The decade of overdentures: 1970-1980

J Prosthet Dent. 1998 Jan;79(1):31-6. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3913(98)70190-8.


Jaw bones resorb when teeth are lost. People cannot function as well with complete dentures compared with their natural teeth. As more people are living longer and these cumulative effects become increasingly documented, dentists in the 1970s attached more importance to keeping teeth. The concept of overdentures developed as a simple and economic alternative to prolong the retention and function of the last few teeth in a compromised dentition. The previous option was extensive fixed prosthodontics. An overdenture is a complete or removable partial denture that has one or more tooth roots to provide support. Rather than extracting all compromised teeth, the crowns, and pulpal tissue of selected teeth (usually two anterior teeth) are removed. The remaining root projecting through the mucosa is restored and/or contoured. With the crown removed, there is space to cover the area with a denture. The root has less mobility, and its retention retards bone resorption. Overdentures with roots are more stable, and patients can chew better than with dentures supported on residual alveolar bone and mucosal tissue alone. Keeping even a few teeth has a strong psychological value for some patients. Patients who have lost teeth, adjacent tissue, and bone need replacement of more oral structures than tooth crowns alone can provide. A complete denture with flange contours can restore tissue and appearance. The conventional tooth-supported overdenture concept continues to be an accepted treatment modality and has now been adapted to implants.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Alveolar Bone Loss / etiology
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / prevention & control
  • Dental Abutments
  • Dental Implants
  • Dentition
  • Denture Bases
  • Denture Design
  • Denture Retention
  • Denture, Complete
  • Denture, Overlay / trends*
  • Denture, Partial, Fixed
  • Denture, Partial, Removable
  • Humans
  • Jaw Diseases / etiology
  • Jaw Diseases / prevention & control
  • Longevity
  • Mastication
  • Tooth Loss / complications
  • Tooth Root


  • Dental Implants