A Treatment Protocol for Restoring Occlusal Vertical Dimension Using an Overlay Removable Partial Denture as an Alternative to Extensive Fixed Restorations: A Clinical Report

Mit B Patel1, Sompop Bencharit2, *
1 Dental Resident, Advanced General Dentistry Program, Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center; and Former Senior DDS Student, School of Dentistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
2 Department of Prosthodontics, School of Dentistry, and Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA

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Creative Commons License
© Patel and Bencharit; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the CB#7450, Department of Prosthodontics, School of Dentistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7450, USA; Tel: 919-843-8734; Fax: 919-966-3821; E-mail:


Treatment options for patients with severe attrition resulting in reduced occlusal vertical dimension are often limited to fixed prosthesis to reestablish proper occlusal vertical dimension and functional occlusion. In some cases such as when there are limited finances, minimal esthetic concerns, and medical considerations fixed prosthesis may not be the ideal treatment option. Overlay removable partial dentures (ORPDs) can be used as a provisional or interim prosthesis as well as permanent prosthesis in these cases. While ORPDs can provide a reversible and relatively inexpensive treatment for patients with a significantly compromised dental status, there is not much scientific evidence in the literature on ORPDs. Most studies published on ORPDs to date are primarily reviews and clinical reports. In this article, literatures on ORPDs are summarized and a patient treated with interim and permanent ORPDs is presented. This article reviews previously published literatures on the use of ORPDs. Indications, advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Treatment protocol with an example of the prosthodontic treatment of a patient with severely worn dentition with an interim ORPD and later a permanent ORPD are discussed in details.

Keywords: Overlay removable partial denture, worn dentition, vertical dimension, oral rehabilitation.