Dentures and Partial Dentures

dentures

Patients can lose teeth for many reasons, the most common being extraction because of dental diseases such as tooth decay or gum disease; other less common reasons are trauma, drug use and other defects. The primary goal of denture is to restore function (food chewing, speech, etc) and aesthetic.

Dentures are removable appliances fabricated to replace missing teeth, and which are supported by surrounding gum and jawbone in the mouth.  Dentures are usually removable, and fall within these two major categories of denture; removable partial dentures, for patients who are missing some of their teeth on a particular arch and removable complete denture implants for patient missing all teeth in a particular arch.

Fabrication of a denture is a multi-step process which involves a dental laboratory using instructions and records collected by a dentist. The process usually begins with an impression as well as other records to determine the future position of the teeth. Once the teeth are set and tried in the patients’ mouth for function and aesthetic, the denture is sent to the dental laboratory for completion. At the dental laboratory the denture is processed, using special techniques, into acrylic, which is finally polished, and the denture is complete.

Complete Dentures

Complete dentures are removable dentures fabricated when all the teeth in one arch are missing. It is an appliance that consist of acrylic (plastic) or porcelain teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base that rests primarily on the arch. The totality of its support comes from the jaw bone; therefore if the jawbone is deficient due to teeth being lost for too long, the denture may be unstable.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are removable dentures that consist of replacement teeth (acrylic or porcelain) attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base. The base can be made entirely of acrylic or a combination of acrylic and metal. The removable partial dentures are usually more stable than the complete denture due to the fact that it is supported by the remaining teeth by metal prongs called clasps. Removable partial dentures can be made with internal attachments to replace the clasps that patient find unattractive especially in the front of the mouth.

Good dentures should be stable and needs a good support base for proper retention. An upper denture is usually relatively simple to fabricate and achieve stability. However, it is much more difficult to get adequate stability on the lower jaw, especially with a complete denture; without teeth, the jawbone tends to shrink and provides the denture with less support.  Implant supported dentures provide greater stability than conventional dentures; they increase chewing efficacy and help with speech.

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