Implant overdentures can secure a lower denture to implants to improve stability.
They are still removable but are firmly attached so that patients can eat and speak without fear of their denture moving out of place. They can allow patients to eat almonds and popcorn and even bite into a crunchy apple–things that are very difficult to do with a traditional denture.
An implant overdenture is usually supported by 2-4 implants. The denture contains snaps that attach to the implants with a “click.” The snaps come in varying strengths which we can easily exchange to get just the right amount of retention–enough that the denture will not dislodge when eating or speaking but is still removable by the patient so that hygiene can easily be completed.
Like the fixed bridge option, if a patient has natural teeth remaining when the implants are placed, their denture will be delivered the same day the natural teeth are removed. Once again, patients never have to go without teeth. Unlike the fixed bridge, an implant overdenture cannot be attached to the implants right away. Instead, the denture will be worn like a traditional denture until the implants have had time to heal and integrate with the bone for 2-6 months. This is because the implants are not splinted together with a rigid bar and the movements of the overdenture on individual implants will prevent the implants from integrating into the bone if they are attached to the overdenture too quickly.