For patients requiring replacement of all teeth in the upper and/or lower arch of the mouth, a locator-retained overdenture with dental implants is an excellent treatment option.
An overdenture improves your appearance by replacing your missing teeth while providing improved overall function for eating and speech, combining the stability provided by dental implants with the convenience of a removable denture. It will require multiple appointments for your dentist to place the dental implants and design your overdenture.
A locator retained overdenture is a removable prosthesis placed in the mouth containing replacement teeth, mounted in a base made of pink resin to create an exact fit over your existing gums.
It securely snaps in place using button-like fittings called locators. The locators are fixed in place using dental implants, which are artificial roots placed into the supporting bone.
Utilizing implants not only provides a solid foundation for the denture teeth allowing for optimal eating and speaking, but also helps to preserve the underlying bone which can shrink over time without a tooth root structure to retain it.
The first step in this process is to take an impression of the area and design a temporary denture for you. When the temporary denture is completed, diagnostic images are taken of the area to plan out the placement of your dental implants.
Next, the area is prepared and your dental implants are placed. Special healing caps are placed over your implants while you heal. At subsequent visits your dentist will monitor the healing process, letting you know when the area is ready for the next phase of treatment. You can continue to wear your temporary denture during this time.
Once your implants have fully healed, your dentist will take new impressions with the locator abutments attached. These impressions are then sent to a laboratory to start the process of creating your final overdenture.
During follow up appointments, your dentist will check for proper fit and bite alignment of the final denture and locator attachments. It may require multiple incremental try-in fittings to ensure the best final result for you. Once all adjustments have been made, the final overdenture is placed onto the locator attachments.
With the process completed, you will have a removable restoration specially designed to replace your natural teeth in a way that greatly improves your appearance, with the added advantage of attaching to fixed implant supported locators to promote optimal function when eating or speaking.
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