Compared to dental procedures such as scaling and planing—let alone root canals—the tools used in fitting a patient for dentures aren't intimidating. Yet a lack of knowledge about the tools and methods that will be used during an initial denture consultation makes many patients nervous. If you would like put yourself at ease by learning more about the denture tools your dentist may employ, read on. This article will discuss three of the most common.
If you do not already have dentures, then one of the first things a dentist will do is take a measurement of the inside of your mouth using the tool known as a papillameter. This tool specifically measures the length of your lip as compared to the incisive papilla--in other words, a natural projection on your palate. This measurement is used to ensure proper gingival contours from the resulting dentures.
In other words, the papillameter helps to guarantee the best aesthetic results from your dentures. You see, without the aid of the papillameter's measurement, you could end up with dentures that are easily noticeable when you smile or open your mouth. The papillameter allows a dentist to get the most accurate measurement of your mouth's dimensions. This is vital when it comes to creating your dentures wax rims.
The centric tray is another important tool used in making an impression of the inside dimensions of your mouth. This tool, constructed of rigid plastic, is used to take a reading of both of your arches at once. This is done in conjunction with a soft wax. This wax is placed inside of the mouth, then the centric tray is inserted and the patient bites down on it, thus forming the wax precisely to the contours of the inner mouth.
Things are somewhat simpler for patients who already have a set of properly fitting dentures. These dentures can be used to make the appropriate readings for a new set, in the event that they become damaged, or need to be replaced for whatever reason. Here the tool that is used is known as the denture gauge.
It is essentially a tool that is capable of taking precise dimensional readings of your existing dentures, thus allowing the dentist to communicate the needs for the new set to a dental laboratory. This time-saving step allows you to forgo the tedious process of making impressions and taking measurements of the inside of your mouth.
To learn more about dental implants or dentures, contact resources like Joe Rosenberg, DDS.