Procedure for a Complete Denture
Making a complete denture is not as simple as you wold imagine (to get right at least!. Anyone who has worn them will testify to this. Patients experiencing problems with their teeth, often say... "Doc, wouldn't it be easier just to rip them all out and give me falsies"…. Simple answer, "Not on your life!". Obviously when making a new complete denture, we don't have to consider any of the teeth (because there aren't any) which makes the design easier than a partial denture; it's simply a complete denture.
Sequence of Events for Making a Complete Denture The procedure for making a complete denture is as follows:
Similar to taking them for a partial denture, except this will involve using a different type of tray to accommodate the fact that there are no teeth. Zinc oxide eugonal, impression compound, alginate or silicone materials may all be used depending on what the dentist prefers. The key here is to get the full extension of where the denture will sit in the impression and this may involve modifying the borders first with something called greenstick to make sure your muscles attachments are nicely recorded. I like to wipe alginate all up inside the lips and cheeks to stop air bubbles- gets a bit messy but gives a good impression.
These may not be needed if the stock tray and first impression is good enough. If it isn't, a special tray that fits the individual shape of your mouth will be requested from the lab and a new impression taken- this is called the master impression and it will be poured up to make a model of your mouth on which the complete denture will be made. When taking impressions the dentist needs to mould the impression to the muscles of your cheeks, tongue and lips. To do this they will gently pull and massage them whilst holding the tray down and ask you to stick your tongue out and from side to side. They may ask you to purse your lips, say 'ooooh' and 'eeeeh' and swallow. There are time when modifications to the techniques may be needed e.g. for a flabby ridge.
If you only have all your teeth missing in one arch the process is slightly simpler and a combination of the description here and the one for partial dentures is used. What I am about to describe is for complete dentures on the top and bottom- it is one of the trickiest things to get exactly right in dentistry. Because you have no teeth, you have no natural biting position so we have to use the only reproducible position you have- RCP .