Like traditional dentures, implant overdentures are removable appliances that include prosthetic teeth. Unlike traditional dentures, maxillary (upper) overdentures are shaped like a horseshoe. This is a godsend for many people, as the palate of the prosthesis can be eliminated. This affords better comfort, speech and taste. The advantage of the mandibular (lower) overdenture is significant, with increased stability and retention of the denture, despite the movement of the tongue. We incorporate a partial metal framework into all of our overdentures to lend additional support to the denture teeth and provide an extra measure of durability.
There are many ways of attaching the overdenture to the implants. One of the most efficient is the use of Locator® attachments (Zest Anchors; Escondido, Calif.). The system includes freestanding abutments, or Locator attachments, that connect to the individual implants. “Denture caps” are embedded in the overdenture and provide retention by seating over and engaging both the internal and external surfaces of the Locator attachments. The retentive caps come in a variety of strengths and are easily changed out as the parts wear or the patient requests greater retention. By stabilizing the overdenture, these retentive devices improve function and chewing efficiency.