Removable Dentures and Prosthesis Failure:
What to do?

Removable Dentures and Prosthesis Failure

When chewing forces are guided to your mucous membrane via prostheses, they are referred to as mucous membrane-supported prostheses.

When there are teeth remaining, the prosthesis is then referred to as a partial prosthesis. When no teeth are left, it is called a full prosthesis. Oftentimes, the remaining teeth are used to anchor partial prostheses. A distinction is made between partial prostheses with clasps and those without clasps. In clasp-free partial prostheses, the clasp is replaced with various anchoring elements (Geschiebe, ball anchor, etc).

A part of the anchor is integrated into the prosthesis; the tooth, which will receive the prosthesis anchoring, is fitted with a crown that has the opposite part of the anchoring integrated into it. That is why this is often referred to as a so-called clasp crown, which is actually the crowned anchor tooth. Sometimes, in the case of “partial prostheses with clasps,” one would also like to protect the anchor tooth in front of the clasp (as well as protect it from rubbing) and so it is simply fit with a crown. This is referred to as a clasp crown.

The advantage of clasp-free partial prostheses is a more aesthetic look. The disadvantage is the higher costs, as well as the fact that the anchor tooth receives more load from the prosthesis. The closer the anchor tooth is anchored to the prosthesis, the higher the load on the anchor tooth. That is because your mucous membrane gives way when chewing loads are applied. Thus, the prosthesis moves (resilience). This movement is transferred to the anchor tooth – the closer the link, the higher the deflection of the anchor tooth. In most cases, the result is a loss of the anchor tooth after several years! In the case of classic partial prostheses with clasps, the load is smaller, but still not eliminated.

Either way, in most cases the partial prosthesis is the first step towards a full prosthesis, because anchor teeth usually buckle after several years, the result being a prosthesis extension. This process is often accelerated by incorrect constructions of partial prostheses, although the aesthetics don’t suffer. The reason why the clasps are incorrectly designed is that although more load is applied to the tooth, the dentist/dental technician does not incur any costs and the patient is satisfied (for now) since the aesthetics are more favorable.

Fixed or removable dental prostheses?

Again and again, patients are faced with the choice of which type of artificial prosthesis they should choose. One they can take out themselves, or one that remains fixed in the mouth? Here are the advantages and disadvantages at a glance:

Fixed Prosthesis:

  • Advantages: More comfortable; more aesthetically pleasing in most cases; good for the psyche.
  • Disadvantages: More expensive in most cases.

Removable Prosthesis:

  • Advantages: Cheaper in most cases.
  • Disadvantages: A constant reminder of one’s age; aesthetics are worse in most cases; would have to be toothless in hospital environment Oftentimes, easier cleaning is mentioned as an advantage for removable prostheses; however, this is false – both variants can be cleaned well, if properly done.

Bone resorption due to prostheses?

In cases of dentures supported by the mucous membrane, bone resorption is often accelerated as the load applied to the bone is no longer natural. This leads to ill-fitting dentures as well as physical changes in the face (large lower jaw, small upper jaw). You can recognize the bone resorption due to recurring bruises and/or a deteriorating fit of the dentures. This results in a lining of the dentures in order to compensate for the bone loss.

Even if there is very little bone left, bone augmentation surgery is able to recreate bedding for implants. Partial dentures and full dentures are often inserted as temporary prostheses for the duration of the healing process for tooth implants and until loads can be applied.

Click here to see the video: Dental Prosthesis

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