Georgia Reconstructive Dentistry

Palateless Upper Denture Dentistry

Achieving The Best Attachment Interface

Palateless dentures have become a popular treatment choice for patients who are accustomed to standard dentures and want something better and more comfortable.

Best Denture Choice
Denture Retention Choice
Because a large amount of acrylic that typically covers the palate (roof of mouth) is removed, the gag response doesn't occur. The ability to taste foods naturally and spontaneously returns immediately.

An increasing number of implant oriented attachment technologies (Zest locators, O-ring locators, Locator Bars, Hader Bars) coupled with improvements in fabrication of metal core (solid, mesh) dentures enables Dr. McFarland to design removable prosthetics that are an excellent functional and cosmetic alternative to expensive bridgework.

Critical Components for the Best Foundation

The types of dental implants selected by the dentist and patient can be critical for achieving the best long term result in terms of functionality and comfort.

The characteristics of a patient's upper jaw bone (the bony ridge) are highly variable. Height, width and porosity can vary, quite literally, in multiple locations on a patient's jaw. The patient's history of extractions, old tooth treatments, oral hygiene habits and occlusion factors impact the health of bone.

Most accomplished implant dentists and Prosthodontists know how to individually select implants with different diameters and lengths to create the best advantages of healthy bone along the bony ridge.

Characteristics of bone level: Most denture wearers understand that to have a snug denture that doesn't rock back and forth or move while eating requires a fairly level ridge of bone. Long term denture wearers are also aware that the bony ridge will wear down over the years.

Attachment devices serve to maintain the snug fit that can make nearly any denture "feel" like a fixed bridge. Bone tissue that is significantly worn down can be augmented with graft material or custom placement of the attachment devices can be used to minimize grafting.

Unlike fixed bridgework, denture retention devices require a level of precision that assures the biting forces are not only fairly distributed but occur simultaneously. Otherwise, an implant locator retained denture can literally pop off of the attachment devices.

The acrylic flange material of a locator attached denture must provide a degree of support that dovetails with the retention characteristics of the attachment device. Errors in flange design can also cause an undersirable fit.

Case Study: Sloppy Fitting Upper Palateless Denture

Implant Locator Failure
Locator Attachment Failure
The adjacent photo is of a male patient who had problems with his palateless denture that became so troublesome that he could no longer use the denture.

It can be seen immediately that two of the implants are not very parallel with the overall implant layout. Notice too, that width and height of the patient's jawbone has influenced the placement of implants that will cause an imbalance of biting forces.

Conservative Rehabilitation

A thorough prosthodontic analysis of the patient's bite forces, occlusion and tissue characteristics resulted in a required revision in the placement and alignment of the implants.

Implant Relocate Surgery
Surgical Implant Modifications
The poorly placed implants were removed and replaced as needed. To create a new "attachment interface" without the need for additional surgeries to re-graft and re-level the patient's jawbone, Locator Bars were used to replace the Zest Locators.

Locator Bar Attachment System

Locator bars are segments of titanium that have two interfaces. One interface, on the underside, matches the configuration of implants in the jawbone while the upper surface provides attachment points that correspond to the fittings that are mounted into the underside of the denture.

Hader Bar
Locator Bar Placement
The lengths of the two titanium Locator Bars will provide a rock solid attachment for the new denture. A metal reinforcement frame is used to form the base of the new prosthesis.

Metallic Core

The next picture in the treatment series shows the metal framework attached to the Hader Bars. The locator housings are mounted onto the metal frame.

The pink wax material is added incrementally for accurately creating a denture and tooth height that normalizes the patients bite, both in terms of function and cosmetics.

Denture Reinforce Metal
Metal Framework Try-In
Once the wax based height buildup is completed, the entire framework is mounted onto the stone model and returned to the dental lab for final fabrication. The entire metal framework is encased in the new prosthesis that fits precisely onto the Hader Bars.

Metal core fabrication of a palateless denture with a rock solid attachment system offers the convenience of a removable prosthetic with the durability and function that approximates the characteristics of a fixed bridge.... yet at a fraction of the cost.

Convenient Snap In Teeth

A properly designed and reinforced palateless denture coupled with an optimized attachment configuration provides patients nearly any cosmetic result they desire, matched with dental function that is second only to a fixed implant bridge.

Metal Core Palateless Implant Denture
Successful Reconstruction
Patients no longer have to endure having loose, rocking, painful dentures that affect a person's ability to eat what they want and have normal speech.

Questions?

Patients seeking additional information about palateless dentures or care free attachment devices are invited to call our office at (770) 623-0930 to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn more. Or, you can use our on-line Consult Request form for a staff member to contact you.

Patients who have specific questions about information discussed on this page are encouraged to contact Dr. Mc Farland directly with our Ask The Dentist form. Dr. Mc Farland will respond to you directly with the answers or information you are seeking.