Prosthesis-Dentures, Crown & Bridge

What are the different types of dentures?

Dentures are broadly classified as partial and complete dentures. Complete dentures replace all the teeth while partial dentures replace a few teeth. Partial dentures can be again classified as removable partial dentures and fixed partial dentures. Removable partial dentures replace a few teeth and are designed to be removed and replaced by the patient. The fixed partial dentures also replace a few teeth but cannot be removed by the patient. A new type of denture gaining popularity is the Implant retained denture that can be used to replace some or all teeth. This type of denture comprises of metallic implants that are embedded into the bone and give support for artificial teeth.

When should teeth be replaced?

The extracted tooth should be replaced after the extraction socket has healed about a month later. If delayed may result in other teeth migrating to the extracted area.

While replacing a tooth is removable better than fixed denture?

Fixed dentures are better than removable because it covers only the tooth surfaces and hence less plaque accumulation and less gingival inflammation. Removable dentures are tissue supported and cause the gums to strip from the teeth resulting in recession and more plaque accumulation leading to bone loss and loss of adjacent teeth.

How do complete dentures stay in place?

Dentures are made to stay in place by their close fit to the underlying tissues. When the dentures are manufactured so that they adapt closely to the underlying tissues, it creates a vacuum seal that retains the denture in place. The thickness and quantity of saliva plays an important role in the retention of the denture. Dentures can also be made to stay in place by using mechanical means such as springs, magnets, or by use of denture adhesives.

Do you need to replace dentures after a few years?

Ideally dentures have to be replaced every 5 years. With the passage of time there will be a change in the shape and form of the tissues that hold the dentures. So in due course of time the dentures loose their exact fit and can cause injury and irritation to the underlying tissues. In addition the acrylic artificial teeth also wear off in due course of time and they no longer cut and chew food as effectively as before. So it is advisable to replace the dentures after every 5 years

Do new dentures cause sores?

Yes very often the new dentures may cause areas of soreness in the underlying tissues. Even the most nicely made dentures may cause some irritation when newly worn. These are usually due to a sharp spot on the denture that irritates the tissue or may sometimes be due to a sharp bony area in the tissues. These areas of irritation should be brought to the notice of the dentist to do the necessary modifications in the denture to relieve these areas.

What is denture sore mouth?

Denture sore mouth is an inflammatory condition of the tissues beneath the dentures. The tissues appear reddish and the patient may complain of a burning sensation. This condition may be due to an allergic reaction to the denture base material and sometimes superimposed with bad oral hygiene and unclean dentures.

Do I have any restriction on the food I eat?

Even the best of the dentures may not perform as well as the natural teeth. It is something akin to asking if one could run as well on artificial legs. One has to learn to use the dentures. It is best to avoid hard foods like raw carrots, nuts, etc. Soft foods cut into small pieces are ideal for denture wearers. The food should be chewed on both sides of the mouth simultaneously.

Will I experience problems of speaking?

Speaking well with the new dentures will also take some time. Fortunately most patients learn to speak with their dentures by adapting to them quickly. Speaking problems may persist if the dentures are not made well. Some of the causes include improper tooth positioning, loose dentures, excessive denture thickness, etc. The dentist will advise new denture wearers to read aloud from a book or newspaper to help in adapting to the denture.

Do I need to give rest to my dentures?

Wearing and using dentures puts a lot of strain on the tissues beneath it and therefore it is essential that they be given adequate rest to recover. This is best done at night or at any time the denture user sleeps. When out of the mouth, the denture should be placed in a bowl of water as drying of the denture would cause misfit of the denture.

How do I take care of the dentures?

Like any appliance, dentures too need to be used correctly. When not in the mouth they should be kept in water. In addition the denture must be kept clean with the help of special denture brushes. Special cleansing solutions are also available for this purpose. A denture can break if it falls off. So care must be taken not to drop the denture.

Can broken dentures be repaired?

Broken dentures can be repaired. However after the repair, the denture must be rechecked in the patient's mouth by the dentist to evaluate the accuracy of the repair and to see if the dentures fit well.

Can old dentures be made to fit well?

Yes old dentures may be made to fit well by the relining and rebasing techniques mentioned above. However badly worn out dentures or badly broken dentures may require to be remade.

What are immediate dentures?

An immediate denture is a specialized denture, which is designed to be inserted immediately after all the natural teeth are extracted. The patient does not have to go through the embarrassing period of being without teeth. The dentures are made on models which are made prior to extraction of the teeth and the denture is delivered soon after all the teeth are extracted. The healing of the oral tissues goes on below the dentures. Immediate dentures are more complex to make and maintain and are therefore more expensive.i

Why Is surgical reshaping of the jawbone required before making the dentures?

The denture takes its support from the hard bony residual ridge, which is covered by firm resistant tissues. This is called the denture foundation. The denture is only as good as its foundation. In order to improve the quality of the denture, one has to improve and strengthen the foundation. This can be achieved through simple massaging and rest for the tissues by avoiding use of ill-fitting dentures. In some patients however, surgical procedures such as adding bone, trimming some sharp areas of bone or removal of excessively mobile tissues may be required to improve the denture foundation.

Why do some lower dentures come off?

Complete dentures depend on the surface area of the gums on which they are seated for staying in place. The larger the surface available, the better would be the retention. Even under the best circumstances the lower dentures are more difficult to retain than the upper. After the loss of natural teeth, the gums and the underlying bony ridge on which the dentures are seated start shrinking over the years. So in due course of time the tissues shrink to such an extent, that it would be difficult to seat the dentures in place.

What are removable partial dentures?

When only a few teeth are missing, a partial denture is advised for the patient. The first choice of course would be a fixed partial denture (FPD). Unfortunately an FPD can replace only limited number of teeth. Replacing too many lost teeth with an FPD would place tremendous strain on the remaining teeth. So in these cases, a removable partial denture (RPD) would be the ideal choice. The removable partial denture can be placed and removed by the patient and can be made to replace many missing teeth.

What are cast partial dentures?

A removable partial denture can be made of acrylic (plastic like material) or a combination of acrylic with metallic framework. The metallic framework is usually made of cast metal. The metal used may be gold based or chrome cobalt alloy. These metallic dentures or cast partial dentures are much superior to the regular acrylic dentures.

What are Valplast Partials

Valplat is a type of flexible denture material that can be used to fabricate partial dentures. These materials unlike traditional plastic dentures are flexible and therefore makes the denture flexible. The advantages these dentures have over the hard plastic dentures inckude flexibility, lighter in weight and can be fabricated smaller in size.

How do the partial dentures stay in place?

Partial dentures use a variety of mechanisms to stay in place. Close physical contact of the denture with the underlying soft tissue along with the intervening saliva provides one means of retention. In addition the cast partial dentures have metallic clasps, which hold on to the remaining teeth that help in keeping the denture in place.

What are fixed partial dentures?

As the name suggests, fixed partial dentures or FPD are tooth replacements that are fixed permanently in the mouth and cannot be removed for routine cleaning by the patient. These dentures are made to take support from adjacent natural teeth. Unfortunately these dentures can replace only a few missing teeth. When a large number of teeth are missing one has to go in for a removable partial denture or RPD.

What are the types of fixed partial dentures?

Fixed partial dentures are of various types. They can be made of porcelain or metallic alloys. The metallic FPD's are made of either gold alloys or chrome cobalt alloys.

What is a crown?

A crown is a restoration that covers the entire tooth like a cap. It can be made of porcelain or acrylic. Crowns are used to restore teeth that are discolored, have multiple decays or are fractured.

What is a bridge?

A bridge is a prosthetic appliance that replaces missing teeth by permanently getting attached to the adjacent remaining teeth.

How many teeth can be replaced by a bridge?

The maximum number of teeth that can be replaced by a bridge is two to three. Much depends upon the health of the remaining teeth and in which area the teeth are missing.

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