For patients who have a problem of a large number of teeth missing, denture is a solution. The dentures can replace some or all teeth in a jaw so we divide them into partial dentures and complete dentures. Unlike implant prosthetic solutions, dentures are mobile prosthetics from the domain of traditional prosthodontics and a patient can take them out and return to place.
If the patient lacks some teeth, we can fill the gap with partial denture. It is not necessary that the gaps follow each other. This is an adaptive solution, and with one prosthetic work we can fill out the dental string on the opposite sides of the jaw.
This type of denture relies on both dental flesh and the existing teeth. It is important that the teeth used as abutment for the denture are healthy, i.e. treated in case of a deficiency, e.g. periodontitis. Sometimes it is necessary to remove the existing tooth because, for example, a loose tooth could jeopardize the stability and sustainability of the entire prosthetic work.
Benefits of partial denture
Due to the construction in which the patient’s healthy teeth are used as abutment, partial denture is more complex than total denture. However, it also has certain benefits compared to total denture.
- With partial denture, chewing and speech are less disturbed due to clasps, metal elements which hold the denture on healthy teeth, thus making it more stable and enjoyable to use.
- Special metal elements of a partial denture called rests, transfer some chewing forces from dentures onto healthy teeth. This gives the patient more natural and powerful chewing, even for hard foods.
Specific parts of a partial denture
In addition to clasps and rests, partial denture can be fastened to healthy teeth by means of metallic coupling elements, attachments, but also by metal bars attached to existing teeth. Additionally, the transmission of chewing force from the partial denture to healthy teeth can be made with the so-called telescopic crowns.
This refers to double string of crowns, an inner, protruding string attached to the tooth, and an outer recessed string, which is a part of the partial denture. By affixing the recessed outer crown onto the protruding inner one, a tight grip is made which ensures stability and excellent transmission of the chewing forces.
Taking into account all of the above, the importance of the dental flesh and the rest of the teeth health is evident if the patient decides for the partial denture. Our dentists will take care that your prosthetic solution is set on a healthy foundation and guarantee its maximum durability.
A partial denture is made of acrylate, which is a type of biocompatible and thoroughly tested plastic in dentistry. In order to make it sufficiently strong and stable, the partial denture needs to be strengthen with wironite, a metal alloy used for this purpose. This points out another quality of the partial denture: thanks to metal reinforcements of the denture base, the denture is smaller which in turn makes it easier for a patient to get used to speaking and chewing with the denture.
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If a patient loses all teeth of one jaw, we will solve this problem with total or complete denture. Since the patient no longer has his own teeth, the dental flesh will serve as a denture support. Although the total denture by its construction is simpler than the partial one, it is necessary to consider many important factors for its successful design.
Problem of complete lack of teeth
Unlike the partial denture, which relies on the remaining teeth, the total dentures relies only on dental flesh. This means that the loads caused by chewing will be transferred onto the jaw bone over the dental flesh. However, a denture cannot be just put on the dental flesh.
As the patient no longer has their teeth, jaw bone and dental flesh are subject to decay: the jaw bone is resorbed, becomes narrower and lower, and the dental flesh follows this process with retreat and lowering. This is a natural process and a typical problem in case of a missing teeth.
Bones are usually withdrawn unevenly. Namely, in most cases, patients lose teeth little by little, and the bone retracts with the same dynamics, following the pace of teeth loss. This results in a coarse jaw ridge under the dental flesh and an uneven support for the denture.
Finally, if we take into account that the dental flesh is not built to sustain the chewing load, it becomes clear that the total denture must not only replace the lost teeth but also overcome the deficiencies of bone and dental flesh in a particular patient.
Total denture as a solution
In order to make the total denture a long-term solution for the patient, we need to adapt it to the natural foundation of the jaw. First of all, the chewing forces and loads generated by chewing have to be spread over the broader surface. Therefore, the total dentures base will be much wider than the partial denture base.
In case of the complete denture for the upper jaw the base will extend over the palate, and in case of the lower jaw it will spread as far as possible without interfering with the tongue. Whether the patient has a sufficiently high jaw reef, the denture will cover it and further tighten it.
Material for complete dentures
Total dentures are made entirely of acrylates. This light but durable material with color and design allows faithful reproduction of the dental flesh and teeth appearance. When making the denture we will compensate the height of the lost jawbone and the denture will suit the natural appearance of your jaw.
Advantages and disadvantages of removable dentures
The main advantage of partial and total dentures is their price. In addition, the advantage is that they can be quickly made, and in regular circumstances they do not require oral surgery that is associated with long-term recovery of the patient.
A disadvantage of mobile dentures, especially the total ones, is that a patients needs more time to adapt to speech and chewing using a denture. Many patients never fully get accustomed to their mobile dentures. Total lower jaw dentures can be quite unstable. The lower jaw is movable and the denture can fall off or get loose even during speech.
Therefore, patients often need to use a special glue to make the dentures stable, but, apart from the fact that this implies additional financial expenses, the glue also contributes to an unnatural feeling in the mouth.
In addition to all the above mentioned deficiencies, it should be noted that the natural resorption of the jaw bone continues. This will occasionally require denture adjustment by dentist.
Benefits of classic dentures
- Lower price compared to fixed implant solutions
- Fast production
- No oral or surgical procedures and long recovery
- It is not easy to get used to speech and chewing
- Instability and unnatural feeling
- Possible financial expenses for the glue
Alternative: fixed implantable solutions
Fixed implant implanting prosthetics have been offered for many years along with removable prosthetics. The basic difference between these two types of prosthetics is in the support: mobile dentures rely on teeth and dental flesh, and implant dentures rely on installed implants. In addition, the differences are also in the manufacturing material, in way of installation, higher price, and better durability and quality.
Contemporary prosthodontics is developing in the direction of fixed and semi-fixed implant solutions. Therefore, we recommend all patients to include this alternative in their decision to make an adequate solution to their problem of missing teeth. For more details on fixed and semi-fixed implantable solutions, visit our web page “Why install an implant“
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