Dentures versus Overdentures

Needing to have teeth replaced can be a stressful process but modern dentistry affords patients with a number of options to minimize stress and discomfort. Some options are more advantageous than others but also come with a higher price tag. Dental implants are one of the best ways to restore missing teeth but if a patient needs an entire arch of teeth or their whole mouth restored, overdentures are a great option!

What is a traditional denture?

A traditional denture is fabricated using acrylic that is tinted to match your gum tissue and porcelain teeth set in the base. This type of denture is held in place using suction and retention. Some patients need to add an adhesive to a traditional denture for maximum comfort.

One downfall of a traditional denture is a lack of bone support. A traditional denture sits on top of the gum tissue and can lead to bone deterioration overtime. The roots of our teeth work to stimulate the osteoblast cells that regenerate bone structure. Without that stimulation, the cells take their energy elsewhere and the bone begins to break down.

Traditional dentures are considerably less costly than their implant supported counterparts but do not last as long and will need to be adjusted and refitted periodically.

What is an overdenture?

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 is typically more expensive than a traditional denture but the longevity of an overdenture outweighs that of a traditional denture which may need to be replaced due to bone loss and facial structure changes every 10 years or so.


Which type you choose boils down to how much you want to spend and which type of denture will best fit your lifestyle. Patients that can endure implant placement surgery and up to six months of healing time may be better served with an overdenture for the comfort and stability they provide.

It is important to thoroughly understand your treatment options before you decide on a particular path. 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 they do not have any of them structure, a bone graft may need to be performed before the implants can be placed. This can add a few months of healing time to an already extensive healing time for implant placement surgery.

Speak with your dentist to learn about your options together or you can choose a treatment plan that best suits your needs and lifestyle!

Difference Between Implant Retained Overdenture and Implant Supported Overdenture