Full Lower Dentures – What you need to know.

Not all dentures are created equal

A full lower denture is the denture that most people struggle with. This is due to a couple of factors which are unavoidable.

  1. The anatomy of the floor of the mouth and tongue means that it is extremely difficult to get any suction to stabilise the lower denture, unlike the upper full denture which has the palate to secure to.
  2. Once you lose all your natural teeth a process called resorption begins and over time the bony ridge in the mandible (jaw) bone begins to shrink. This leaves little to no surface area for the lower denture to sit on making it very easy to dislodge particularly when eating.

There are many different techniques being marketed across the dental profession as being the solution to this difficult issue. The most effective way to improve the stability of the lower denture is to have an implant retained overdenture made. However, this is also the most expensive. In this case the denture clicks into place on titanium implants that hold the denture securely. Another method you may read about, that has been developed in Japan, is a suction effective denture. This denture base is constructed along very specific guidelines to create suction by forming an effective peripheral seal. However, every person is unique and no one technique will be suitable for everyone.

Every mouth is different

The condition of the bony ridge, amount of unsupported soft tissue, space and shape of the floor of the mouth, tongue musculature, stability of the bite force are just some of the technical aspects that need to be carefully assessed before deciding the suitability of a patient for a specific approach. For example, in some studies, the Japanese suction method has a one in five failure rate in achieving suction in patients who have been assessed as suitable. This failure rate obviously increases dramatically in patients who, for whatever reason, are not candidates for this approach. Unfortunately, when a practitioner has invested considerably in training and equipment for a certain system, they over rely on it. This common pitfall is often done irrespective of their patient’s particular needs. To illustrate this point, fixing a Toyota with Toyota spare parts won’t be a problem. However, fixing your Holden with Toyota spare parts, would be a catastrophe.

We’re here to help

Over the decades, we’ve helped many patients who’ve had a new denture they cannot wear. This is often because it was made according to a specific system not to suit their mouth and jaw function. Well balanced, individualised design, considering both the upper and lower jaw combined anatomy and function, is the tried and true way of ensuring that you can successfully wear a lower full denture.  Seeing a Dental Prosthetist who is highly skilled at assessing each patient’s distinct oral cavity and using the technique that will work for them is the only definitive way of getting the optimum outcome. This involves skills, not only in the more practical laboratory elements of construction, but more importantly in having an innate ‘eye’ for individual design, appearance and eating function.

At Dentures Direct Ballina we do not rely on just one system of construction over another as our focus is on our patients and what will work for them. We pride ourselves in designing aesthetically pleasing, well-fitting and functionally successful dentures that are as unique as you are.