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Inside Dentistry
August 2015
Volume 11, Issue 8

Ensuring the Longevity of Your Patients’Overdentures

Guidelines for overdenture insertion, removal, and cleaning

To reduce wear on LOCATOR® Abutments, it is critical that clinicians and patients perform routine maintenance on both the LOCATOR Abut­ment and the Denture Attach­ment Housing with the Retention Insert using the guidelines provided below.

Insertion and Removal

To insert the overdenture, patients should ensure that they can feel that it is properly positioned above the LOCATOR Abutments prior to applying pressure. They should use both hands and simultaneously press down on each side to firmly snap the overdenture into place.

Patients should avoid biting the overdenture into place, as this force will result in improper wear of the LOCATOR Abutment and may affect the longevity of the prosthesis.

To remove the overdenture, patients should place one thumb under the left edge and one finger under the right edge of the overdenture rim and pull one side upward and the other side downward, simultaneously. They may also use their tongue to aid in removal of the lower overdenture. Once the overdenture is removed, a thorough cleaning is recommended.

Cleaning an Overdenture

Similar to natural teeth, dental plaque accumulates on the surface of overdentures. For this reason, overdenture wearers should follow these two simple steps daily:

1. Fill a washing basin with warm water—this will keep the overdenture from fracturing. Then apply detergent onto a soft bristle toothbrush and thoroughly clean every surface of the overdenture.

2. Remove the overdenture and immerse in a cup of plain cold water before bed each night.

Additional Notes of Caution

Failure of the patient to follow oral hygiene protocols and appropriately care for the overdenture may also result in inflamed tissue around the implant, leading to the development of peri-implantitis. Over time, peri-implantitis may cause the implant to become mobile and fail. Clinicians should ask patients to consider the following when caring for their overdentures:

· Avoid using abrasive toothpaste, which may scratch the surfaces of the overdenture, enhancing the potential for plaque accumulation.

· Chewing tobacco will get caught in the retention inserts and scratch the abutments, considerably reducing their longevity.

· Do not soak the overdenture in bleach or any other products not designed for use with denture cleaning, as these can harm the retentive feature of the insert.

· If a denture cleaning solution must be used, soaking time should be limited to 15 minutes; do not soak the denture overnight in such liquids.1

· Brushing the abutments increases wear; therefore, patients who brush their abutments should visit their dentist for regular inspection and maintenance.

· Refrain from picking at the abutments or retention inserts with toothpicks or other foreign objects.

· Do not eat without the overdenture in place, as food will scratch the abutment and may result in implant failure.

· An oral rinse such as Listerine® mouthwash can be used safely without any poor effect on the abutments or retention inserts.1

· Do not wash the overdenture in the dishwasher.


1. You W, Masri R, Romberg E, et al. The effect of denture cleansing solutions on the retention of pink locator attachments after multiple pulls: an in vitro study. J Prosthodont. 2011;20 (6):464-469.

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