Full denture care is as different from other types of dentistry as night and day. Replacing 28 teeth in an empty mouth in a manner that will allow for proper chewing, comfort and natural appearance requires a proper execution of many factors. When a person has no teeth, there are no exact guidelines as to where to place the new ones, whereas with a fixed or removable bridge, the surrounding teeth offer a positional template for replacement of the missing one(s). When bridge teeth replacements are placed, if the color match is good and the fit and “bite” are right, it is the end of treatment. On the other hand, with Full Denture Care, the day of placement is actually the beginning of treatment.
The success I have with my full denture patients is the result of time allotted in the beginning to review the patient’s medical and dental histories, and a careful and thorough oral examination. People vary considerably in their mouth architecture (size and shape of the remaining ridges – gum and supporting bone), general health, oral dexterity, attitude and expectations. Dentures have hard, unyielding undersides that are placed over thin gum tissue, which covers the bone, therefore treatment time and methods can vary, depending on the relative quality of hard and soft tissue of the ridges.
This is why, prior to starting actual treatment, time is taken to collect all the above data so that an estimate can be made for the patient as to what to expect of new dentures, projected treatment time, and fee. When dentures are fabricated in a proper manner, there should be virtually no restrictions in handling a healthy diet.
It is an interesting fact that the materials used in the making of dentures cost essentially the same no matter what the treatment philosophy is of the dentist, or the age of the patient. Treatment results are based on the passion, skill, care and experience rendered by the dentist woven within his/her philosophy of care, not so much the materials. Also important is the commitment of both the dentist and patient to the prescribed care – a real partnership. A tenet of The Academy of Prosthodontic Research in which I have participated for many years, is a realization by its members that full denture service is one of the more difficult, unique and specialized aspects of dentistry. Each member realizes that we offer a complex service, its goal being the resolution of our patient’s problems rather than “selling teeth.”