Dentures Consent

Informed Consent: Complete Denture Prosthetics, Partial Denture Prosthetics

Prior to beginning your treatment, please review this information carefully and note any questions you may have.  There might not be a quiz, but we’re going to ask you to sign a computerized version of this consent acknowledging that you’ve read and understood and have had a chance to ask any questions you have about the following information.

Removable Dentures 101: The Three Basic Types

  • Complete Dentures, also called “plates,” replace all the teeth on an arch.  Whether the complete denture replaces all the upper teeth or all the lower teeth in your mouth, the only thing supporting the dentures are the gums and underlying bone.
  • Partial Dentures, also referred to as “partials,” replace some of the missing teeth on an arch.  Partials are supported by the gums and underlying bone, and also the remaining teeth in the arch.
  • Overdentures can replace some or all the teeth on an arch.  What sets overdentures apart from complete dentures and partials is that in addition to being supported only by gums and underlying bone and other teeth as in the case of the partial, overdentures also get support from implants that have been placed into the bone of the arch.  Sometimes specially-prepared and fitted retained roots of teeth left behind can also help support an overdenture.

A Lot on Your Plate: The Facts About Removable Dentures

When we talk about replacing missing teeth, removable dentures have good things going for them.  Right off the bat, removable dentures cost less than fixed (non-removable) options.  Also, sometimes a patient has other anatomical issues in the mouth that make it difficult or impossible to place a fixed tooth replacement option.

On the downside, though, removable dentures offer less-than-optimum chewing quality.  While you won’t be destined for a life of gumming bananas from here on out, you may find that some of your favorite foods aren’t as much fun to eat with removable dentures.   Removable dentures are significantly limited in their edge-to-edge biting, such as when you bite into an apple or eat corn on the cob or eat steak and lettuce.

All is not lost, though.  We’re here to help you learn new chewing techniques and adjust to your dentures.  Although things with dentures won’t be quite the same as they were with your natural teeth, with time, patience, and managed expectations, you may be able to enjoy your favorite foods again.  We’re here to help.

Implants are an option that can significantly increase the biting and chewing performance of dentures.

Don’t Say Goodbye: Why You Still Need to Visit the Dentist Regularly

Now, you might be thinking that you’re off the hook for dental visits if you have a full set of dentures.  Thing of it is, though, bone loss continues even after you have dentures made and placed in your mouth, and we want to keep tabs on that.  We recommend that you come see us at least every year, if you have full dentures.  This way, we can keep an eye on that bone loss, as well as the health of your gums.  Over time, that bone loss we keep harping on will change the shape of your arches enough to make it necessary to have your dentures adjusted, relined, and rebased.  Eventually, in enough years, you may need to have a new denture made.

Typically, you’ll need to have your denture relined or rebased every five years or so. 

Relines, rebasing, and adjustments will be done on an as-needed basis immediately following extractions, while you’re using a treatment denture.  A lot of healing and changing occurs right after extractions, and it takes time for things to settle down.  We recommend that during this time of healing and change, you opt for a temporary treatment denture.  Once your mouth has completely healed, the changes won’t be so pronounced, and your permanent removable denture will fit you better and be more comfortable than it would if you just jump straight into a permanent removable denture so soon after your extractions.

For patients with partials, the bone loss applies to you, as well.  It’s important that you plan to keep your regular recall appointments so that we can make sure your partial still fits correctly, and so we can keep an eye on the health of your gums, underlying bone, and your remaining teeth.

Some More Things You Should Know

  • Although rare, allergies to the materials used to make a denture can manifest, and this is out of our control.  If you notice redness, itchiness, and inflammation in your oral tissue, and these symptoms persist, seek medical attention.
  • Because dentures cover a significant portion of oral tissue, you will notice decreased ability to taste.  Also, your mouth will be less readily sensitive to cold and hot, so you’ll need to be especially careful when eating or drinking hot foods and beverages. In addition, dentures will feel foreign in your mouth at first and will make it a challenge to speak normally for a little while.  Most people adapt and overcome this challenge with time, patience, and practice.
  • Dentures wear out over time and need to be replaced.  Teeth on the plates are usually plastic and are prone to wear and tear.  This wear and tear on the teeth of the partial saves wear and trauma to your gums and supporting tissues.  It’s easier to replace a set of dentures than it is to deal with worn, traumatized oral tissue, so don’t fret when it comes time to replace worn-out dentures- they did their job!
  • Dentures fail sometimes, for various reasons including, but not limited to:
    • Overwhelmed gum tissues, which cannot bear the pressure placed upon them.  This results in tenderness or sores.
    • Inadequate jaw ridges, which cannot support or retain the dentures properly.
    • Sometimes the structures in the mouth, such as the muscles of the tongue, floor of the mouth, and cheeks, can’t adapt to the dentures.
    • Gagging reflex- some people have a stronger gag reflex than others have, and a denture can aggravate that.
    • Excessive saliva or excessive dryness of the mouth
    • General psychological and/or physical problems can interfere with the success of a denture.
    • Stress to natural teeth and surrounding tissues anchoring a partial denture- this can cause the anchoring natural teeth to become mobile, sore, or tender.  In some cases, these anchoring teeth can even decay.  The tissues supporting the anchoring teeth can fail, as well.

Dentures can break, whether it’s the plate that breaks or teeth on the plate break, even though the materials used to make them were not defective.  Some contributing factors include:

  • Gum shrinkage, causing excessive and uneven pressures to be exerted on the dentures.
  • Chewing on excessively hard foods (no gnawing on chicken bones while you have your denture in!)
  • Sometimes dentures get dropped, and you think you’re okay because you don’t see a crack, but it’s there and microscopic, and then one day, long after you’ve forgotten about dropping your dentures, that crack just up and breaks.


Oh, One More Thing: Bring a Friend!

Please bring a trusted friend or family member to your tooth try-in appointment.  Choose someone whose opinion you value, and who you can trust to give you an honest opinion of your new teeth.  Dentures are a huge commitment of time and money and are an investment in not only the way you function, but also in your appearance.  This is not to be taken lightly.

If you decline to bring a trusted friend or family member, we will ask for your signed refusal.

It is the patient’s responsibility to seek medical attention if and when problems occur.  It is also the patient’s responsibility to be examined regularly, as set forth in the guidelines mentioned above, according to the situation. 

Informed Consent

I have been given the opportunity to ask any questions regarding the nature and purpose of dentures and have been given alternative treatment options including dental implants

Any questions I had have been answered to my satisfaction.  I voluntarily assume any and all possible problems and risks, including risk of substantial harm, if any, which may be associated with any phase of this treatment in hopes of obtaining the desired potential results, which may or may not be achieved. 

No guarantees or promises have been made to me concerning the results relating to my ability to utilize dentures successfully.  No guarantees or promises have been made to me concerning the longevity of the dentures.

The fee(s) for this service have been explained to me and are satisfactory.

By signing this form, I freely give my consent and authorize my Doctor to render the dental treatment necessary and advisable to my dental condition(s), including administering all necessary anesthetics and/or medications and any dental treatment deemed necessary.