Complete Upper and Complete Lower Dentures
Full Upper and Full Lower Dentures
A Denture that replaces the lost teeth of a completely toothless upper or lower jaw.
Most people that require a Full denture usually require it on the upper jaw. This seems to be closely related with how people clean their natural teeth. A minority have a Full Lower denture only. A Full Upper denture is easier to get used to then a Full lower denture. A Full Upper denture uses adhesion (suction) to remain reasonably firm and stable, the Full Lower denture does NOT, it "just sits there", held in by gravity, the tongue and the muscles of the cheeks and lips. Generally a Full Lower denture is harder to handle and more difficult to get used to.
Materials used: A Full denture is usually manufactured using acrylic (plastic). There are different qualities of such plastics. Some are referred to as "hi impact" acrylics. The chemical structure of such acrylics makes the denture material more resilient to wear and breakage. People with a history of breaking their dentures may be wise to seek this alternative. Frequent breakages of a dentures may also encourage the use of Chrome Cobalt (a type of metal) within a Full denture. May it be on the Upper or the Lower. The additional strength of the metal often stops dentures from breaking in half. In the case of a Full Upper denture the use of a Chrome Cobalt palate also encourages greater heat and taste transfers and as the denture is thinner in the palate region it will allow additional room for the tongue.
Initial assessment: Prior to commencement the Dental Prosthetist will take a health and dental history and obtain a reason for presenting. This includes answering a few questions concerning the patient's general and dental health. The old dentures are also examined. This process allows the practitioner to obtain patients expectations, a treatment plan and a prognosis. Often a quotation of fees is given, alternatives and the method of payment discussed. If agreement is reached the next step for the denture treatment is arranged. Commencement of the Full denture construction follows immediately after the assessment or an alternative appointment time may become necessary.
Primary impressions: An initial impression (imprint) of the upper and lower jaw are made. This involves placing special material (non drip) into an appropriately sized impression tray and placing it into the mouth. Once to the upper jaw and once to the lower jaw. The reason for this procedure is to produce an initial model of the mouth in order to produce specially fitting trays, referred to as "special trays". These trays will be produced by a dental technician in the laboratory.
Secondary impressions: Another lot of impressions is taken in the specially prepared "special trays" using different (usually non drip) material. The reason for this procedure is to obtain a more accurate representation of the mouth.
Bite Registration: A "bite block" (wax rim resembling a denture shape) is placed into the patients mouth and skillfully trimmed and manipulated to obtain the correct contour and length. Special measurements such as: centre, lip length and jaw relation ship will be taken. This procedure will be checked on the next visit for its accuracy. At times the skill of the operator is not enough to get this procedure correct on the first time without the help of a relaxed and responsive patient. Also during this visit, teeth will be selected. This is discussed closely with the patient. The complexion, colour of hair, eyes and shape of the face as well as remaining natural teeth and the teeth on the old dentures are all taken into consideration. Once selected the next step will be prepared in the laboratory.
Try in: The teeth selected during the previous visit are now presented to the patient set into the bite rim. Like a denture made out of wax with the teeth on set into wax will be placed into the patients mouth. Initially the practitioner will check all necessary dimensions as well as the previously taken bite registration. If all looks well then the patient is reminded of the purpose of this visit and handed or pointed to a mirror where the patient can check the appearance. It is a good idea to bring a trusted friend or a member of the family to give a second opinion. This visit is very important as generally the appearance cannot be changed when the denture is finished.
New denture insert: The denture is now ready and the wax has been replaced with highly polished and characterised acrylic that resembles human gingival tissue (gums). All dimensions and the fit is checked once again and the patient is shown the finished dentures in a mirror. Instructions concerning the care of gums teeth and dentures are given at length and the patient expectations are discussed. Patient is instructed to persevere with the new denture but not over persevere and encouraged to return for a check visit in a week or earlier if necessary.
Check visit: DDuring this visit the patient tells the Dental Prosthetist his/her problems (if any) with the new denture . The mouth and denture are then thoroughly checked and if necessary adjustment to the denture is made. Once again the patient is reminded of returning for further adjustments at later stage if found necessary.
Note: There are circumstance where this process described above may not be used. The Dental Prosthetist may decide on a totally different technique he considers more appropriate for a particular patient.