A complete denture is a set of artificial teeth which is fixed within a jaw of a person who has lost all the teeth. This is a removable and most economical way of replacing the lost teeth. Complete dentures are preferred by many and commonly used by senior people mainly for the ease of use and cost-effectiveness.
The treatment modalities in denture prosthodontics include:
- Complete denture
- Removable partial denture – this is for patients with some remaining natural teeth
- Combination – in this, one jaw is completely edentulous and mostly the maxilla or the upper jaw is partially edentulous.
A complete denture has two parts, the denture which is fixed on the top portion of the jaw is called maxillary denture and the one that is fixed on the lower part of the jaw is called mandibular denture.
Complete denture procedure
Before preparing complete denture, the prosthodontist assesses his/ her patient, with respect to the personal particulars, dental history, present complaints, medical conditions and history. The dentist also does an extra-oral examination and intra-oral examination.
Generally, these are the steps in denture fabrication is done:
- The preliminary impression of maxillary and mandibular impressions or as required for a patient, with the help of a stock tray. This helps to record the arches of the patient’s jaw.
- The custom impression tray and the primary cast is then fabricated with a slightly over-extended periphery. This is a more detailed and accurate impression.
- Wax rim is then used to get the vertical dimension. Once, this is complete, a bite registration is carried out to position the arch properly.
- The impression is sent to a lab for fabrication and records the base rim
- Dentures are made with Polymethyl Methacrylate acrylic material. Acrylic teeth are available in many different colours and shapes.
Generally, once the denture is fixed, it takes several weeks for a patient to get used to it. For the first few days, once the dentures are fixed, the mouth tends to secrete a lot of salivae. Once, the brain and the mouth is used to the denture, the saliva secretion recedes to normalcy. Chewing with denture will also need some amount of practice as disproportionate chewing may dislodge the denture. Dentures may not be comfortable soon after it is inserted. It takes several weeks and it needs a lot of patience and practice to get used to dentures.