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Dental Implant “Overdenture” Basics – Dr. Ramsey Amin, Burbank, CA

Is your denture loose?

A traditional denture can be supported with implants.  Dental implants will allow you to once again speak and eat with comfort and confidence! They are secure and offer freedom from the irksome clicks and wobbles of dentures. They'll allow you to say goodbye to worries about misplaced dentures and messy pastes and glues.

A removable full denture is connected to a bar attachment, which in turn is anchored on two to six implants in the jaw. The implants help keep the denture securely in place and provide better function and comfort. It actually snaps and locks into place. With four to six implants and the connector bar, this option is extremely stable and almost feels like natural teeth. Overdentures also replace lost gum and bone and can vastly improve facial appearance. Cost is usually the reason why this solution is chosen over a fixed bridge.

A fixed bridge is not removable.  A removable overdenture has implants under the denture.  An overdenture is a great solution for someone that already has dentures. Many times I can use your existing dentures and just attach implants to them!

An upper denture usually needs more implants than a lower one.  This is due to the soft bone of the upper jaw.  The worst thing you can do is "under-engineer" any overdenture.  They endure a tremendous amount of force and will fail in a few years if they are poorly designed or have to few implants.  It would be like constructing a building and skimping on the foundation.

19 thoughts on “Dental Implant “Overdenture” Basics – Dr. Ramsey Amin, Burbank, CA

  1. ….are acrylic hybrid fixed, but removable dentures, thinner and less bulky than zirconia? I have four recent upper implants and the zirconia denture is so bulky and set forward to far. I am deeply dissatisfied with the thickness of the gum and shape and length of teeth, and this final denture was based on the acrylic temporary denture, I had been wearing and liked, with minor changes, was sent to a cad cam lab for work towards the final zirconia denture. I am dissatisfied in that the zirconia denture is set to far forward, and, the length of and shape of the teeth or no where near what had been requested or presented in the temporary denture made in the same lab. I am thinking of going to an acrylic denture fixed. The prosthodontis I am now consulting with says I will be better satisfied with the acrylic, it will be more life-like and, it will be less bulky. Esthetics are important and I am beginning to wonder if the implant planning fell short, such that I am very dissatisfied with the final denture and now, will need to spend more for an acrylic denture, and to work with a different dentist. The first dentist had said I was “too particular”, but the new dentist I spoke with recently he thought the teeth were too square, which they are and, that the acrylic denture is thinner and therefore less bulky. What do you think of this situation?

    1. hmmm…..there is a disconnect I believe between the lab and dentist. The full arch temporary PMMA should duplicate your final closely. This allows you to test drive it. Goinf back to acrylic is only going to cause you more maintenance issues over time. Acrylic is very prone to breakage and is no thinner than zirconia. If it is made to thin it well sheer off teeth. I suspect that the level of skill of the laboratory technician is not very high. Typically these can be copied virtually using 3-D trios technology and overlaid for lab design.

  2. I was told this week I needed to have my bottom teeth removed, went to three dentists they all said the same – they cannot be saved and I was suggested dentures or implants etc. I cant afford implants really but two (and I am going to more) suggested a lower denture with 2 implants. Are you saying that 2 will not work well for me? I am not sure if I could afford 4, suppose I could try depending on what you suggest.

    1. Two is better than zero. Just make sure those two are placed in such a way that you can add two more later. They need to be in a very precise location if you are only having two.

      1. Thank you. I had a few more consults today, I am probably going with a removable top denture for the time being and a removable lower but it has a bar and 4 implants now. 4 is better as I read in your stool analogy so I used that in his office today hope you do not mind. Hope one day I can get something better added to the top within a year or so when my financial situation improves. Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. Wish to hell I lived near you

        1. Sounds good. Good option. You may find that you don’t need the upper implants depending on how you do with the denture.

          1. Thank you sir. My dentist is actually an oral surgeon who will be doing the dentures as well – prosthodontist there as well is this a weird thing for an OS to do denture work? It seems rare and from what I read DDS mainly do denture work etc. Thoughts on this?

          2. it would be very odd for an oral surgeon to be making dentures if they have limited their practice to oral maxillofacial surgery.

          3. Its a two partner practice. OS and Prosthodontist (who is also a surgeon) so its all done in one day for me etc – well that is how they do it at this place. They also have a lab on site etc. I am concerned now a little. I realize it seems odd but I figure one does the surgery stuff and the other does the denture or ceramics/zirconia etc it is okay? I am worried a little looking forward to the reply

  3. Let me begin by saying I have survived ALS for 10 years and am 77. My upper dentures I am happy with. Until I elected to have the 4 front teeth remaining in my bottom jaw a removable denture worked fine. What was not explained to me the extreme value those 4 lonely teeth is the importance of their use to anchor the bottom dentures. I plead to stupidity on that score. A full bottom denture I find virtually useless because of shifting and interference with my tongue. Consequently I’ve only mostly pureed foods for 6 years. I know my life is approaching the end but is there any solution to give me back eating real food while I’m here?.

    1. Hello Chuck,

      Those remaining teeth functioned like overdenture implants. My guess is they had severe decay and/or periodontal disease and were extracted for that reason.

      Consider having 4 dental implants placed on the lower jaw. This will give you extreme stability for your lower denture. It will be far better than what you had before.

      Typically I would extract the teeth and place the implants on the same visit so you have no down time. Many times the teeth can be immediately loaded and connected to the implants if you’re bone density and bone volume permits. The fact that you have ALS does not mean you cannot have dental implants.

      How Many Dental Implants Do I Need Under My Denture?

      Very Respectfully,

      Ramsey Amin, DDS
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry
      Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry
      Burbank, California

  4. Last year I had to have full upper dentures. I was not told that there were other options. I am only 44 and between insurance and out of pocket it was $5, 000.00 my question is what would be a good cost estimate for an overdenture? Fixed bridge may be ideal but not very affordable for me. I have yet to find an actual $$$ amount for this. So I am unable to see if this procedure could even be an affordable option for me. I know there are variables that could increase cost, I am just looking for an estimated cost. Thank you for your time.

    1. Hi Christina,

      The cost is extremely variable! It depends on SO MANY factors. I would not suggest mini-implants though. Range can be $3000 – $20,000.

      You really need to do your due diligence! This procedure is often done very poorly. I have had to redo so many of these!

      Sorry! πŸ™‚

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

  5. I currently have 2 teeth left due to a car accident then not being able financially to repair it. Years have past and knowing I have bone loss by now I don’t know what to do. I have insurance BS BC but I need mini implants. Is this expensive. Can I get help?

  6. I currently have upper dentures and will need to have my lower teeth removed and will be using dentures there soon. My concern is bottom stability of dentures and thought that this procedure would do the trick.
    Do you do the overdenture work?
    Can the upper set have the roof connector removed so you get the roof of you mouth back?
    Can you tell me the typical cost for this procedure?

    1. Hi Paul,

      Although overdentures are ok, a fixed, non removable bridge made of porcelain is far better.

      Both can be made to relieve your palate. The overdenture will wear out and need to be replaced in a few years. By the time you add in the cost of the replacement you are close to the cost of a fixed bridge which is far better.

      Typically I would extract the teeth and place the implants at the same time and make a same day fixed temp. This way you never have to wear a denture. I would need to evaluate your bone with a 3D X-ray.

      Do you live near me?

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

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About Ramsey Amin, DDS

Dr. Ramsey Amin has extensive experience in surgical and restorative implant dentistry. As one of only less than 400 Diplomates of the American Board of Oral Implantology/ Implant Dentistry (ABOI/ID) he is considered an expert, and board-certified in dental implants. He is a former instructor at the UCLA School of Dentistry.