Removable dentures

The classic removable denture is one of the oldest disciplines in dentistry for realising tooth replacement.
treatments / Removable dentures

The classic removable denture is one of the oldest disciplines in dentistry for realising tooth replacement. They are often beautiful and simple solutions to replace lost teeth but can sometimes lead to functional problems or discomfort. However, this mostly depends on the patient’s expectations and motivation and the technical expertise of the dentist and dental technician.

The immediate temporary denture

When a patient suddenly loses 1 or more teeth due to an accident or has teeth removed due to infection and/or pain, it is often desirable to obtain an immediate tooth replacement. This can be done with the help of a temporary denture. To this end, a printout or scan is taken of the current situation, and the dental technician can make synthetic dentures within a few days, which are used to replace the lost teeth or on the day the bad teeth are removed. This is a purely aesthetic solution and sometimes offers little comfort, as the gums around the area of the lost teeth must heal and will change, influencing the fit of the denture. When this healing process is over, treatment for permanent tooth replacement starts with one of the following or previously described solutions.

The synthetic retainer denture

The Belgian health insurance fund provides cover for a synthetic removable denture from the age of 50. The amount refunded depends on the number of teeth to be replaced. Every 7 years, the patient may be eligible for new dentures. When the patient still has a few good teeth, the new denture will often be placed over these teeth with a few clamps (brackets) to provide more grip. Duet o the metallic colour, these can sometimes be aesthetically disturbing if the patient shows a lot of teeth while smiling or speaking. When there are no teeth left in the mouth, the denture must be made to cover the palate to create a suction that holds the denture in place. However, this is much more difficult in the lower jaw as the tongue’s movements can affect the stability and retention of the denture. Living with a denture can be good and comfortable but sometimes requires an extra effort from the patient to eat and talk in a new way so that the mouth muscles and tongue can hold the denture in place. Depending on the patient’s wishes, expectations, and financial capacity, the denture can be made in different versions (type of teeth, synthetic, finish, etc.). Discuss this with your dentist.

The removable frame denture

When a patient still has good enough teeth with a favourable long-term prognosis, the dentist will propose a frame denture instead of just a synthetic denture. For this, a strong metal frame is manufactured that, as it were, slides and/or clicks over the existing teeth. Plastic and teeth are placed over this metal frame for a beautiful aesthetic solution. The cost price for this technical product is a lot higher, but so is the level of comfort. Because the metal frame offers the denture more stability so that it does not feel like it is moving around in the mouth. A frame-denture is also much more favourable than permanent dentures, as the load is much better distributed so that these teeth can be preserved even longer.

The removable snap-on dentures

If the patient experiences stability problems with the denture or has difficulty with the palate covering, it may be advisable to opt for snap-on dentures on implants. For this, 2 to 4 implants are placed in the jawbone. After these implants have grown into place, the dentist can create additional anchor points via push buttons or a blocked bar construction that is incorporated into the removable denture. Therefore, the denture can be made smaller so that the palate can remain free, and the patient can often chew better as the denture stays in place better during movement. However, this type of denture must also be removed for proper maintenance so that no food or plaque accumulates under the denture.

The Belgian health insurance fund provides cover for a snap-on denture on 2 implants in the lower jaw from the age of 70.

The removable overdenture

This type of prosthesis work offers the highest possible level of comfort for a patient within the range of the removable prosthesis. This can be based on a few of your own teeth (if in good condition and well positioned) or based on multiple implants. The product consists of 2 parts. Part 1 is an individual frame or some crowns on own teeth or implants that are stuck in the mouth. Part 2 is the prosthesis itself, in which space is provided for the individual frame. Part 2 slides over part 1 in the mouth until it is perfectly in place and can no longer move (think of 2 buckets sliding over each other). The prosthesis can only be released and removed from the mouth for cleaning with a specific displacement in 1 direction opposite to the bite force. The great advantage of this type of product is the increased comfort when chewing, the possibility to provide sufficient lip support if a lot of jawbone and gums have already been lost and to ensure that the existing structure in the mouth can be cleaned easily. Research has shown that this type of solution has the highest long-term survival rate in an older population who may no longer have the necessary (fine) motor skills to maintain the teeth properly, crucial for fixed bridgework on own teeth or implants.

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