Adapting to Dentures
Many patients think complete dentures should be as efficient as their natural teeth - this is never possible. One observation will illustrate the reason. A person with healthy teeth and supporting tissues is capable of exerting at least twenty times the force that a patient with dentures can exert. Thus, it is apparent the crushing and shearing forces are not as strong and effective as those in natural teeth, and the patient wearing dentures cannot realistically expect to perform as efficiently as with natural teeth.
Another problem is the patient who has no lower ridge. The ridge is flat, and the lower denture has no outside flanges. These patients must learn to accept more limitations than normal. The denture can easily be displaced and learning to chew in a straight up and down stroke is absolutely essential. Such a patient should accept changes in selection of foods to accommodate this condition. Patients with such conditions would benefit tremendously from implants; dentures that are held in place by Titanium posts which are screwed to the lower jaw.
An increasing problem is the clenching of teeth during the day. It occurs in all age groups and creates chronic soreness, which can result in an amazing loss of bone. Many patients will insist they are unaware of clenching. Some do it only under certain conditions or at certain time of the day. What ever the reason it must be stopped - if one is to avoid serious damage to the mouth. Returning to us for adjustments provides only temporary relief. The time will soon come when we can no longer help you. People who clench their teeth are presenting us with a problem normally beyond our control.
The last problem is chronic soreness of the lower ridge with patients who have no lower ridge a permanent soft liner can be placed on the denture to reduce the pressure significantly.