This text will set out the ideal properties of complete dentures, and provide you with techniques for achieving these when carrying out any stage in the production process. Dentures should function well and look good. The denture wearer may value function over aesthetics or vice versa, but failure to establish a minimal requisite will lead to disappointment. What do we mean by function well? Dentures should be comfortable, retentive, stable when biting together in any position, and restore the speech. What do we mean by look good? Dentures should replace the teeth and the resorbed bone, resulting in natural looking anterior teeth, support of the soft tissues and restoration of any loss in vertical dimension. Establishing function and aesthetics may be challenging in some cases, this text aims to provide the solutions to ensure the reader understands and can provide the various elements that are essential for optimum denture provision. This text will help the reader evaluate, design and provide the following requirements. Fit: This is a result of impression technique, impression materials, model materials, processing method, denture base material and final fitting.
Retention: This results from fit and forming a border seal. Providing retention may prove difficult for lower dentures where stability and muscular control must be optimised to compensate. Stability is dependent upon fit and occlusion. Establishing a balanced occlusion is key to maintaining stability and in turn the border seal. Lower dentures are particularly vulnerable to instability as a result of poor retention. Here the occlusal table should be designed to provide optimum load distribution in order to seat the denture. Occlusion of the denture teeth may be established as a conventional balanced occlusion or as a lingualised scheme, each should result in multiple tooth contacts around the denture, providing stability in any position. Muscular control provides long-term retention of the denture and is aided by the positioning of the teeth in the neutral zone and by the considered shaping of the polished surfaces of the denture.