A hybrid denture is a dental prosthesis that combines the stability of dental implants with the aesthetics of a denture; hence, it’s also known as a fixed implant-supported denture. It is a permanent solution for patients who have lost multiple teeth and need a full arch replacement. These dentures are permanently fixed to the implants, and can only be removed by a dentist.
An overdenture, on the other hand, is a removable dental prosthesis that fits over dental implants or remaining natural teeth. It provides improved stability compared to traditional dentures and offers a more secure fit.
While both an overdenture and a hybrid denture is fitted over dental implants, an overdenture is removable while the hybrid denture is permanent.
Each option has its unique benefits and considerations, and knowing the distinctions between these two options can help you make an informed decision about the most suitable tooth replacement treatment for you.
Comparison between Hybrid Denture and Overdenture
- Dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone to serve as anchors that support and secure the hybrid denture in place permanently using screws, such that only a dentist can remove them.
- Overdentures utilize advanced attachment systems that allow for easy insertion and removal of the dentures onto the existing natural teeth or implants. Common attachment systems include ball and socket, locator attachments, or precision attachments. These systems provide secure retention while allowing for convenient maintenance.
Stability and retention
- The implant-supported design ensures a stable and secure fit, allowing patients to confidently bite and chew without worrying about slippage or movement. Hybrid dentures are permanently fixed to dental implants, providing a higher level of stability compared to overdentures, especially as the attachments begin to wear.
- By utilizing dental implants or natural teeth as anchors, overdentures offer superior stability and retention compared to traditional removable dentures, and minimize movement within the oral cavity.
Care and Maintenance
- A hybrid denture is secured into place with fixed screws that can only be removed by the clinician for periodic maintenance. Hybrid dentures are worn like your natural teeth, 24/7, and require the same level of maintenance and cleaning, including daily brushing and flossing, without removing them.
- Proper care and maintenance of removable overdentures involve regular cleaning of both the dentures and the attachment systems. It is essential to follow the instructions provided by the dental professional to ensure optimal hygiene and prevent any complications.
- Overdentures are removable and should be cleaned when outside the mouth. After cleaning the denture, it should be properly stored in a denture soaking solution overnight. You should also brush any remaining teeth and clean the gums and attachments appropriately to ensure proper denture hygiene.
Long-term cost considerations
- Hybrid dentures tend to have a higher initial cost due to the implant placement procedure but offer long-term value and durability.
- Overdentures may have a more affordable initial cost, especially if they’re fitted over some existing natural teeth, eliminating the need for implants. However, they often require periodic maintenance, such as adjusting the attachment systems.
Similarities between hybrid dentures and overdentures
These dentures are fabricated using a combination of materials, typically acrylic and a metal framework. The metal framework provides strength and support, while the acrylic portion closely resembles the appearance of natural gums and teeth.
The firm anchorage of the denture in both cases provides a high level of stability and improves oral function and comfort during daily activities such as eating and speaking.
Here are some additional similarities:
Jawbone preservation and facial aesthetics
The presence of dental implants in the jawbone (or natural tooth roots) stimulates bone growth through a process called osseointegration. This stimulation helps prevent bone resorption, maintaining the integrity of the jawbone and supporting the facial structure. By preserving the underlying bone, hybrid dentures and overdentures help wearers retain a more youthful facial appearance.
Enhanced masticatory efficiency
With the support provided by the dental implants or natural teeth, wearers of both hybrid dentures and overdentures can enjoy a wider range of food choices and experience enhanced masticatory efficiency. This allows for better digestion and overall nutrition.
Improved speech function
The stability of hybrid dentures and overdentures contributes to clearer speech, ensuring that individuals can communicate effectively and confidently.
The aesthetics and natural appearance of both types of dentures are also noteworthy. These dentures are carefully designed to closely resemble natural gums and teeth, providing a natural-looking smile and restoring facial aesthetics.
Reduced tissue irritation and enhanced comfort
By distributing the biting and chewing forces over a larger surface area, these dentures minimize pressure on the underlying gum tissue. This helps alleviate discomfort and irritation commonly associated with traditional dentures, leading to a more comfortable wearing experience.
The color, shape, and arrangement of the teeth can be customized to match each patient’s preferences and facial features, resulting in a harmonious and pleasing appearance.
What is the right option for me?
It is essential to consult with a dental professional who specializes in restorative dentistry to discuss individual needs and goals.
The dentist will evaluate your quantity and quality of jawbone, gum health, and the presence of any remaining natural teeth, as well as lifestyle, budget, and personal preferences, to determine your overall suitability for hybrid denture or overdenture treatment.