Changing O-Rings on Overdenture?

Helen, a dental implant patient, asks:

I have two lower dental implants with ball attachments. The overdenture seems to fit fine and is retentive and comfortable. The problem is that my dentist has to change the O rings every 2 months and he charges me every time he changes them. Is there any way for me to buy the O rings and bulk and then change them myself? What are my other options?

22 thoughts on “Changing O-Rings on Overdenture?

  1. I have a patien who has had a similar overdenture for almost 20 years. Her husband took an o- ring to an hydraulic cylinder supplier and they matched the o-ring. She can get a dozen or so for a few dollars. She is very diligent in seeing me for an annual cancer screening, or any percieved trouble. Another consideration is to trade out the o-ring retention for locator attachments that tend to last longer and have variable levels of retention

  2. I encourage my patients to try to do so and supply them with a few o-rings to get started although a two month interval in my experience seems a bit frequent. Regardless, you can consider attempting to purchase online from “attachments international” based in California in the SF area. Although they likely only sell products to dentists, “don’t ask, don’t tell” will probably work. Good luck. And a final note: it can be a little triky to change these. A small instrument, like a dental explorer, to remove the old ones, and a bit of lubrication like vaseline to help with insertion of the new.

  3. First of all the dentist should charge you when he changes the o rings. Would you expect anything less from any other professional service you receive?
    Second of all and more importantly if you’re going through the o rings every 2 months you most probably need to have the overdenture relined.That’s why the o rings are getting chewed up.
    Third ,if possible the locator is a MUCH better attachment.If you can upgrade it will be well worth it.Good Luck.

  4. I have completed overdenture five cases reventely of lowerdenture only. Can any body help me to understand 1)What are locators ? 2)Indications 3)How they are used ? can be used in mini implants ? thanks with regards.

  5. The Mini implants are not convertible to Locator abutments.

    Some of the o-ring manufacturers, The OSO o-ring for example wears way faster than those by Imtec or OCO Biomedical.

    If the patient has a dry mouth, the o-rings will wear out that fast because there is no lubrication. A little vaseline will help, but not prevent the premature wear.

    The advantage of the o-ring retainer is better lateral stability than a locator. It biggest disadvantage is that if it is opposing natural teeth, especial those with porcelain crowns, the o-ball eventually can be worn down. With the lower profile the locators does not have this problem as much.

  6. What kind of a dentist would suggest his patients to change the o-rings themselves.It is totally out of the question for one who considers himself more of a DOCTOR than a dental technician.

  7. I would not recommend that patients buy o-rings from sources other than FDA approved providers (i.e. dental suppliers). Companies like the IMTEC Corporation sell bulk packages of the o-rings but will only sell them directly to dentists (as they should). I routinely show my patients how to change their own o-rings and after a few recall visits without problems I’ll give them a few extra to last until their next recall visit.

  8. Hi All, changing of the o-rings seems to vary from patient to patient. I would also suggest changing to the locators and instead of using vaseine, use a small quantity of KY Jelly or a similar based product. Vaseline is a petroleum byproduct and KY Jelly and such products will give the lubrication,and is water soluable.

  9. My case is worst, I have two lowwer dental implants with two ball attachments, the first set of o-rings lasted 2 weeks, the second, only 2 days. Can you explain why they wear out so quickly? Thanks

  10. I don’t know what are locators but i feel Dala bona attachments are definitely better in the sense they do not wear off for yers together plus can be adjusted for their fitting.I recently got a call from a patient whom i treated 4 years back for an upper complete denture(Implant retained)doing fine.

  11. Helen If you want to buy your own o-rings to save dentists from charging you a fortune to just change a o-ring i have done it for years saving hundreds of dollars for a office visit call the o-company just google the name .
    (coxsaki do you call a painter everytime you paint at home)NO

  12. My husbands dentist left the area, gave no extra o-rings. The only other dentistwho deals with mini-implants in the area charged our insurance for an office visit and 30.00 co-pay to us then for the replacement of the o-ring he charged 125.00, for a grand total out of our pocket of $155.00, for a 5 dollar o-ring.
    I am going to check out the o-company, there has to be a less expensive way. A dental lab just pulled one out and gave us the exact measurements to get them on our own.

  13. Hi Would you be so kind as to forward any of the information you have been able to track down??

    Also if there is anyone that can help me find a way to obtain and install my own o-rings.

    Alan I have not been able to arrive at a site called the o-company that offers o-rings is there something I am missing??

    please forward answers to pacruizr@comcast.net

  14. The O company has changed its name and will only sell to dentist now. The dentist must have gotten mad that they were selling to the public and not making that money. They are saying that you are risking your health to change these yourself so now there is a hefty fine if they are caught selling to the public.

  15. I have lower dentures and the dentist has trapped me as well. I was ordering from IMTECH and now they merged with 3m and will not sell to the general public anymore. I have been changing my own O rings for 3 years. Fine tip tweezers and some patience works every time. I refuse to pay huge prices for 5 minutes of the dentists time and when the rings themselves costs only $5. However i am in a spot of finding them again. If i can not find them and have to pay hundreds of dollars for a simple thing i will opt to have them removed. I will not be trapped. I paint my own house as well as do many others things that others have chosen as a profession!!!!!

  16. I have 4 3M IMTEC mini-implants (lower) and would like to know what material(s) is used to make the o-rings for the under plate attachments. My implants are 1.8mm x 13mm and I would like the exact measurements for these o-rings. Thank you.

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