Constructing a new set of dentures is not always as straight forward as taking a quick impression of one’s mouth. First, the dentist must check the tissues for any pathology. It is certainly not a good idea to build a denture over a tumor or cancer. The next thing to check is the condition of the ridges of the gums themselves. If there is inadequate bone to allow for good retention and stability of a denture, then a bone graft may need to be considered. Artificial bone substitutes, cadaver bone, or pieces of the patient’s own bone can be placed under the gums surgically to add enough bulk to comfortably wear a denture. If there are bumps of bone called tori or severe bony undercuts that rigid plastic could not snap around, then they need to be surgically removed. The dentist peels a flap of gum tissue that is over the bony prominence and grinds the offending piece of bone off and smooth the area. In other cases, there could be flabby, moveable tissue or even extra folds of gums which would make a denture unstable. This would also have to be surgically removed. By properly preparing a good gum foundation, a very well fitting set of dentures can be constructed.
In my previous blog, I discussed the indications and contraindications of a Snap-On Smile. A Snap-On Smile is a custom made piece of acrylic plastic that covers the front teeth. It is a temporary, lower cost alternative to permanent cosmetic dental treatment. In order to construct a Snap-On Smile, the dentist will fill all cavities and remove any hopelessly loose teeth. At that point, the dentist will make a custom mold of the teeth with an extremely accurate impression material called polyvinylsiloxane. A model of the teeth that will oppose the Snap-On Smile is made from another mold and a bite impression is taken in order to relate the two models together. Pictures are taken to make sure that the lab has the ability to build the smile in the proper alignment with the face. And, last, but not least, a color is selected. All of this material is sent to a lab where they construct the Snap-On Smile prosthesis. Then the big day comes when the Snap-On Smile is ready for insertion. The new prosthesis is tried in for proper fit and function. With good technique in the preliminary stage, usually adjustments are minimal. And it sure makes for a happy patient to have their smile instantly restored! If you are interested in seeing our video of Snap-On Smile, please follow this link: http://youtu.be/8N4BE9PEgOs