Oral prosthetics provide patients with a solution for tooth replacement, which is important for maintaining aesthetic appearances and functionality for speaking and eating. Traditionally, removable dentures and partial dentures, made of an acrylic material, have been the main forms of oral prosthetics to provide patients with a false set of teeth. For some patients, these conventional dental appliances are the best solution because they are economical and can last for years with proper maintenance.
Partial dentures are a good oral prosthetic solution for patients who want to keep some existing healthy teeth that help maintain the underlying jawbone mass. Partials commonly use metal clasps to anchor around neighboring teeth for retention but they can also be designed to fully crown the anchor teeth providing a more precise fit.
In order for a complete denture to fit comfortably and with a good seal, there needs to be enough jawbone density to hold the prosthetic in place. Teeth act like anchors to maintain jaw bone mass, just as grass keeps soil from eroding away in the elements. So losing a tooth causes you to gradually lose bone mass in your jaw. The lack of bone mass is why patients often have complaints about their dentures not fitting properly and coming loose when speaking or chewing. Periodic “reline” adjustments can be made to the denture’s acrylic base to improve a loose, uneven fit that can cause sores on gum tissue.
To have a denture or partial denture manufactured typically takes around four or five appointments, including the initial dental impressions, X-rays and photographs of your mouth. The first set of impression models are used to design basic shape and size of the denture, but then a second impression appointment is necessary to capture more detail. Using the impression models, Dr. Mailloux will make a first-draft denture base, or rim, out of a wax material that allows for minor adjustments. At the third wax rim “try-in” appointment, Dr. Mailloux will determine the shape, size and color of the denture teeth. The next appointment will allow you to try-in your wax denture with the teeth in place to check your bite. Then the prosthetic model is sent off to the lab one final time to be manufactured in acrylic.
If you have questions or concerns about an existing denture or would like to explore the options of having a dental prosthetic made, please contact our office today at (616) 392-3717 to set up a consultation.
*Dr. Mailloux is licensed as a general dentist; not licensed as a specialist.