One of the main challenges faced by dentists since times immemorial has been the ability to replace missing teeth to the satisfaction of their patients. The problem of missing teeth is compounded when all teeth are lost either to disease or simply old age. Traditionally, complete dentures have performed the job of replacing missing teeth quite adequately though it must be said that they were a compromise as far as the patient was concerned.
A new concept called overdentures has been in vogue for quite sometime now and it has proved to replicate oral function better than the traditional dentures. As with traditional dentures, the survival rate of these overdentures has been a subject of interest for dentists across the world. A new study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that the survival rate of implant-placed overdentures was an impressive 95.4 percent over a decade. In the upper jaw or the maxilla the survival rate was found to be 87.3 percent, while it reached an astounding 99.5 percent in the lower jaw or the mandible. Vincent J. Iacono, DMD and president of the American Academy of Periodontology says that the main advantage of having implant-placed overdentures is that "it replaces some of the tooth roots, which will better preserve the jawbone. Dental implants integrate with the jawbone helping to keep the bone healthy and intact."
Overdentures are basically that; they are dentures that are placed over any existing teeth or even tooth roots that have the advantage of being integrated into the bone. The trend these days is that even if there are no teeth to get the support from, dentists prefer to place implants into jawbones at specific areas and take the support from these implants and build dentures over these implants. It has been found that such a method is much more comfortable for the patient and helps in regaining lost oral function to a better degree than the traditionally constructed dentures.