Creating Natural-Looking Removable Prostheses: Combining Art and Science to Imitate Nature

Authors

  • MICHAEL PATRAS DDS,

    1. Fellow, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Center for Implant Dentistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
    2. Former Postgraduate Student, Department of Prosthodontics, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
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  • STEFANOS KOURTIS DDS, Dr. Odont,

    Corresponding author
    1. Assistant Professor, Department of Prosthodontics, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
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  • NIKITAS SYKARAS DDS, PhD

    1. Assistant Professor, Department of Prosthodontics, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
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  • This article is accompanied by commentary, Creating Natural-Looking Removable Prostheses: Combining Art and Science to Imitate Nature, Joseph J. Massad, DDS. DOI 10.1111/j.1708-8240.2011.00494.x

Stefanos Kourtis, DDS, Dr. Odont, Department of Prosthodontics, Dental School, National and Kapodestrian University of Athens, Plaza Chrys. Smyrnis 14, 17121 Athens, Greece; email: stefkour@dent.uoa.gr

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Patient awareness of dental appearance has increased, resulting in more demanding esthetic requests. There is also strong evidence that increased esthetics is highly significant for complete denture acceptance and success. Taking notice of patients' perceptions of natural appearance and esthetics, the clinician can incorporate their preferences in the construction of individualized dentures that will be harmonized with their facial characteristics.

Despite the evolution of materials and techniques, the vast majority of dentures still fail to look natural. Thus, producing prostheses that defy detection and successfully restore the appearance of edentulous patients remains a challenge for the clinician.

This paper presents a clinical case where immediate loading of implants supporting a mandibular overdenture was combined with an opposing conventional maxillary denture to satisfy the high functional and esthetic demands of the patient. It also emphasizes the individualized esthetic performance through customization during their fabrication while taking into consideration the various clinical parameters affecting rehabilitation of the edentulous jaw.

CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE

Implant-retained overdentures can significantly improve the patients' function. The esthetic performance of these restorations however, may not be satisfying the patients' expectations and demands. Customizing the artificial gingival areas and individual staining of the prefabricated acrylic teeth may improve the esthetic performance creating natural-looking removable prostheses.

(J Esthet Restor Dent ••:••–••, 2011)

Ancillary