Time for that upgrade and make-over!

Dr Firdaus Hanapiah
BDS (Otago) MSc (Lon.) FDSRCS (England) FICOI



Olivia has had implants for over ten years. However, she had only 3 implants on her upper jaw to hold an overdenture. An overdenture is basically a denture that is held by the implants as well as supported by the gums below.

She was quite happy with the overdenture and had used it for over ten years. She could eat most things and was quite comfortable with it . However, she was not so happy in coming every now and then to tighten the abutment connection between the denture and the implants. She was also not pleased that she had to remove the dentures every night to avoid potential infections. Most importantly, she says, she finds them still a foreign "thing" that she has to place in her mouth to function. She was also dissatisfied with the "plastic" teeth and psychologically she finds them unacceptable.

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Figure 1: Ten year-old denture

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Figure 2: Overdenture that has seen better days

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Figure 3: Implants before the construction of the bridge

Therefore we decided to add another 2 implants so that we could build her a fixed bridge as an "upgrade". The surgery was done and we waited for about three months before we could place the fixed bridge.

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Figure 4: Implant bridge completed in the laboratory model

A second stage impression was taken and a final Zirconium based bridge was inserted.

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Figure 5: The patient with a new Zirconium bridge

She is now able to chew again with her teeth , she doesn't need to remove them at night and at the same time , she is psychologically more confident that she has her "real" teeth again.

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