For many patients the transition from their own teeth/dentition to “dentures” is a challenging one. As teeth are extracted the supporting bone and soft tissues begin to resorb or shrink providing much less stability and retention for the denture during the functional stresses of chewing and swallowing. This allows for a poor peripheral seal and stability of Denture becomes a major problem This is perhaps the single biggest complaint amongst edentulous patients and one of the reasons we encourage patients to maintain several of their own natural teeth so they can be modified to help anchor and stabilize the Denture –This is called an overdenture and either teeth and or implants can be used to achieve this.
Typically there are two basic types of overdentures:
Tooth borne overdenture
This usually requires selecting 2, 3 or more of your natural teeth to help support the denture. Root canal therapy is then performed on these teeth and they are intentionally shaved down to the gum line and then, small gold caps with retentive clips (called post and caps with ceka attachments) are cemented onto into and around the roots of these teeth so the denture can be anchored on top (ergo the name “overdenture”) The additional anchorage and retention created by these gold root caps provides significant increased stability for the denture. The beauty of this technique is that it allows you to also preserve a large area of surrounding bone which so that later on if time and finances permit, additional implant borne fixtures can be placed. In the upper jaw the added advantage with this technique is that with the additional stability and retention of two or more such attachments you can cut out a large portion of the palatal acrylic on the roof of the mouth –this allows more space for the tongue, improved airway, better speech and swallowing as well as improved taste and smell!
Over the past 25 years Dr. Willoughby has made literally hundreds of tooth borne overdentures for his patients using gold post and root caps with ceka attachments secured to natural teeth. A root retained overdenture of this nature is an excellent way of maintaining healthy viable bone around the roots of the teeth and a great way to support and retain a palateless denture for improved speech, breathing, tongue position and increased taste. This style of overdenture is also an excellent transition device to a more secure implant supported prosthesis. Dr. Willoughby and his staff have the requisite experience to help you decide whether or not a tooth or implant supported denture is right for you. For more information please and a free consultation please call our office at (604) 541-1800
Implant borne overdentures
Unlike Tooth borne overdentures, the decision to have a denture supported by 2 or more implants can be made after the complete denture has been fabricated and inserted. By far the most common type of implant supported denture is the lower due to the lack of retention and stability that usually accompanies a lower complete denture. With a minimum of 2 dental implants a significant increase in stability and retention can be achieved. The surgery takes less than an hour and the denture can also be loosely attached to the denture at this same surgical appointment. After 3 months of healing, permanent attachments (called o-ring abutments) can be installed to firmly mount the lower overdenture to the dental implants. When 4 or more implants are placed more intricate milled titanium bars can be installed to join all the implants together thereby increasing the stability and fit of the denture.
Dr. Willoughby has been placing and restoring dental implants since 1993. His extensive training also allows him to fabricate a Facelift Denture which will help you look and feel younger and more confident.
Call us today at (604) 541-1800 and book a complimentary consultation with Dr. Willoughby and his staff. We will be happy to evaluate your oral condition and let you know if you are a good candidate for an overdenture.