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Dental implants can significantly augment the retention and stability of removable, dental prostheses. Here, three implants were placed to give this partial denture improved function and comfort. The gold abutments you see in this picture are called "Locator" abutments and they are the most popular and simple attachment system in implant dentistry. They work using a friction fit between the abutment seen in this picture and the attachment seen in picture 2.
The locator attachment housing. This metal housing is transferred to the prosthesis in the patient's mouth using a fast setting resin.
The removable partial denture, frequently referred to as a "bridge", prior to attachment transfer. Note, there are still metal clasps included in the framework. These clasps are not always necessary when using implants. The use of clasps depends on the number of missing teeth, the position of missing teeth, bite force of the patient and the type of teeth in the opposing jaw. With implants, it allows us to omit the clasps that would be necessary on the front teeth and be more selective about where we place them.
The prosthesis with the attachments transferred. The Locator system allows the prosthodontist to customize the fit for each patient. The Locator system has seven different inserts and colors representing seven different strengths of attachment. This results in hundreds of different combinations ranging from 1/2 to five pounds of retention per implant. Needless to say, we can customize the amount of retention that is proper for each patient.
Close up frontal view of implant over-partial in mouth. With lower natural teeth most patients require more retention from the implants. Without the implants this partial would move with every bite of food. With implants it is rick solid.
Post-treatment smile picture. Very happy patient.