Traditional dentures can be difficult for some people to get used to because they move around and can even fall out at times. Two better alternatives are overdentures and fixed dentures. Both of these prostheses employ dental implants in the jawbone to stabilize the dentures.
Although fixed dentures and overdentures serve a similar function, they do have some important differences, which this article will cover.
1. Overdentures are removable
The biggest difference between overdentures and fixed dentures is that you can remove overdentures when you need to. This is convenient when you want to clean and maintain your dentures. Overdentures remain in place with clips and clasps while fixed dentures attach directly to dental implants.
2. Overdentures sometimes sit over natural teeth
Fixed dentures attach directly to dental implants. However, overdentures sit over rather than attach to dental implants. And in some cases, when a patient still has some natural teeth, an overdenture may also sit over both natural teeth and dental implants.
3. Overdentures require fewer dental implants
In the lower jaw, overdentures may only require two dental implants for support. However, fixed dental implants usually rely on several dental implants to remain firmly in position. The upper jaw is a different matter. Because the bone in the upper jaw is softer and has less depth than the lower jaw, an overdenture, like a fixed denture, will need to use several dental implants for stability.
4. Overdentures are often less expensive
As mentioned earlier, overdentures use fewer dental implants when placed in the lower jaw. This makes overdentures a cheaper option for patients that wish to use dentures for their lower arch. Some patients start with overdentures because they are cheaper, and then later move on to fixed dentures. They can do this by adding two or more dental implants before placing the prosthesis.
5. Overdentures may experience some movement
Unlike fixed dentures which are fixed firmly onto dental implants, overdentures rely on a metal framework with clasps and clips. The problem with relying on claps and clips for stability is that patients with overdentures will feel their dentures move around in their mouth on occasion, especially when eating and speaking.
As you can see, overdentures and fixed dentures are different in several ways. Which prosthesis appeals to you the most? Get in touch with a prosthodontist today to arrange for an examination to see if you are a good candidate for fixed dentures or overdentures.