Dental prostheses, or dentures, are prosthetic replacements used to replace missing teeth and a portion of the jaw ridge. They can be classified as complete or partial dentures.
A complete denture is used to replace the absence of teeth and surrounding tissue in cases of complete edentulism (no natural teeth remaining). In situations where the patient needs to have remaining teeth extracted, an immediate (temporary) denture is fabricated and worn until the tissue heals and the jaw fully takes shape.
Once no further changes are expected in the jaw, a conventional final denture is made. The immediate denture serves as a temporary solution, and it is with the conventional denture that the patient can fully regain the ability to eat, speak, and smile normally.
Partial dentures are used to replace multiple missing teeth when it is not possible to construct a bridge. The denture can be made entirely of acrylic, but it is recommended to use a metal framework onto which artificial tissue and teeth are attached.
This type of denture is secured in place using clasps that attach to the healthy remaining teeth.
A partial denture can be attached to teeth using a precision attachment or a crown and bridge attachment, which is typically located on the last tooth in the series.
Unlike a regular partial denture, this type of denture provides a more precise fit, puts less stress on the natural teeth, and offers better aesthetics.
When conventional removable dentures cannot provide sufficient stability and hinder speech or chewing, the solution is implant-supported dentures.
A minimum of two implants (ideally four) are placed in the lower jaw, while four implants are typically required for the upper jaw.
Once the implants have integrated with the bone (osseointegration), they can be connected with a bar or equipped with ball attachments. The denture is then attached to the bar or attachments, ensuring a secure fit.
The denture can be easily removed for cleaning while offering improved stability and eliminating the risk of denture displacement or discomfort.
A denture with a skeleton made of elastic material in the color of teeth is commonly referred to as a flexible denture.
The advantages compared to a metal skeleton are as follows: improved aesthetics, reduced weight, and increased comfort.
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