A denture is a prosthetic appliance that replaces some or all of missing natural teeth. There are various types of dentures that can be constructed to best suit the needs of individual patients.
A full or Complete Denture is a removable appliance that replaces all the natural teeth. When the natural teeth are lost, the facial muscles can no longer take support from the teeth. Without this support, the facial muscles sag thus making the person look old and wrinkled. Also, in the absence of teeth, a person can only consume soft foods and even these cannot be masticated (chewed) properly. Not to mention that your manner of speaking, too, changes in the absence of teeth.
Complete dentures can replace your missing teeth and your smile. A complete denture restores mastication, esthetics and proper phonetics.
Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. You can, once again, smile with confidence. You’ll be able to eat and speak well. Your diet would no longer have to be confined to soft foods. With well fitting dentures, you can enjoy a wide variety of your choice foods.
An immediate denture is one, which can be given to the patient immediately after the last remaining natural teeth are extracted. The denture is constructed before the teeth are removed, the teeth are removed and the denture is immediately placed in the mouth. The advantage is that the patient is never without teeth during the healing period. As healing progresses in your mouth, the immediate denture will have to be periodically re-evaluated. An immediate denture will always require a reline because the tissues of the mouth will change as healing occurs.
Advantages Of Immediate Denture
- The form, size and arrangement of your natural teeth can more closely be duplicated when some teeth remain in your mouth.
- When immediate dentures are inserted, they act as a bandage and help to reduce bleeding.
- Immediate dentures protect the tissues at the sensitive extraction sites from irritation that might result from the tongue and food. This can mean less discomfort for you than with conventional denture construction.
- Immediate dentures can enable you to establish your speech patterns more easily. You do not have to learn to speak without teeth and then relearn once dentures are made.
- With immediate dentures you can chew better than you could without teeth during the normal waiting period for conventional dentures.
- If dentures do not replace the natural teeth within a short time, the cheeks tend to fall in.
- Perhaps the most important advantage is that you do not have to appear in public without any teeth.
An Over denture is a denture that uses precision dental attachments to hold the denture down. The over denture attachment can be placed in tooth roots that have been saved, or placed into dental implants which have been placed to receive them.
This is what your mouth would look like if you lose all your lower teeth. As you can see by looking above there is nothing to hold a lower denture down while you chew. In such cases a successful denture can be made but is always a compromise.
If only a few roots can be saved, an Over denture which attaches to a couple of roots anchored in the jaw can be constructed..
Maintaining a few natural teeth and replacing the missing teeth with an over denture has several advantages:
- Your natural teeth help preserve bone.
- The patient is able to retain the denture better in his/her mouth.
- Your remaining natural teeth bear some of the chewing pressure, which reduces pressure on other areas of the jaw.
- Your remaining teeth improve the stability of the denture and make it less likely to shift in your mouth.
- Your sense of where your jaw is in space and the pressure you are placing on the denture is better than the sense you have after losing all of your teeth.
- Keeping some teeth can help you psychologically accept your denture.
- Even though only roots are preserved, and they are covered by a denture, a patient still has sensory input sensations similar to that experienced with teeth, as opposed to individuals with conventional dentures and no preserved roots. Over-denture patients also appear to have a more natural perceived directional sense in their chewing activities. In other words, many patients relate that they still feel like they have teeth – – a positive comment.
Lower dentures tend to be more difficult to keep in your mouth than upper dentures. Therefore, an over denture can be particularly helpful for the lower jaw, but it is an option for almost anyone who has a few teeth remaining. However, the teeth that will be preserved must meet certain standards of health. Canines and premolars are the most common teeth selected because of their root length and position in the jaw.
Implant Supported Over Denture
In these dentures, a few implants are placed in the patient’s mouth at strategic locations. A Removable Complete Denture is then fabricated such that it derives strength & stability from the underlying dental implants. The denture appears like a traditional prosthesis. However, that part of the denture overlying implants is modified to retain various semi-rigid attachments that receive implant extensions projecting above the gum. This arrangement helps keep a denture securely in place while eating, speaking and during other oral activities, but still allows easy self-removal of the denture for cleaning purposes.
- Stability during speech and eating (provides optimum function).
- Increased preservation of alveolar bone.
- Less food accumulation under your denture.
- Superior aesthetics.
- A feeling close to that of your natural teeth.
A Removable Partial Denture is a removable appliance that fills the spaces that happen when a few teeth are lost.
Removable Partial Dentures may be of different types. Usually, standard plastic denture teeth are used to replace the missing natural teeth in all the types of RPDs. Difference in the RPDs is between the materials used to support the denture teeth and retain the denture in the mouth.
The various types of RPDs are: –
ln these RPDs, the base is made of rigid acrylic material. These denture rest on the gums and employ wire clasps around natural teeth for stability.
Advantages of Conventional RPD is that these are the most affordable RPDs available. Their disadvantage includes use of metal clasps for stability.
These RPDs have a cast metal framework that is cast to fit the teeth. The acrylic teeth are attached onto this metal framework. Advantages of Cast Partial Dentures are increased stability, retention and longevity of the prosthesis.
Flexible Partial Denture
Flexible dentures are made of special flexible acrylic material. These dentures are the dentures of choice in certain cases. Flexible denture are very comfortable to the patient due to their ease of insertion, wearing & removal.
Precision Attachment Denture
A precision attachment is a precision-machined key and lock mechanism that connects a removable partial denture to fixed bridgework in those cases where it is not possible to provide full coverage fixed partial dentures.
Advantages Of Precision Attachment Denture
Precision attachment partial dentures are the indicated in cases where fixed prosthesis are contraindicated. Some advantages of this type of dentures are
- Cosmetic Appearance, no need for ungainly looking metal clasps.
- Periodontal Health can be better maintained.
- Longevity of Abutment (Support) teeth.
- High Degree of Patient Comfort.
- Natural Tooth and/or Implant Abutments can Be Used.
- Precision Attachment Partial Dentures Can Be Adapted to Compensate for Future Changes in the Mouth.
- Prevent resorption of the bony ridges under the partial denture.
Since your mouth and the dental ridges change or shrink over time, a denture reline is necessary to keep your denture fitting well and to prevent your dental ridges from “dissolving” more rapidly.
Reasons for a Denture Reline:
- Better fit. A relined denture “stays in better”.
- A better fitting denture helps the dental ridges stay healthy.
- Helps a denture last longer.
- Helps with proper nutrition and health.
There are two different types of denture relines commonly available, hard relines and soft relines.
A Hard Reline is considered the best type of reline available and the longest lasting. The plastic is processed and cured in the laboratory in the same way that the plastic of the original denture is cured.
In some cases, it might become necessary to line the denture with a soft relining material. The soft reline helps in the healing of gums that might have become inflamed due to the denture base. A soft reline can be performed either in office or chairside or in the lab. It is not considered as long lasting as a hard reline.