Complete dentures are used to replace all teeth in the upper or lower jaw, or both. They sit on the soft (gum) tissue that covers the remaining bone ridge. At times, keeping dentures in place can be difficult due to the loss of this bone ridge over time. Our doctors often use specialized techniques to provide the best fit and comfort possible in these more difficult situations. They routinely position the teeth themselves, and always perform a patient try-in before the denture is finished. This best ensures a tooth arrangement that is natural, esthetic, and allows proper speech. Unfortunately, successful denture-wearing is also dependent on the patient’s ability to adapt and learn to function with it. Some patients don’t tolerate the best-made and best-fitting dentures! Others have difficulty due to poor bone support, which can make wearing the lower denture in particular, a painful experience. Fortunately, there is help for these patients with the use of dental implants. Just two implants in the lower jaw are typically enough to hold the lower denture in place. The upper jaw typically requires more implants because the bone is less dense. For more treatment options using dental implants, see below.
Dentures are customized for our patients. In these examples, Dr. Kuracina arranged the teeth, then contoured and stained the denture bases herself.
The completed dentures are
natural looking and functional.
Removable partial dentures
Partial dentures can be made in situations where some healthy teeth remain. These prostheses are removable by the patient and require careful planning by the dentist for a proper fit and predictable long-term success. A careful examination of all remaining teeth, including evaluation of x-rays and study models is critical, as multiple teeth are usually used to hold the denture in place. These teeth usually will require some degree of modification or reshaping to accommodate to the denture. Conventionally, partial dentures are held in place with clasps, or metal wires around teeth, but prosthodontists are very skilled in more advanced techniques, such as the use of attachments, which are components used to retain the denture without the use of clasps. This often makes for a more esthetic and comfortable restoration.
Before: This patient is missing multiple teeth. Remaining crowns and teeth are failing, and appearance is compromised due to wear and gingival recession.
After: Crowns are remade to improve esthetics and correct occlusion. A removable partial denture is made with clasps hidden for a better cosmetic result.
Missing teeth restored with a removable partial denture with clasps hidden for better esthetics.
All photos displayed on this page are of patients treated by the doctors at Orchard Park Prosthodontics.