What Are Suction Dentures?

What Are Suction Dentures?

Dentures have existed for decades. From George Washington's “wooden teeth” (which were in fact made by metal, ivory, and human and animal teeth!) to what many seasoned denture wearers recognize as their first set of “porcelain teeth”. New technology and designs have changed how we see and make dentures today. One example of a newer design is “Suction Cup Dentures”. These dentures generally use many mini suction cups within the denture, or sometimes one big suction cup in the upper denture to stay in place. Unfortunately, the suction cups damage the tissue underneath overtime and cause excessive tissue growth (hyperplasia) that can become precancerous.

Thankfully, denture designs have moved on to alternative solutions on suction dentures. In its simplest definition, a suction denture is a denture held in place purely through suction. However, to achieve minimal damage and effective performance, it's not as easy as simply using a suction cup. There are two suction denture types – “ultra-suction dentures” and “Suction Effective Dentures (SEMCD)”. Both use different methods of maintaining suction to keep the dentures in place.

Ultra suction dentures

To keep dentures secured in place, ultra suction dentures use a valve system to create suction in a denture. Prior to denture processing, a spacer is placed on the ridge bone of the tissue model and removed afterwards, creating a small space between the ridge and the denture. This space is called a ‘suction chamber', which is then connected to two tiny valves inserted in each side of the denture.

When a patient bites down, the air goes out of the suction chamber through the valves and the ridge tissue fills some of the space. The ultra-suction valves prevent air from re-entering, creating negative pressure, the ‘suction'. Then, lower pressure from beneath the denture pulls and seals the denture. This method of building ultra-suction dentures can be included into any denture base.

However, studies have shown in some patients that the negative pressure from the valves pull the gum tissue into the suction chamber and cause tissue hyperplasia, excessive overgrowth. Sometimes, food can get caught in the valves and the difficulty in cleaning them makes the ultra-suction denture more of a short-term solution.

Suction Effective Dentures (SEMCD)

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