A thin, band-like tissue extension (called a frenum) may attach between a jaw ridge (called alveolar ridge) and the inside of the cheeks or lips. This band of tissue may activate and move while the patient chews, swallows or speaks. Once mobile the frenum can lift a denture from its resting, stabile position on the alveolar ridge. If such activity is identified in the frenum, this attachment may be surgically moved to avoid dislodgment of the denture. This surgical procedure is called a frenectomy.
Over time, following the loss of the teeth, the alveolar ridge slowly looses bone. This bone loss is called resorption. Most notable in patients who have been without teeth for long periods of time is the loss of alveolar ridge height. As alveolar ridge height is lost, so to is the vestibule, or space between the lip and alveolar ridge. Because adequate vestibular depth is favorable for denture success, surgical extension of the vestibule (called vestibuloplasty) may provide an advantage.
As bone is resorbed from the alveolar ridge over time, it may often be rebuilt by surgically placing various substances beneath the gum tissues. This surgical procedure is called alveolar ridge augmentation.
When a person eats, swallows and speaks the lips and cheeks exert forces towards the inside of the mouth, while the tongue exerts an outward force. There is a space defined between the tongue’s outward force and the inward force of the lips and cheeks, called the neutral zone. If the lower denture is constructed so as to reside within the neutral zone, then the natural forces exerted by the lips, cheeks, and tongue will act to stabilize and retains the lower denture rather than to cause dislodgment
Surgically placing dental implants into the jawbone and fabricating the lower denture to overly and connect to these implants will help stabilize a lower denture during normal function. The mechanism used to permit reliable connection between the dental implants and the lower denture also allows comfortable and easy removal of the denture for routine oral hygiene procedures.
Ensuring that upper and lower teeth contact optimally when the teeth are brought into contact (called balanced occlusion) is a basic, structural means of stabilizing a lower denture. Premature contact between the teeth on the left side of the denture, for example, may cause the denture to be dislodged from the lower alveolar ridge. Even contact between all denture teeth when the patient closes, promotes stability of the lower denture.
Constructing the lower denture to accurately fit on the alveolar ridge may aid in the stability of the prosthesis. Because normal denture plastics slightly distort during the fabrication process, the use of an accurately fitting metal base may improve the lower denture’s fit. Additionally, incorporation of a metal base will improve the lower denture’s strength and increase its weight, which may aid in stability.