denture problems - reline

Diagnosing Denture Problems: Cracks Down the Midline

With nearly 41 million denture-wearing patients in the U.S., you’re sure to see quite a few throughout your day.

While most dentures last for several years without much issue, problems still arise.

One of the most common types of denture problems we see is a denture with a crack running down the midline.

The good news is that it’s normally an easy repair. But, to prevent denture problems from happening time and time again, you need to get to the root of the problem.

Normally, the failure is due to one of two problems: improper ridge support or improperly directed occlusal forces.

Here’s how to determine which issue you face, and how to resolve it.

Improper Ridge Support Leads to Denture Problems

While both result in the same symptom (crack down the midline), they require two separate solutions.

The most common reason for the midline break is that the denture is not properly supported over the ridges. Essentially, this turns the palate into a fulcrum for a breaking point.

This is often seen with ridge resorption over a period of time.

Think of the denture resting on a 2×4 – if you constantly press down on the outer edges, the denture will constantly flex, eventually breaking down the middle.

Acrylic just isn’t strong enough to withstand these constant forces.

Putting metal mesh or making the acrylic thicker doesn’t solve the problem either; it merely repairs the denture temporarily.

Eventually, the process repeats, and the denture fails again.

The way to diagnose and confirm this issue is to take a wash impression in the denture.

If you see the material thin on the palate and thick over the ridges, then you have your problem.

The solution? A simple reline is usually enough to do the trick.

Improper Occlusal Forces

The second, less obvious denture problem, is one of improperly directed occlusal forces.

When maxillary posterior teeth are set too far from the ridge buccally, the forces turn the palate into a fulcrum again, constantly stressing and flexing the denture.

This leads you right back to the same problem: a break down the midline.

So, as you’re making and evaluating dentures, when you have the patient where the proper occlusal set-up is class 3 and they insist on class 1, discuss with them about longevity of the denture, and how the teeth position affects this.

The Takeaways on Dental Problems

A denture is simply an arch. Push on the outer edges and it fails. Keep forces along the center with the proper support, and it holds up.

So, the next time your patients come in with a break down the middle of their denture, do a little evaluation before just sending it in for repair.

Take a wash inside the denture to see if it needs a reline and also evaluate the teeth setup.

You may find a long-term solution to a problem, creating a happy patient and happy dentist!


About First Choice Dental Lab

First Choice Dental Lab is a full-service dental lab with locations in Downers Grove, Il. & Wauwatosa, Wi.

We manufacture & customize quality dental restorations for general dentists. We create smiles based on your needs and budget.

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