What is a Bar Retained Overdenture

What is a Bar Retained Overdenture?

For patients who need to replace a full arch of upper or lower teeth, a bar retained overdenture is a great solution. The bar retained overdenture consists of a number of prosthetic structures which attach to the jaw with dental implants. The overdenture itself is a removable appliance made of acrylic and porcelain which sits on top of a metal bar attached to several dental implants for stability. A bar retained overdenture combines the strength and stability of implant supported dentures with the removability of traditional dentures.

How Are Bar Retained Overdentures Placed?

The procedure for placing bar retained overdentures entails several steps and will require multiple visits to your dental professional. The process may be painful and will require a few months for recovery before the final step is completed.

The first step in the process is creating a model of your mouth. Some dentists will make a physical model using impressions, but more common these days is digital scanning and imaging. The physical or digital model is then used to create a temporary set of dentures.

The next step is placing several dental implants in your jaw. First, a small incision is made into the gums so that a small hole can be drilled directly into the jawbone. The dental implant, which resembles a small titanium screw, is placed into the bone. Over the course of the next several months the metal will fuse to the bone in a process known as osseointegration. The healing process generally takes three to six months on average. During this time you will be able to wear the removable temporary dentures created during your first visit so that you are never without teeth.

While the jawbone heals and osseointegration occurs, a dental laboratory will be hard at work manufacturing your custom bar retained overdenture. The prosthesis is made up of two main parts: the gum cover and the prosthetic teeth. The gum cover is often made from gum-colored acrylic while the prosthetic teeth are often porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal.

The final step in the process happens after the jawbone has had enough time to fully recover. A metal support bar is fixed into place on top of the dental implants to create a stable attachment point for the overdenture. Finally, the prosthetic gum and teeth are secured to the metal support and adjusted to find the perfect fit and bite.

Over the next few months you should continue to visit your dentist to monitor the fit and make any adjustments necessary. Bar retained overdentures are incredibly stable and a great permanent fix for missing teeth.

Advantages of Bar Retained Overdentures

Bar retained overdentures combine the stability of implant supported dentures with the removability of traditional partial dentures. They will not slip or fall out as they are securely clasped into position and the bar is firmly affixed to your jawbone through the dental implants. Because of this firmly fixed position, these dentures do not irritate the gums. They are natural looking and quite comfortable. There is no need to avoid certain foods and cleaning them is quite easy as well. Bar retained overdentures are a wonderful long-term and extremely durable solution to missing teeth.