Dentures versus Overdentures

When patients need to have teeth replaced, there are a number of options available that help make the process a little easier. Dental implants are one of the best ways to restore one or more missing teeth. They are even able to restore one or both arches. This is a good option for patients that are not interested in a traditional denture but for some, a traditional denture is the best choice. It all depends on your overall health and lifestyle and what will be best for you!


Traditional Denture

A traditional denture is what most people think of when they hear the word “denture”. It is fabricated using an acrylic material that is tinted to match your gum tissue with porcelain teeth set in the acrylic base. It is held in place using suction and retention. Some patients need to add an adhesive for maximum comfort and stability.


A big drawback of a traditional denture is the lack of bone support. A traditional denture sits on top of the gum tissue and, overtime, can lead to deterioration of the jaw bone. The roots of our teeth work to stimulate the osteoblast cells that regenerate bone structure. When we speak and chew, it is like a workout for our teeth and jaw. Without that stimulation, bone cells use their energy elsewhere and the jaw bone begins to resorb.



An overdenture utilizes dental implants for support and stability. It can be screwed directly into the implants which makes them permanent and unable to be removed by the patient. Alternatively, another type of overdenture is an implant retained overdenture which has a metal bar that attaches to the implants and then the denture clips into the bar, making it so the patient can remove the denture on their own for oral hygiene and maintenance.


An overdenture will cost more than a traditional denture but the longevity of an overdenture outweighs that of a traditional denture which may need to be replaced every 10 years or so as the jaw bone deteriorates and facial structures change.


Which type of denture is right for you?

Deciding on the type of denture is best for you really comes down to how much you want to spend. Patients that can endure implant placement surgery and up to six months of healing time may choose an overdenture for the comfort and stability they provide. Those that do not want to endure the process of implants and healing may prefer a traditional denture.


Patients that would like to have implants placed for an overdenture need to be otherwise healthy with no underlying medical conditions that could cause the implants to fail in the future. If a patient is hoping to have dental implants but does not have enough bone structure, a bone graft may need to be performed before the implants can be placed.


If you think you might be a candidate for dental implants with an overdenture, speak with your dentist so you can make an informed decision to enjoy your smile for years to come!


How Long Do Overdentures Last