Complete or partial plastic dentures are the most commonly used type because they are applicable to a large number of dental deformities, inexpensive, restore the aesthetics and help the patient to return to normal eating.
Planning and preparatory work are followed by its manufacture. It takes 4 to 5 visits to the dentist.
First visit – A preliminary impression of the upper and lower jaw is made, using standard metal or plastic spoons and a special impression material, called alginate. The preliminary impressions are sent to the dental laboratory, where they are used to cast gypsum models that recreate the situation in the mouth. These models are used for planning of the denture and individual impression spoons are used.
Second visit – Using the individual spoons and special silicone or wax, a second impression is taken. This impression is very precise and used to make the device. That is why a series of tests are performed at this stage that aim to perfectly shape the edges of the denture.
For example swallowing, pronouncing the letter A, and making specific movements with the lips.
The second impression (final one) is used to cast a gypsum model, which is going to be used to make the device prototype (template with wax shafts).
Third visit – The templates are placed in the mouth and the height of the occlusion and the ratio between the upper and lower teeth are determined. In partial dentures, this stage is predetermined in some cases by the existing teeth. In complete dentures, this is a very important and responsible step and therefore the height and position of the occlusion must be carefully determined. The shape, size and colour of the artificial teeth is also determined in this visit. When some natural teeth are available, their characteristics are taken in mind as well. In complete lack of teeth, the individual characteristics of the patient (skin colour, shape and size of the face) and his desires are considered. In partial dentures the denture retaining elements are determined at this stage (clasps, telescopic crowns, etc.). After a final decision has been reached with regards to the details, the templates is sent back to the dental laboratory where the artificial teeth are added.
Fourth visit – The template with the teeth represents an accurate model of the denture device. The templates are placed in the mouth and the patient can see how his/her future prosthetic device looks like. Checks of the occlusion (bite), looks and phonetics are made and if necessary adjustments are performed. A phonetic test is carried out in patients with complete dentures in order to ensure correct and clear word and sound pronunciation. The templates with the artificial teeth are returned to the dental technician, who makes the device from pink plastic and polishes it.
Fifth visit – At this visit, the finished device is placed in the patient’s mouth. The edges are checked and any corrections are performed accordingly. Teeth contact points are reviewed also and teeth are grinded mildly to obtain uniform contact surfaces on the left and right. Placing a denture, especially for a first time, is very important point because the appliance is new, large and the patient has to go through a period of adaptation of different length. The dentist gives instructions to the patient how to place and remove the denture and how to wash and store it, explains the way of eating with it (bilateral chewing) and warns the patient that it is possible to get an injury to the mucosal lining after the first one or two meals.
It is important to carry out a checkup the day after to determine adaptation to the appliance and to file potential causative places on the denture base if there are any small wounds. Adaptation to a denture is individual and usually within 15 days to 1 month. A high quality whole or partial denture and diligent care from the patient, are a guarantee for achieving great nutrition, aesthetics and a lack of speech issues for a long period of time.