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Implant Overdentures for the Lower Jaw

“Two-implant Overdentures” are an affordable option that combines the stability of implants with the economical costs of dentures

By Dr. Joseph R. Carpentieri and Dr. Dennis P. Tarnow


In Conclusion

The lower two-implant overdenture represents a simple, effective and predictable solution to the problem of edentulism. Since the treatment only requires two implants for most people to restore an entire jaw, it is within the financial reach of many so afflicted people. It results in a remarkable improvement in oral comfort and a significantly improved ability to chew most foods, and consequently a person's nutritional status. It eliminates expensive denture creams and adhesives along with their potential medical side effects.

Most importantly, studies indicate a consistently high level of patient satisfaction for the two-implant overdenture when compared to the conventional denture, and a general improvement in quality of life. This represents a major change for the dental profession and the public in the management of edentulous patients, suggesting that the lower two-implant overdenture may be considered the more appropriate starting point over regular dentures. If your dentist does not recommend this treatment for you, then you may want to ask about it. This simple treatment can profoundly change someone's life for the better — maybe yours or someone you know!

Additional Questions About Lower Implant Overdentures

  1. My dentist wants to retain and repair a few teeth and fabricate a new partial denture — does that make sense?

    This depends on the number, position, decay rate, periodontal status and the costs needed to retain the remaining teeth. Evaluating the amount of remaining bone in the front part of the jaw (ideally requiring CT scans) is also used to consider whether or not removing questionable teeth and fabricating an overdenture will provide you with a more long-term predictable outcome.

  2. Will it be painful?

    Studies indicate that following dental implant placement most patients will experience only minor discomfort on the first day, with a rapid improvement by the second day, often with less pain as compared to an extraction (tooth removal) procedure.

  3. Will I need a new denture?

    One method to further reduce cost is to explore whether or not one's existing denture can be converted to an implant overdenture — this needs to be evaluated by a dentist based on a number of factors and can be determined before the start of treatment.

  4. Is it expensive?

    Although the total cost may be several times that of a conventional denture, it is a much less expensive than restoring an entire jaw with implants, and is a fraction of the costs of fixed implant bridges. Cost for most patients should not be a barrier to gain the benefits of this treatment, especially if one considers the years of service implant overdentures would provide and the money saved with the continued use of dental adhesives.

  5. How long will it take to complete?

    From start to finish, all phases of treatment can be completed in about three to four months and the fabrication of the implant teeth can be completed without any local anesthetic.

  6. My dentist recommended four implants to fabricate a lower implant overdenture — Is that advisable?

    While long term studies clearly indicate that two implants are sufficient to predictably retain a lower overdenture for most people, there are some advantages additional implants can provide. Please consult with your dentist so that he can discuss your specific needs.

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