5 brand-new tips: How to become an expert in full denture prosthetics
By following a few simple techniques, dental technicians can achieve great results in the field of full denture prosthetics.
As a dental technician you know: Full dentures are still and will remain relevant. The average age of the population will continue to rise. Recognize this trend and expand your expertise. Specialize in the highly exciting field of removable prosthetics. It’s worth it.
We have selected 5 tips to help you to become a top expert in full denture prosthetics. Your dentist and your patients will thank you. Find out more.
1. Never underrate the process of producing working models
The model production is often misjudged. Many dental technicians trim away details within the models that contain important information - or just ignore them. This has a detrimental effect on the results.
Anatomical features on the models are more important than often thought. They are not only essential for the design of the prosthetic base and the retention of the finished full denture. But they also provide very important information
- for the position of the models in the articulator,
- the occlusal relationship,
- and last but not least tooth alignment and general design of the denture.
Here is an overview of the most important information, which is often overlooked. This list can be extended at will.
a) For correct model alignment:
- Trigonum retromolare (retromolar triangle)
b) For the denture design and impression tray perimeter:
- Trigonum retromolare (retromolar triangle),
- Posterior segment of both tubera maxillae,
- Cheek and lip bands,
- Linea Mylohyoidea
By carefully saving this anatomical information it will be easier to follow through all further steps.
2. How to achieve the correct jaw relationship
If your dentist supplies a preliminary bite registration with Centric Tray along with the first impressions, this will allow you to mount the upper and lower jaw models correctly and three dimensionally in the articulator. As a result, you will accomplish an initial alignment of both jaws - a small working step with great effect. Why? Because you can now prepare the additional registration steps individually, custom-made to suit a particular patient. The vertical dimension of the bite registration will already be approximately equivalent to the patient’s natural occlusal height. The dentist no longer has to find the patient’s individual occlusal height in a step by step approach. He will only need to carry out minimal adjustments. This saves treatment time, which can be invested in other duties.
- The patient feels more comfortable.
- The dentist can work faster.
- The registration is more accurate.
3. How to enhance the quality of the impression
Does a patient complain about pressure points or retention problems? If so, check the quality of the work preparation and ask yourself these three questions:
- Can you improve the work preparation (functional impressions and subsequent working models)?
- Is all the necessary information visible on the model?
- If not – can you, as a dental technician, do anything to improve the quality?
The good news: Yes, you can actively help in improving the quality – by creating a precise functional impression. This forms the basis of all well-fitting dentures, with good retention based on stable suction, and little or no pressure points. The peripheral design of the individual impression tray is very important. There must be sufficient freedom for unrestricted movement of the muscles and at the same time the tray must support the impression material. This allows chewing, swallowing and suction movements to be completely included in the impression. The result will be a very good working foundation which includes all information necessary for producing the definitive dentures. In the case of closed-mouth functional impressions in combination with a preliminary bite registration, the patient is able to perform facial and functional movements, without hindrance, at an approximately accurate physiological occlusal dimension.
Note: If, on the other hand, you use standard impression trays or if the tray periphery is too long, there is a risk of over-dimension. This results in an unstable dental restoration and/or pressure points.
4. How to avoid having to reproduce a restoration when the occlusal height is incorrect
No doubt you have experienced this before in the laboratory: Dentures often have to be readjusted because the occlusal height is incorrect. There are simple tools and techniques to minimize the risk of a readjustment. This saves everyone – dental technician and dentist – valuable working time.
Intraoral pin registration helps
In general, intraoral pin registration has proven successful. Take the intraoral registration together with a preliminary registration bite and assemble the tool on the individual impression trays. This saves the dentist a treatment session and allows a more precise registration.
Our tip: Use the Gnathometer M for the conventional finishing procedure or the Gnathometer CAD for the digital workflow. It takes your dentist two steps to convert the individual trays into a pin registration. This enables the dentist to determine the exact occlusal height and the centric relationship on two secure and firmly positioned bases.
See here how to design an individual impression tray and how to equip this with a pin registration.
5. The best prerequisites for achieving a denture which suits the patient esthetically
A horror vision par excellence: The denture is finished; the patient is not satisfied. He is not happy with the set-up. It’s an annoying situation, which costs even more time and money. Which dental technician has this not happened to?
Engage the patient from the very beginning
One factor is extremely important in helping to avoid this situation: Ensure to engage the patient from the very beginning. Clarify the question as early as possible: What does the patient definitely not want? If he has a clear picture in mind and is able to convey this to your dentist and to you, the patient will know exactly what to expect in the end. Determine the patient's expectations using sample dentures or images. Then you will have clear instructions and can subsequently produce the dental restoration. The three most important advantages:
- You will increase the patient’s satisfaction.
- The patient is more likely to accept the dental restoration.
- The patient will value your dental technical work more.
Conclusion: Full denture prosthetics is not witchcraft
Full denture prosthetics is not witchcraft. With a few simple tricks of the trade, you can improve your expertise in this field – and in doing so, enhance the working relationship with your dentist and make your patients happier.