Overlay Partial Denture for Bite Opening
An overlay partial denture is compared to a flexible partial denture in this blog. An overlay partial is described and illustrated above.
All partial dentures are designed to fit around the remaining teeth and replace missing teeth. There are many designs for partial dentures from complex to simple. Some partial dentures use precision attachments instead of the clasps that are on a ‘standard’ partial denture.
An overlay partial is designed to ‘open the bite’ for a better occlusion or bite. You can see an example of an overlay partial above. Without this partial in, the patient has a very deep bite which means that there is a lot of overlap between the upper and lower teeth. The overlap was so extensive in this case that the patient was severely wearing out (thinning) his natural lower teeth!
How does an overlay partial denture differ from a standard partial?
- An overlay partial denture will cover the chewing surfaces of all the teeth on one arch or most of the teeth.
- An overlay partial denture will be more expensive due to the additional laboratory time required to create appropriate anatomy for each tooth.
- There should always be a reason for the use of an overlay partial denture. Ask your dentist to explain the benefits and contraindications between an overlay and a standard partial.
- The material covering the teeth in an overlay partial denture can be made of porcelain, composite, or metal.
A flexible partial denture uses a very strong, special, and flexible plastic to hold in the teeth. This material can be very strong even though it is very thin. It is less noticeable than a partial that uses metal clasps but it may not last as long. It is usually more comfortable for patients and easier to get used to!
Having a well-made full set of teeth improves your life and preserves the remaining teeth by helping to share the load and supporting the remaining teeth. The forces of your bite can cause teeth to loosen especially when there are missing teeth or bone loss. We love to offer our patients options about replacing their teeth. Our office is in Grand Junction, Colorado but we use laboratories across the United States to make our removable partials for us. We select dental laboratories based on who delivers the highest quality product and stands behind their treatment so that we can do the same for our patients!