IT is well established and even confirmed by numerous international reports that there is a global trend of increased longevity among the elderly, especially in developed and developing countries. It, therefore, seems logical to assume that dentists will go on enriching the quality of the patients’ lives via traditional techniques of prosthetic rehabilitation. However, population groups exist who simply cannot benefit from current treatment techniques.
A significant number of elderly patients are already without natural teeth and wear complete dentures with different degrees of success. Many elderly patients are edentulous (missing teeth) and may not be able to avail themselves of methods for retention of their remaining teeth. Clinical wisdom would suggest immediate denture therapy for such patients particularly if advanced gum disease is present.
For persons who have lost most of their teeth to obtain this satisfaction with dentures, the remaining teeth must be preserved no matter in what condition the crown may be. These teeth if strategically located may be retained, and prepared for abutment service as adjunctive means of support under partial or complete overdentures.
The mechanical principles of partial or complete dentures treatment when correctly applied are purported to virtually guarantee a happy coexistence between dentures and their host tissues. As a result, dentists have been remarkably successful in convincing themselves, if not always their patients, that technically well made removable dentures can be worn satisfactorily and perhaps even indefinitely.
According to reports, evidence reveals that while it is difficult to define denture satisfaction, a significant number of patients in all age groups are dissatisfied with their dentures. Furthermore, many elderly patients experience difficulty in attaining comfortable and efficient oral function with removable dentures.
2.The important relationship between adequate oral function and proper digestion and nutrition is well documented. Since the greater the life expectancy of toothless patients is likely to go on increasing, the risk of denture dissatisfaction and its functional implications can only be prolonged. This risk is particularly compelling in the context of the denture supporting tissues’ vulnerability to adverse changes as a result of long term denture wear.
There seems to be the tendency for the all-or-none rule where retaining teeth are concerned. It is commonly believed that it is better to extract all one’s teeth and wear total dentures rather than keeping a few and wearing a partial one; well, that belief may have been justified twenty years ago, but today dentists utilise any few remaining the potential the satisfaction for the patient.
Modern dentistry had made sure that elderly patients with no teeth are by no means in an irremediable situation, no matter how hopeless their condition might appear. There exist various techniques, albeit somewhat inaccessible to the average person that can significantly take care of seemingly impossible circumstances.