Comfortable Dentures Do Exist
Achieving the Best Fit and Function
Comfortable dentures seems like an oxymoron to most denture wearers. Denture patients are often embarrassed to talk about their problems. They resign themselves to using a lot of denture goop and face the prospect of eating in public with trepidation at times.
"My neighbor/husband/wife can eat anything with dentures why canít I?" Often the dentist is blamed for this series of problems. "My dentures click, they pop out easily when I yawn, they rock, I have constant sores in my mouth" .... are all problems that dentists hear.
Occlusion Dynamics and Dentures
The truth is that some of these problems are not avoidable but most are. Denture occlusion is the culprit with unsuccessful dentures most of the time. Most dentists make dentures in 2-3 visits and fail to do steps needed to balance the occlusion and zero in the bite.
Dentists usually need to take Facebow Transfers (a device to orient the upper jaw to an articulator), and mount models on an articulator to try and duplicate a patients jaw relationship for purposes of setting denture teeth ideally.
Bite-registrations record these maxillo-mandibular relationships (upper to lower jaw relationships) so teeth can be put in a favorable position for chewing.
Common Errors in Denture Fitting
Most dentists were and continue to be taught to set denture teeth over existing bone. This may be common sense for a patient that recently lost their teeth, but what about a patient thatís had 2 previous sets of dentures dating back 20 years!
Do you think they have lost bone? Of course they have. People lose about 4 mm of bone in the first year after having teeth removed and may lose up to 60% more bone over the course of the next 5-7 years.
So itís axiomatic that putting teeth over the bone will continue to drive teeth further and further backwards in someoneís face over a period of years if this criterion for tooth placement is followed.
According to a well known Prosthodontic Specialist, Dr. Jack Turbyfill, teeth need to be set for ideal esthetics, phonetics (speech), and function.
Placement of denture teeth in ideal locations can leave lips full and sexy, decrease wrinkles, improve speech and give a proper drape to a personís lips, and surrounding skin.
As can be seen in the adjacent photo, a pronounced underbite can result in an older facial appearance, decreased esthetics, and poor function.
Placing the teeth where Mother Nature intended can give a youthful appearance, improved facial profile and contour and result in a gorgeous, functional bite that will result in less denture movement, less bone loss secondary to denture movement and a more successful denture experience.
Artistic Dentures are Created
Dentures made by artisan labs can perform denture esthetics that is indistinguishable from real teeth. Blood vessels, pigments in the gums, roots of teeth are all possible. Dentures can be made to be as realistic as the patient wants. Putting in fillings in denture teeth, installing gold teeth or porcelain crowns in dentures can make them look extremely natural.
What sets these dentures apart from ordinary dentures is the time spent with the patient to achieve the degree of natural appearance desired. Whether people had gaps in real life before dentures, or slightly rotated front teeth, these effects are all possible in dentures.
In our practice dentures are the same as full mouth reconstructions - the difference is we can do it faster and customize all steps to our patients in search of a Makeover Experience. Below you can see the detail that is achievable with Prosthodontic quality denture art.
Dentures are a lost art, unfortunately for a lot of denture sufferers.
Dentists that understand denture occlusion, the value of superlative denture expert labs, and taking the time to give people the best can insure that denture wearers wonít feel like cripples missing a limb for which there is little help.
Treatment Time Frames for Sensible Dentures
Oftentimes, economy dentures can be made from start to finish in about two weeks. Cosmetic, artisan grade dentures can take a month or two depending on the number of alterations required to generate a truly customized fit.
Turbyfill Dentures (prosthodontic quality) typically start with soft liners to condition ill fitting dentures to allow gum tissues to rest.
Dentures that have an initial impression taken on sore gums will replicate the soreness in the new dentures. It is important and essential to take the load off of the ill-fitting dentures to allow the gums to rest prior to fabricating a new denture.
Secondly, the inial impressions can be made with the patient's denture or a custom tray that is designed specifically for that patient's mouth. Then comes tooth selection, bite registrations and the artistic setting of the teeth.
As the time needed is invested, the natural nuances of lip support (critical for showing off lots of pretty teeth) and smile design can be achieved. These are a few of the reasons the more advanced dentures can take up to two months to make.
Richard Winter, DDS FAGD
5323 W. Hampton Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53218