A denture is a removable prosthesis that replaces some or all of the teeth of a jaw. If a denture substitutes all teeth in the arch, it is called a full removable denture or a complete denture. If some of the natural teeth are still present, than the prosthesis replacing the missing teeth is called a removable partial denture.
Full Removable Dentures Full dentures are still the most common restoration used today for edentulous (no teeth present) patients. The only other alternative to the complete dentures is implants. Full dentures are plastic plates custom-made to fit each individual. It is made from pink acrylic simulating gum tissue and plastic or porcelain teeth, custom set for each patient. The name full denture or complete denture this restoration gets from it”s function: it substitutes the full dentition on the patient”s jaw
How full dentures are done?
It is usually takes five appointments to make standard full dentures.
1. At the first visit, the doctor will take a first impression with the standard trays and send it to the lab, where these impressions are poured with plaster to form accurate models of the patient’s mouth. The technician will make the custom trays (trays that fit the patient) and send it back to the doctor
2. On the second visit, the doctor will take second functional impression with custom trays. This impression is more precise and records more details of the gums. The success of the full denture depends on its borders, which are determined by this impression. The impression is sent back to the lab, new models are poured and the base is fitted with wax rims for bite determination.
3. Using wax rims the doctor will determine the size of the desired teeth, the relation of upper and lower teeth and jaws, the height of occlusion, direction of smile, fullness of cheeks and lips. Doctor will make several marks on the wax rims allowing technician to set the teeth correctly. In the lab, the technician will set the teeth according to doctor’s marks and prescription and send it back for the try in.
4. The next appointment is called “wax try-in”. The wax try-in looks like the final dentures, except it fits loosely in the mouth and there is wax instead of plastic. At this time, we check how the teeth are set up, how they look, and patient comfort when biting. The bases fit loosely so we cannot check how tight the denture will stay, but all the rest is checked and necessary corrections are done. The wax-up is sent to the lab and final dentures are processed there.
5. After minor adjustments and correction of pressure spots dentures are inserted in and patient walks out of the office with new full dentures.
6. It may take few more appointments for minor adjustments and removal of pressure spots.
Fixed or Removable Dentures – Which is better?
Dentures are used in place of missing teeth for the purpose of proper chewing, protection of the gums, improvement in speech, and for aesthetic reasons. There are many types of dentures depending on their structure and design. Two of the common types include removable and fixed dentures. Although many people prefer removable dentures because they are easy to maintain and also comfortable to wear, but the choice of dentures must be made according to the condition of your mouth and some other factors. Fixed and removable dentures are types of partial dentures that are worn by patients who are missing only some of their teeth.
Other than crown and bridgework, dental implants (or artificial teeth) are also placed as permanent fixtures in the mouth. Although they are enduring and in most cases appear just like natural teeth, these artificial teeth are harder to clean than removable dentures. Since they cannot be removed, they may become susceptible to inflammation and other oral problems. Furthermore, fixed dentures or implants are quite costly as compared to partial removable dentures. Bridges and dental implants are recommended only if you have one or two missing teeth. For those who have more injured, diseased, or lost teeth, removable dentures might prove to be the best option.
You might be thinking how can partial dentures be removable? Well, these types of dentures are designed like complete dentures and are meant for edentulous dental patients. An RPD or removable partial denture consists of six parts: major connector, minor connector, direct retainer, indirect retainer, the base, and the teeth. Different types of removable dentures are produced depending on the position of missing teeth. These can be divided into four classes: bilateral free ended, unilateral free ended, unilateral bounded, and bilateral bounded. The base is made up of gum-colored plastic and the teeth are connected by a metal framework.
At first it is difficult to get used to wearing removable partial dentures and you may require some practice to place the dentures properly in the mouth. However, they are easier to clean than implants and crowns which are fixed. While patients who wear complete removable dentures find it comfortable to use them only while eating or going out, those who wear removable partial dentures may choose to keep them on for as long as they want. However, if you feel swelling or pain, you may want to let your dentist know.
Partial dentures are delicate devices and therefore should be handled with care. Your dentist will give you complete guidelines on how to clean and care for them. It is not recommended to use toothpastes for brushing these artificial teeth and you should always remove them before brushing or flossing. Partial dentures are designed to protect the remaining teeth in your mouth, but you should also take extra steps to ensure proper oral hygiene in order to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Removable dentures may prove to be quite useful and easy to use as compared to other treatments such as permanent implants or bridges.