Dr. David Cagna


Care in design is fundamental to mechanical and physiologic success of dental prostheses; this is particularly true for implant overdentures.

Compared to edentulous patients without implants, the increased capacity of implant patients to generate interocclusal forces requires careful prosthesis design considerations by the treatment team. Additionally, the desire to eliminate palatal coverage when implants are placed in edentulous maxillae may render resultant prostheses susceptible to fatigue failure if not appropriately designed giving due consideration to reinforcement.

This presentation will review expected loading conditions for implant overdentures. Given these conditions, and the frequent desire to eliminate palatal coverage from maxillary implant overdentures, discussion will address the use of metal frameworks to satisfy prosthesis comfort and strength requirements. The importance of considering prosthesis design and available restorative space, prior to implant placement, will be stressed. A combination of analog and digital clinical and laboratory processes for design and fabrication will be demonstrated.


  1. The importance of considering prosthesis design during initial treatment planning efforts prior to implant placement;
  2. To appreciate the limiting factor of available restorative space in prosthesis design; and
  3. To design “palateless” metal frameworks for maxillary implant overdentures and “suspended” metal frameworks for mandibular implant overdentures.


Dr. David Cagna is Associate Dean for Postgraduate Affairs, Professor, and Director of the Advanced Prosthodontics Program in the Department of Prosthodontics at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. He received his dental degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1990 and completed residency training at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 1994, where he also received a Master of Science Degree.

Dr. Cagna is a Diplomate and Director of the American Board of Prosthodontics and a Fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists. He holds memberships in several organizations, including the American Academy of Restorative Dentistry and the International Academy of Gnathology. He is on several editorial review boards, is co-author of the textbook Stewart’s Clinical Removable Partial Prosthodontics, has authored numerous professional articles, and lectures extensively on a variety of topics associated with prosthodontics.   Dr. Cagna conducts an active private practice in the University of Tennessee Dental Faculty Practice.

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