Replacing, Adjusting Dentures

With time your dentures and your "gums" will change. Over the years your denture will have to be adjusted (perhaps relined) and eventually replaced. Dentures have to be replaced just like eyeglasses. At Temple Dental we recall denture patients every year.

Let us consider what happens over the years. If you have cusped teeth the holding cusps will wear. The maxillary lingual and the mandibular buccal cusps will be rounded off giving you a reverse Curve of Wilson.

21. All the holding cusps and the cingulum of the canines are worn. 21. Close-up of left side of arch.

If you have flat teeth then they will wear wherever contact takes place. The denture bases may begin to contact and start to wear in the posterior. The maxillary denture may develop a hole in the tuberosity area. (A hole will effect the retention.) The closed vertical will give the face a squashed appearance.

The anterior teeth will contact in centric. This will tend to destroy the maxillary anterior ridge.

The underlying ridge (especially the mandibular) will resorb. The denture will not fit as well, changing the occlusal contacts and the stability of the denture. Yes dentures have to be replaced. (Long time denture wearers seem to adjust to ill fitting dentures and have to be convinced to replace them. The obvious answer is the dentures are doing more harm than good.)

If porcelain teeth are used then with normal use it will take about 7-10 years to wear them away. Porcelain teeth may chip. Just because the teeth look good doesn't mean the underlying tissue is fine.

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1999 by Julius Rosen, D.D.S.