3 Common Jawbone-Related Problems That Can Impact Your Full Overdentures Treatment

Traditional full dentures feature artificial teeth attached to a rigid plate, which straddles the jawbone ridge for support. The dentures can still slide around a bit while chewing, and many patients find the friction between the plate and the soft tissue of the gums to be uncomfortable at best. The discomfort is one reason why implant dentures, or overdentures, are gaining in popularity.

Overdentures feature the same basic setup of a plate and artificial teeth, but the plate is secured firmly in place with a series of dental implant roots around your mouth. The cosmetic dentist needs to implant the metal roots into your jawbone, which needs to heal securely around the root to keep it in place. Jawbone health issues can interfere with that healing and potentially bar you from receiving overdentures—at least until the problem is solved.

What are some of the common jawbone-related health problems that can interfere with your ability to receive overdentures?

Eroded Jawbone

Jawbone health can suffer due to disease, decay, or genetic predisposition. Weakened or eroded jawbone won't have the strength or thickness to correctly heal around the implant roots, which can cause the roots to become loose or fall out.

Depending on the severity of the jawbone erosion, your dentist might recommend bone grafts to build up the weakened areas. The bone graft involves placing donor bone—from your own mouth or an external source—in the weak spots, then allowing the segments of bone to heal together. Once the bone has healed, the dental implant process can start.

The lone downside is that the bone graft procedure adds even more treatment time to an overdenture process that is already lengthy due to the root healing time. Your dentist can provide you with standard dentures until the healing processes finish up and you can receive the overdentures.

Narrow Jawbone

Healthy, dense jawbone isn't always a perfect match for overdentures. If your jawbone is too narrow, the top ridge won't have enough bone to adequately surround the implant roots. The ridge is harder to build up, even using a graft procedure.

Your dentist might instead recommend transosteal implant roots rather than the traditional kind. The traditional root has a shape like a thick screw that twists down into a drilled canal in the bone. A transosteal root has a thinner, spade-like shape that doesn't take up as much room and therefore requires less surrounding jawbone to hold the root firmly in place. Transosteal roots are seldom used these days except in situations where the jawbone is overly narrow.

For more information on denture implants, check out websites like http://www.kcgordondental.com.