Before Extractions

The patient's remaining teeth can provide useful information for the denture construction. Here are some questions you might want to ask.

How much anterior tooth shows when the lips are relaxed or when smiling?

How large, what shape, shade are the teeth? (Remember that extracted teeth can change they cannot be used as a shade guide later on.)

Are there any irregularities (e.g. spaces, rotation, overlap) that the patient wants you to duplicate?

Is there anything the patient does not like about their teeth?

If occluding teeth are present then you might be able to record the vertical. If there is some blemish (such as a freckle, scar, large pore) on the nose and the chin, you can measure the distance between them when the teeth are occluded. That will give you the vertical dimension that you should use after the teeth have been extracted.

Also notice the distance between the ridges in the edentulous spaces. My father used to put one of his fingers into the edentulous space. Since fingers are of different sizes he noted which finger fitted. After the models are mounted the same finger should fit. (I am not recommending this.)

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©1999 by Julius Rosen, D.D.S.