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Are Implant Overdentures Permanent?

Posted by writeradmin

I’m really confused about implant overdentures. Each website seems to describe them as something different. I currently have dentures which are about 13 years old. They are driving me crazy and I think it is about time I update them. I THINK I want implant overdentures, but I want to make sure they are permanent and secured. Some of them seem to come on and off, which is NOT what I want.


Dear Benjamin,

I am glad you wrote. I can help you with this and understand the confusion. First, let’s talk about why your dentures are driving your crazy.

Why Won’t Your Dentures Stay Put?

Before and after facial collapseFrom the moment your teeth were removed, your body recognized that and immediately began to resorb the minerals in your jawbone in order to use them elsewhere in your body. After ten or so years, your jawbone no longer has enough jawbone left to retain your dentures. In dental circles, we call this facial collapse. There is an image of this to the left.

Not only does this make your quality of life less than desirable, but it also makes you look decades older than you are. Additionally, it becomes a challenge to get any other replacement either. Fortunately, there is a solution. The first thing you will need to do is have a procedure known as bone grafting done. This will build back up the missing bone in your body. Once this is done, you can get new dentures, or completely upgrade to implant overdentures. I recommend the latter, otherwise, you will find yourself in this vicious circle of bone loss.

What Are Implant Overdentures?

Your confusion likely stems from the fact that there are several different types of implant-supported dentures. The one thing they have in common is that all of them use dental implants, which will protect you from the bone loss we discussed above.

snap on denturesSnap-on Dentures

These use just two dental implants and your denture can snap onto them. This is the least expensive option because it only requires two dental implants. It is secure but can be removed by unsnapping it. So, in that scenario the dental implants are permanent, but the dentures can be snapped on and off.

One thing to bear in mind is that the bone is only preserved where there is a dental implant. So, the more dental implants you have, the better bone preservation you have.


Bar retained implant overdenture Bar-retained Dentures

These types of dental implants are retained by a bar. In this image, there are two implants, but you can have more and there would be more bars added to the sides of the bottom arch. This is also removable, but some people find this to be a more secure feeling.

Again, the more implants the better, but even just two dental implants are better than none.



implant overdentures Fixed Implant Overdentures

This last example is the best of the implant overdentures. You have between four and six dental implants placed and your dentures will be permanently anchored to them. These are not removable and will feel the most secure. It will also preserve the most bone for you.

Whichever of these you choose will be better than the completely removable dentures you have now. I hope this helps you get some answers and explains why various websites refer to implant overdentures so differently.

This blog is brought to you by Arnold, MD Dr. Esposito.