An overdenture is a type of denture that is secured by precise dental attachments. The attachments are placed in the tooth root, or dental implant, which have been placed specifically for the overdenture attachment. Types of overdentures include bar joint dentures and telescopic dentures.
If you lose most, or all, of your lower teeth there is nothing to hold a denture down while you chew. An overdenture fastens a denture to the jawbone much like the way natural teeth are anchored. The adjacent teeth may be altered with locking devices or connecting bars to ensure the denture fits properly. These bar joints support the denture better than individual implants, though implants are still required to support the bars. Generally, the more implants, the stronger the bar and bars on the upper arch always require more implants than bars on the lower arch. This is due to the lesser bone density in the upper jaw.
Some of the benefits of overdentures include the prevention of bone loss (dental implants actually strengthen the surrounding bone structure), aesthetic appeal, improved speech (compared to other types of dentures), proper jaw alignment and improved chewing efficiency.
These overdenture systems can last a lifetime and increase chewing power by up to 300%.