Are you a candidate for dentures?
The denture's many uses
Everyone can imagine the stigma of the dental plates sitting in a glass of water by the bedside, the common association people have when “denture” is mentioned. To clarify a valid definition of “denture”: it means a prosthetic appliance or prosthesis for the purpose of replacing one or more teeth. Many situations indicate the replacement of teeth. Most understandable is for aesthetic reasons. However, a missing tooth or teeth tend to adversely impact oral balance creating conditions that can lead to disease and disorder or dysfunction. This is in addition to dietary compromises when multiple teeth are missing. The all-important formula for prosthetic success is support, retention and stability (triad). These factors play a major role in why and how prosthetics work functionally for patients and if they don’t function well, they likely will fail aesthetically. Support is how the denture resists the biting pressure. Retention is how a denture resists slipping out due to chewing sticky foods.
Stability is how denture resists varied side to side motions or rotation. A denture is further described with simple terms relating to removability and extent of replacement.
Fixed and removable partial denture
A fixed denture is one that the patient cannot take out of their mouth and relies on the existing natural teeth for the triad through crowns or caps, and is commonly referred to as a “bridge”. The prosthetic (fake tooth) bridges the space previously occupied by the natural tooth and is connected to crowns glued to the adjacent natural teeth. A removable denture can be removed by the patient and also relies (to varying extents) on natural teeth for the triad. The second descriptor is whether the replacement includes a portion or all of the remaining natural teeth.
Removable and partial complete and immediate dentures
Complete denture refers to a patient fully “edentulous” (without any teeth) and partial when prosthesis is surrounded by existing teeth and oral tissues. Removable partial and especially complete dentures rely on the prosthesis close adaption to oral anatomy combined with adequate quantity and quality of saliva for adequate triad.
A removable partial denture or complete denture fabricated for placement immediately after removal of natural teeth is called an immediate denture. The immediate denture allows the person to never go without teeth. The social and psychological gratifications are enormous. One luxury people needing complete dentures have is the ability to choose whatever color, shape and alignment they wish.
Conscientious dentists work hard to help their patients keep their teeth because we know the problems associated with tooth loss, continued jaw bone, loss and triad challenges that increase over time in patients with removable partial denture or complete dentures. Retaining the root portion of teeth, if healthy, will preserve bone that enhances the triad of a denture. A removable denture that works around or over remaining teeth is called an “overdenture”.
Dentures integrated with dental implants
When a dental implant is attached to prosthesis it is referred to first when describing the prosthesis. The implant replaces the role of the root for prosthesis triad values and serves well in this purpose. For example, people may have an implant-supported fixed partial denture replacing one or more teeth, or an implant-retained or supported removable or fixed complete denture. The consensus for rehabilitation of a completely edentulous lower jaw is that a minimum two implants for denture retention should be provided. Implant retention clearly enhances functional effectiveness with the added benefit of bone preservation. Dental implants have allowed for the restoration of missing teeth without crowning the adjacent teeth referred to as implant supported crown(s).
The denture has varying designs and for good reason. Accurate professional assessment and prudent diagnosis of the overall situation should result in the best choice of denture. If possible, our practice will try to prevent the need for a denture or implant supported crown through saving your natural teeth which are suited to be the best implant. Dr. Krause believes it’s important to always offer solutions to your challenges using your natural teeth and offer implant options only when truly necessary or required for your optimal outcome. Expert services to restore or work around strategic remaining teeth can result in a denture that mimics natural form and function and serve the patient well.