Dentures can give you back the confidence to smile, allow you to chew your food comfortably again and help you protect your remaining natural teeth from becoming overused and worn out. There are also drawbacks to using dentures as a substitute for missing teeth.
Although you can chew while wearing dentures, your chewing efficiency is greatly reduced, meaning biting into tough but delicious treats such as an apple is out of the question. There is also the issue of comfort. Some people can adapt to using dental adhesive and to having plastic constantly pressing on their palate, but for some the negatives outweigh the positives.
There is another way that you can keep your dentures whilst improving chewing force, comfort and confidence in social situations: by opting to upgrade to an overdenture.
What is an Overdenture?
Also called implant overdentures, overdentures are dentures that are anchored in your mouth via dental implants placed strategically in your upper (maxillar) or lower (mandible) jawbone, and they offer many more benefits than conventional dentures.
1. Offer Greater Chewing Force
According to research, implant dentures afford you the ability to chew food with much greater force and are superior to other denture types in this respect, including full dentures. This means you won't have to worry about breaking your denture whilst eating an apple or chewing a particularly tough piece of meat.
2. Easily Cleaned
Overdentures can be anchored to teeth in many ways, several of which allow you to easily remove your dentures for cleaning after meals and before you retire for the night. While conventional dentures can also be removed for cleaning, they come with the added disadvantage of dental adhesive, which is often difficult and time consuming to clean from your gums and dentures.
3. Help to Prevent Bone Loss
Overdentures slow or even stop bone loss altogether through a process called osseointegration in which the titanium implants actually integrate with your jawbone, allowing you to chew with almost as much force as you would your natural teeth.
It is this continued chewing force that stimulates your jawbone like natural teeth would, preventing any of the bone resorption that may occur should this biting force be lacking, as in the case of conventional dentures.
4. Are Smaller and Provide More Comfort
Overdentures are also smaller and less bulky than conventional dentures. There is also no need for the often awkward plastic plate that rests against the palate because overdentures are already securely positioned in your mouth via the implants.
5. Don't Move Around in Your Mouth
Because implant dentures are secured to your jawbone with implants, they don't move around, which means you can comfortably eat, speak or laugh without worrying about losing your dentures.
Although many people are able to adjust to wearing conventional dentures, they are not for everyone. If you need more stability and comfort, talk to your dentist about changing to overdentures. They will first need to determine whether or not you have enough bone in which to place the implants before proceeding with further treatment.