Complete dentures are used when no remaining teeth are in the upper or lower dental arch. They are designed to replace all the teeth in the dental arch. They are supported by the remaining gum tissue. Unfortunately, the gum tissue is not designed to resist chewing force, and as a result, many people with dentures will have a lower chewing efficiency than those with their own teeth. In addition, the jaw bone and gum tissue continue to shrink over time and so the foundation of which the denture rely on will only deteriorate with time.
In today’s technology, the consideration of using dental implants to secure the denture has become the standard of practice. The use of dental implants will help stabilize the denture, improve chewing efficiency and improve the comfort for the patient. But the real advantage of using dental implants is that they also slow down bone resorption in the jaw bone.
In spite of all the advantages, some people are just not candidates for implant supported dentures and may resort to using only conventional dentures. These dentures when properly made can improve the facial support of the patient. The case shown next demonstrates how the facial profile changes with the dentures.
The pictures to the left are facial pictures with no dentures in the mouth. In this case, a sunken facial profile with exaggerated facial wrinkles is obvious. The pictures in the middle are ones with an ill-fitting denture. Although the facial support is somewhat restored, bone resorption has taken place and the dentures have shifted therefore giving the patient still a somewhat aged appearance. The pictures to the right are ones with a set of brand new, well fitted dentures. The facial support has been properly restored and the facial expression is much more youthful.