An overdenture is a removable denture designed for patients who have a number of teeth missing in the mouth, but have a few good teeth remaining. The best scenario being when there are canines and one posterior tooth remaining in each side of the mouth. These teeth are root canaled, i.e. the pulp (contains blood vessels and nerves) is removed from the teeth, and the canals are filled with an inert material. The teeth are reduced in height and the dentures are constructed over these teeth. In some cases attachments may be placed over the teeth to increase the retention of the dentures.
The denture is usually made with gum coloured acrylic resin, with the artificial teeth attached to it. Although this form of treatment is more expensive than conventional dentures, it has a number of advantages like better tactile sensation and better chewing efficiency.
There are some Advantages to Overdentures:
• Saves roots, which in turn reduces bone loss
• Improves chewing efficiency
• Ridge subjected to less stress
• Allows patient to retain some tactile sensation
• Better retention and fit as compared to complete denture
• Attachments can break
• Costlier than conventional dentures
• Bulkier than removable partial dentures