When Dentures Lose Support
One of the challenges with dentures is their dependence on the adjacent teeth for support. When the supporting tooth (or teeth) starts to fail due to excess pressure from the denture itself, or from tooth decay, the patient is left with a problem. They must fix the supporting tooth/teeth. If the supporting tooth needs a crown, then it is challenging to make it fit the existing denture, so as to avoid the replacement cost of approximately $1,500.
Denture Clasps And Supporting Teeth
This is not an easy process because the clasp on the denture is cast to the shape of the original tooth. When the supporting tooth or teeth are damaged, and needs a crown, the challenge is to make the crown fit inside the clasp of the old denture. Up until now, the only way to fix the crown(s) (on the teeth) is to send the denture to a dental lab to be fitted to the new crown. This process requires that the dental lab create a preliminary crown shape for fitting with the denture. Once the preliminary crown is created, then the denture has to go back to the lab for the final shaping to be performed on the crown.
Back and Forth Denture Fitting Process
This back and forth process requires multiple patient visits to the dentist, and can take up to 2 ½ weeks for the lab to shape the crown to fit the denture clasp. The process involves approximately 4 hours of the patient's time, including at least 2-3 visits to the dentist for fitting. The worst thing is that the patient is without the use of the denture for at least 4-7 days.
A New Way to Solve An Ill-Fitting Denture Problem
At Compleo, and Dentistry at Vitality Health, we sometimes use advanced dental technology in creative ways in order to save patients time, money and inconvenience. This is one of those times. We devised a way to use our CEREC 3D imaging technology and our CEREC in-house lab to solve the denture problem in a single visit. We scanned the denture, the clasp, and the damaged tooth. Using the 3D images, we were able to create a virtual crown to fit the imaged denture clasp. We were able to adjust the virtual crown and it's position until we had the perfect shape and fit. Then it was a simple process of sending the information to our in-house milling machine for the creation of the supporting crown. Once created, the crown was fit in place, and the denture clasp was placed over it. This new procedure took a total of 90 minutes and was performed while the patient was at our office. The patient saved 2 ½ weeks of waiting time, and was not forced to be without the use of their denture.
Furthermore, this patient was very adverse to traditional dental impressions (due to a severe gag reflex). This entire process was completed using only scans of the tooth and denture and CAD-Cam technology with no impressions touching the patient's mouth!!
The patient was obviously very happy with the outcome!
Another way in which creative use and an intimate understanding today's technology can significantly influence your treatment time and outcome and make dentistry more convenient for you!