Complete dentures are an option for prosthetic tooth replacement of all of the natural teeth in the upper and/or lower jaw. Complete dentures are uniquely designed to fit the soft (gum) tissue of the mouth that covers the bony ridge. The process requires several different procedures to make sure that your denture will fit the shape of your mouth, and provide the necessary support for your face. The design of the complete denture and position of the teeth will be customized to restore good speech and appearance. Dr. Benting encourages patient participation in the customization of the dentures to ensure the end result meets each patient’s expectations.
With the passing of time, the gums and bone supporting the denture will shrink causing the denture to become loose. Periodic visits to your prosthodontist are necessary to maintain the correct fit of your denture. Additional procedures may be required to ensure the best possible fit of your removable denture. It is also important to check the overall health of your mouth to obtain optimal, long-lasting results from your treatment.
Implant Supported Dentures
One of the best ways to utilize dental implants is to support a denture. Traditional dentures rely on the support of the underlying gum tissues, which are movable and thus cause the denture to shift with eating and speaking. This instability can be uncomfortable and can cause anxiety when in a public setting. The stability of the denture is vastly improved with dental implants, which provide a solid anchor for the denture to attach. The number of implants used may vary depending on each individual case and wheather the denture is for the upper or lower arch, however the stability of the over-denture increases as does the number of dental implants used for support. Implant supported dentures provide better support allowing for increased chewing function. They also decrease shrinking of the jawbone as typically seen in long-term denture wearers and thus help retain facial contours and reduce tissue irritation that commonly occurs with traditional dentures. Patients missing all of their upper or lower teeth have significant improvements in the options available for treatment. The restorations shown here are removable and illustrate just a few of the many designs based upon a variety supporting dental implants.
Two dental implants can provide significant improvements to the retention and stability of a lower denture. Here we see how two attachments are placed onto the dental implant to correspond with the lower denture (A). Metal housings are used in the denture to allow for replacement of the attachments as needed (B). The attachment components are hidden within the definitive prosthesis (C). A design of this type requires careful consideration regarding the position of the dental implants as well as the nature of the opposing teeth.
When all of the upper teeth are missing, 4 to 6 dental implants can be strategically positioned to support a removable prosthesis designed with an opening for the palate (D, E). The appearance of the definitive prosthesis is carefully determined through anatomic landmarks and feedback from the patient in order to optimize the final result.