period is where the titanium pin osseointegrates or starts to become part of your jawbone. During this period, the dentist may recommend the use of a temporary prosthesis. After completing the regeneration process, the implant is reopened for the placement of the necessary components and thus, the molding and installation of the prosthesis.
Overdentures offer a more functional and viable option for replacing all teeth in an arch than using a single dental implant for each missing tooth, which is less practicable and recommendable – especially where bone loss has occurred. In order to restore the natural proportions of teeth and gums with little bone volume, we need to make a prosthesis that contains both teeth and gums; otherwise, the replaced teeth will look excessively long. Between implant overdentures, those with bars are distinguished by their quality, being one of the most used types, as they have a high retention rate. Bar retained overdentures are used when it is not possible to place another type of prosthesis, such as the fixed one, on the implants. They are also used when there is insufficient bone for traditional implant supported overdentures.
Bar retained overdentures are also generally much cheaper than dental implants to replace singular teeth. The value for money they present has made it one of the most used options in recent years, as it not only returns a smile to the patient's face, but also allows for great functionality.
These overdentures will restore your smile and the function of your missing teeth, however, they must be cared for meticulously. While the implant in your jaw, with proper care can last 10 or 15 years or more, the prosthesis (dentures) itself can start to show wear and tear after 5 years. For this reason, it is important to visit your dentist regularly and have them inspected by your dentist.