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Complete Dentures for All Missing Teeth

What are Dentures?

These are dental devices that are used to replace some or all missing teeth. These prosthetic devices use the surrounding hard and soft tissues within the oral cavity to support them.

What are Complete Dentures?

Complete Dentures are a type of dentures that are used to replace all missing teeth. The dentist usually recommends this type of Dentures for patients who have lost all of their teeth in a single arch, either the upper arch, called the Maxillary or the lower arch, called the Mandibular. In some cases, these dentures are recommended for patients who lost most or all of their teeth on both of these arches.
Complete Dentures normally comprises a flesh-coloured acrylic base fitting over the patient’s gums. The palate or the roof of the mouth will house the base of the upper denture. The lower denture is in the shape of a horseshoe to accommodate the tongue.

Types of Complete Dentures

Complete dentures fall under two categories:

  • Immediate Dentures:
    These dentures are made leading to the removal of the teeth and are positioned as they are removed. This relieves the patient from being toothless during the healing period.
    This type of complete denture does not handle the shrinkage of bones and gums over time, particularly during the healing period. So their main disadvantage is their frequent adjustments to fit properly during the healing process. This is the reason it is usually considered as a temporary device.
  • Custom or Conventional Dentures:
    This type of dentures is conventional or custom-made. They are usually manufactured and used 3-6 months after the teeth are removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal.
  • CAD CAM Dentures.

Denture fabrication has become simpler with advancement in intraoral scanning technology. Intraoral scanning is accurate with the improved quality of scanners. The dentures can be fabricated in just 2 or 3 steps thus making the appointments fewer and easy for elderly patients. With reduced visits, these dentures are well accepted besides the quality of fit.

Making of Dentures

Conventional Denture manufacturing process and the fitting of a denture in a patient’s mouth might take a few weeks. It also requires the patient in keeping a couple to up to five appointments with the Dentist, before the final denture is made and adjusted.
Initially, the impressions of the patient’s mouth are taken in order to make dentures. Preliminary steps record the extension of the patient's tissues to record for a perfect fit if dentures. Subsequently, the relation between upper arch and the lower arch is recorded using wax rims. The correct relation aids in proper speech, appearance and position of teeth. Based on this the teeth size is ordered and arranged accordingly. The dentist will then order a trial denture to be made by the manufacturer first. This will be tried in the patient’s mouth and the fit and appearance are examined closely. Once approved by the patient and the dentist the denture is fabricated and delivered.

Pros & Cons

Dentures, like any other prosthetic devices, do have its pros and cons.
Pros

  • Chewing ability is improved by replacing missed teeth.
  • Improved Aesthetics.
  • Improved Pronunciation.
  • More economical compared to Dental Implants and Bridges.

Cons

  • Initial days of the denture placement, the following are experienced:
    • Excess salivation
    • Sore spots
    • Minor irritation
  • A feeling of gagging can also be experienced due to either the denture being too loose or too thick or being extended far onto the soft palate. In these cases, the dentist might recommend a denture supported by an implant, with no palate.
  • Accumulation of dental plaque can cause Gingivitis infection under the dentures.
  • Patient loses taste sensations
  • Loosening of the lower denture.

Important Points To Consider for Dentures
Care of Dentures

  • The patient will need to make regular care and maintenance of the dentures. This involves the removal of plaque and tartar that builds up daily.
  • The dentures need to be cleaned with chemical or mechanical denture cleaners daily.
  • The dentures need to be removed while sleeping.

Cost of Dentures
The denture cost usually depends on these factors:

  • Experience of the dentist.
  • Cost of dental procedures like teeth removal or oral surgery for bone refinement.
  • Required denture’s complexity
  • Materials used for this procedure can vary the price tag. Conventional plastic teeth are more economical than Polymer denture teeth.
  • Experience of the lab and the quality of the required product.

Authored by DR.NIRANJAN P

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