If you are considering dentures , you might have come across concerns about “fulcruming” in dentures. This is a serious concern in the design of dentures that could lead to poor function and may even break your dentures.
It’s All about Leverage
A fulcrum is a component of a lever. If you’ve ever used a crowbar to pry something off, you understand how a lever works. You push on the long arm of the crowbar, and the short curved part of the crowbar applies a lot of force where you want it.
And the point where the crowbar touches something–a wall, rock, or even a piece of wood put there on purpose–is the fulcrum. It creates the division between the long side of the lever, where force is reduced, and the short side of the lever, where force is magnified.
When you’re trying to break out some old construction or pull out stuck nails, leverage is great, but when it comes to your dentures, it can be disastrous.
Avoiding Fulcruming in Dentures
Fulcruming occurs in dentures when there’s support for the denture in some places, but not others. One of the most common types of fulcruming occurs when you lose bone on either side of your mouth, but the center front of your denture retains some height. Or if your dentures just don’t properly fit on one side of your mouth.
When this occurs, you have a fulcrum in the center of your mouth, and chewing supplies force on both sides. This force is concentrated on one small spot in your dentures, which can cause them to break.
But fulcruming can actually be creating accidentally in implant dentures. If you have four dental implants that are all in the front of your mouth, for example, you might lose bone in the back of the mouth, removing support from under the denture. When you chew, putting force on the back of the denture, the second pair of implants acts as a fulcrum, magnifying force at the front of the mouth.
This magnified force can cause removable dentures to pop off the locators, if you have them, and may even cause them to come off stronger attachments. But if you have affixed or hybrid dentures –or strong attachments–the excess force gets translated to the dental implants themselves. This can cause the dental implants to fail.
Optimal Fitting Avoids Fulcruming
This is another reason why it’s best to work with a dentist who understands how to properly fit your dentures. Properly fit dentures–and optimally placed dental implants–prevent fulcruming, which means your dentures are less likely to pop off and your implants are less likely to fail.
The Denture Fountain of Youth ® approach includes a new, scientific method for fitting dentures. This allows us to avoid fulcruming in your dentures so that you get better function and longer life for your dentures.
To learn more about this new way of fitting dentures in Columbia, SC, please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment with a denture dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.