Treatment planning: implant-supported partial overdentures

Winston W L Chee
Journal of the California Dental Association 2005, 33 (4): 313-6
When multiple anterior teeth are missing, many options of replacement are available. Traditionally, the choice was between a fixed or removable prostheses. Today, with the predictability of dental implants, the options of tooth replacement range from removable partial dentures to implant-supported fixed prostheses. The choice of which restoration that will best provide occlusion and esthetics depends on multiple factors including the number and location of missing teeth, the residual ridge form in relation to the replacement teeth, the relationship of the maxillary and mandibular anterior teeth, the condition of teeth adjacent to the edentulous span, the amount of bone available for implant placement, the patients "smile line" and display of teeth, lip support, and financial constraints. When there is minimal loss of the ridge contour, restorations that emerge from the ridge are the most functional and esthetic restorations, adhesive-type fixed partial dentures, conventional fixed partial dentures, and implant-supported restorations can be indicated with the choice of restoration dependent on a risk benefit and cost benefit analysis. When there is a loss of ridge contour due to residual ridge resorption or trauma, the decision becomes more complex as not only does the tooth structure need to be replaced, the ridge form also has to be replaced. (Figures 1 and 2). This can be assessed clinically as illustrated by Figures 1 and 2 where a dis crepancy in arch form and ridge form in relation to the adjacent teeth and/or opposing arch can be observed. Other considerations are lip support and display of the teeth when smiling. This article presents a case and rationale for implant-supported par tial overdentures. Many authors have written on the merits of com plete overdentures. The complete overdenture has proven to be an improvement over conventional complete prostheses with respect to chewing efficiency, patient comfort and satisfaction. In partial edentulism, the implant-supported overdenture has several advantages, some in common with a removable partial denture.

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