Dentures- An evolving prosthetic option

Dentures- An evolving prosthetic option

For decades, conventional dentures have provided function, esthetics, and for many without teeth, self-esteem.  However, challenges facing patients and dentists alike have caused a high interest in remedies for common complaints concerning dentures.

Conventional dentures are acrylic plates that are secured by anatomical features, saliva, and denture design. For many, they work without aid from denture adhesives. The lower denture in particular has the frequent problem of feeling loose and moving while chewing or speaking. Its inability to obtain suction, proximity to a mobile tongue, and position in the dental arch that moves while functioning often leads to instability. Bulkiness of the upper denture on the roof of the mouth is also a common complaint. In turn, patients can have a decreased sense of taste, speech alterations, and discomfort or gagging.

Dentures today have evolved. Implants in the modern dental world have changed the way we view an acceptable prosthetic. Various treatment modalities have become more popular in recent years to help eliminate some of the aforementioned problems.

The dentures can be secured by a “ball and hitch” type method that offers various retentions through rubber housings engaging the abutment that is connected to the implant. Bars and clips can also be used to retain a denture. Dentures now can also be “fixed”, meaning they don’t come in and out of the mouth unless the dentist unscrews the prosthetic components.

These treatment options help patients retain their dentures, have less bulky dentures, can help increase tasting their food, and offer more comfort in their daily routines. The quantity of bone, quality of bone, the size/shape of the dental arch, and desired treatment outcomes help determine what prosthetic is most suitable.

 

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JoAnne Tanner info

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