The popularity of dental implants is growing consistently. Many do not prefer the procedure. Some people are also not suitable for implants. These people prefer alternative methods like complete dentures. One of the reasons people seeking conventional dentures is that the treatment outcome is predictable. To learn what can be expected from this procedure you should take a look at the clinical and laboratory steps used for a complete denture.
Overview of Clinical and Laboratory Steps of Complete Denture
The following steps are taken by the dentists and laboratories for a complete denture.
- Checking the status of patient’s teeth set and identifying the reasons for teeth loss;
- Deciding on the type of denture required and it can be removable or fixed;
- The dentist takes care of accurate designing of the denture as the clinical step;
- Lab technicians carry out the laboratory steps;
- To fulfill the needs of the patient the dentist and lab technician have to communicate with each other consistently;
- The dentist also needs to know about lab-based steps for complete or partial dentures; and
- The ultimate objective is the restoration of dental structure and facial appearance of the patient to normalcy and also addressing the ailments if any.
Examination of the Patient
The firsts step is the clinical examination of the patient. The dentist checks the teeth and their adjacent areas to find out the defects. The existence of diseases, abnormalities, and inflammation in any portion of the patient’s mouth can interfere with the process of a denture and can reduce its stability. At times the existence of such pre-conditions will require treatment and only when the patient is back to normalcy the dentist will start denture.
Recording the Impressions
Dentists and lab technicians usually depend on the impressions recorded during the first examination.
- Impressions recorder can be of teeth, gum, palate, or the mouth among others;
- Materials used for the purpose include impression compound, alginate, and putty silicone; and
- For recording impressions the denture materials are placed on a tray made of metal or plastic. It is called the stock tray.
Laboratory Steps for Complete Denture
After recording the primary impressions the dentists send them to the lab technician. The technician takes the following steps on receipt of the impressions.
- The technician pours them using various materials to design a primary cast;
- He or she converts natural gypsum into dental gypsum following the process called calcination that is a healing process;
- Dental gypsum is prepared in powder form and is used with water at the time of preparing for the complete denture;
- The technician chooses the type of dental gypsum to be used for denture;
- Technician in lab produces custom tray using the primary cast; and
- The tray is sent to the dentist from the lab.
Steps were taken by the Dentist on the Receipt of Tray
On receipt of the special tray from the technician, the dentist uses it to create a second impression. Materials used to create the secondary impression are different from those used to create the primary impression. The impression should be accurate as there is no room for error that was permissible while creating the first impression. Secondary impressions of both upper and lower arches of Teeth and gum are once again sent to the laboratory for further processing.
Lab Steps on Secondary Impression
On receipt of the second impression the laboratory technician will –
- Pour it to create the master cast;
- The master cast is designed for both the upper and lower arch of the teeth set; and
- The master cast is sent to the dentist again.
Before designing the master cast the laboratory will obtain all new records made by the dentist to create an accurate master cast. For instance, the lab may obtain recordings on the jaw relation of the patient.
Use of Articulator
When the dentist sends records to the laboratory the technician will use them on a device named “Articulator”. The device is used to get the accurate measurement of the mouth of the patient and design dentures accordingly. Thereafter, the technician will design a wax rim helping in setting up artificial teeth on the denture. Similarly, designing the wax ring helps to reduce the chances of the wrong setting of the teeth. The waxed-up denture is sent once again to the dentist.
Setting the Denture in Patient’s Mouth
On receipt of the waxed-up denture from the laboratory, the dentist tries to set them in the patient’s mouth. This is the step when all the relevant record information is checked by the dentist. The most important aspect is the comfort level of the patient after the denture is installed. If the dentist finds that everything is alright then he will again send the denture back to the laboratory.
Lab Steps on Reprocessing the Denture
On receipt of the denture from the dentist, the laboratory will take the following steps.
- Carry out the process of wax elimination;
- Cutting and curing;
- Polishing; and
- Putting final touches making the denture ready for use.
Machines used in Labs
Commonly used machines for lab testing of dentures giving them final shape are the following.
- Flexible denture injection machine used for partial and complete denture;
- Dental flask for denture injection system that is a part of denture injection system; and
- Denture injection cartridges.
All these equipment can facilitate both complete as well as partial denture easy to carry out. However, you have to find quality machines for the purpose. The reason is that the use of inferior quality machines can backfire defeating the goal set for the denture. They can also create complexities affecting the dental health of the patients.
Clinical and laboratory steps used for partial or complete dentures need the collaboration of the dentists taking clinical steps and the technician and laboratory. They complement each other for providing high-quality dentures for the patients. The treatment will only be successful when they perform their respective steps in a disciplined and dedicated manner.