When patients come to us with existing maxillary dentures and want to transition to afixed implant supported prosthesis, sometimes the treatment planning process can be a little confusing and a little challenging.
And we tend to maybe let the patient drive that decision and we end up doing a fixed prosthesis. But really the question is, is that the best prosthesis for them?
And so a little trick that you can do is you can take the existing denture and duplicate it. There are many ways to duplicate it. There are instructional videos on YouTube. You can use a Lang duplicator or even a night guard box, a clam-shell box typically is what they say to duplicate the denture..
Cut the labial flange down to the crest of the ridge and try in the duplicate denture in the patient's mouth. And especially as the fixed implant prosthesis relates to the esthetics, one of the biggest changes that may occur, especially if the patient has been edentulous for quite some time, is the loss of lip support.
And so reducing that denture flange, letting the patient try it in, taking photos with the existing denture, and then taking photos with the flange removed from full-on face to profile, we can really get a feel whether removing this flange, as we do in a fixed prosthesis, will affect the facial support and the esthetics of the case.
And I feel like this is just such an easy thing to do ahead of time as part of the diagnostic workup to lead us in the right direction, whether or not a fixed prosthesis is even the right thing to do.
To learn more about delivering successful, predictable fixed prosthesis, consider the course, Guided Implant Solutions for the Failing Dentition.