by Inge Bogaerts
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What are dentures?
When all your own teeth have gone, having dentures is an option.`(an other option are implants).
Dentures are made from a resin plate where the teeth are attached to. The resin plate an the teeth are shaped and moulded to fix the mouth exactly. The shape and colour of the natural teeth a copied to the dentures.
Thats why they look so naturally and no one notices.
How does a denture stay in place?
The plate rests on the jaw. How higher en thicker the jaw is, the more room to attach the denture.
There is also a layer of saliva between the plate of the denture and the jaw which helps the denture to ‘suck on’ to the jaw.
The better the plate of the denture fits on the jaw, the more suction you have and the better it stays in place.
A denture in the upper jaw rest more the bigger part on the patients palate. A denture in the lower jaw can’t rest on top of the tongue. That’s why the surface on top of which the denture rest is much larger in the upper jaw than the lower jaw. A denture in the upper jaw has more grip than a denture in the lower jaw.
On top of that the dernture in the lower jaw can be pushed out of center by a overactive tongue, the lip movements and the moving under jaw/mandible.
Complaints over a loose denture are usually about the under jaw/mandible. Because of the pressure of the denture on the jaw, the jaw wil reduce over time. It will fit less and less and sit loose in the mouth.
That is one of the reasons that dentures need to be refitted (rebasen) over time or that the patient needs a new one.
Overdentures is a denture that doesn’t only rest on the jaw but also on some roots or implants.
When you have some good roots left of your own teeth, the dentist can treat them in such a way that they emerge just above the gums. The denture will rest on these roots for a certain part and for the other part on the jaw.
Therfore it sits more securely. Seeing the roots catch some of the chewing forces, the jaw will reduce less quickly.
When there are no more roots left, there sometimes is a possibility to use artificial roots, also known as implants, which are placed in the jaw and rest on the denture ( for more info read “implants”).