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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 147-151

A New System for Choosing the Form and Size of Complete Denture Anterior Teeth

1 Department of Surgical, Oncological and Oral Sciences, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
2 Dental Technician, Modena, Italy

Date of Web Publication21-Dec-2016

Correspondence Address:
Dario Melilli
Department of Surgical, Oncological and Oral Sciences, University of Palermo, Via del Vespro 129, 90127, Palermo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2155-8213.195974

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Introduction: In the absence of pre-extraction records, the choice of the size an form of anterior complete denture teeth can be extremely subjective. Several clinical and statistical parameters are usually used for choosing the correct size and form of the complete denture anterior teeth. Clinical Innovation: The technique consists of a system that allows the dentist to choose and, if necessary, easily change the dental mold during maxillomandibular recording session. The unique feature of the system is that six teeth of each mold are represented by veneers, which are connected to each other on the lingual surface by a fiber that allows each veneer some degree of movement. Discussion: This technique allows the three-dimensional verification of the patient’s esthetics and realistic phonetic test during the session of maxillomandibular records; if necessary, the dentist may easily replace the mold with a different one in form or size, without working the wax to move or replace a tooth.

Keywords: Artifical teeth, clinical technique, complete dentures, dental aesthetics, oral rehabilitation

How to cite this article:
Melilli D, Calandra F, Messina P, Scardina GA. A New System for Choosing the Form and Size of Complete Denture Anterior Teeth. Dent Hypotheses 2016;7:147-51

How to cite this URL:
Melilli D, Calandra F, Messina P, Scardina GA. A New System for Choosing the Form and Size of Complete Denture Anterior Teeth. Dent Hypotheses [serial online] 2016 [cited 2023 Apr 2];7:147-51. Available from:

  Introduction Top

The correct choice and placement of artificial teeth play an important role in success when a patient is rehabilitated with a complete denture. Most of the issue concerning the esthetics of a complete denture depends on the correct vertical dimension, correct tooth position, and right choice of the artificial anterior teeth, which should be appropriate for the patient in color, size, and form.

The parameters to be considered in color selection of complete dentures, in addition to age and gender,[1],[2],[3] are extraoral characteristics, such as the color of the skin,[4] eyes, and hair.[3]

In the absence of pre-extraction records, the choice of the dental size and form can be extremely subjective and often is entrusted to the dental technician, who can refer only to the recorded lines on the wax rim.

Regarding the size of anterior teeth, several methods using clinical and statistical parameters have been proposed. In fact, clinical statistical methods can be useful in the absence of individual reference parameters for teeth dimensions. Some studies have demonstrated that, statistically, the size of some parts of the face have a proportional relationship to the dimensions of the upper central incisors or with the six anterior teeth. So, historically, the width of the maxillary central incisor has been correlated with bizygomatic distance,[5],[6],[7] or with the interpupillary distance,[8] or with the intercanthal distance;[9],[10],[11] other authors have compared the distance between the maxillary canines with intercommissural distance,[12],[13],[14],[15] or with the distance between the wings of the nose,[16],[17] or with the intercanthal distance.[15]

The form of the anterior teeth can be chosen based on information obtained from photographs at a time when the patient had natural teeth or by statistical methods.

In general, teeth form varies depending on race[18] and gender;[19] triangular forms with curved edges and rounded corners are considered female characteristics, whereas pronounced angles are male characteristics.[19] However, Sellen et al. showed that there was little consistency in the selection of the shade, mold, and arrangement of anterior teeth appropriate for the age and gender of an individual, even by qualified dental staff.[20]

According to Williams, the incisors mimic the form of an upside down face, indicating three classes of teeth, namely, class I (square), class II (triangular), and class III (oval).[21] This concept was not confirmed by Mavroskoufis and Ritchie as well as by Bell, who noted the lack of a correlation between facial and maxillary central incisor form.[22],[23]

There is no standardized, repeatable scientific method for choosing dental size and form. Consequently, statistical parameters, clinical, and esthetic sense, with the patient’s input, are helpful during the try-in phase of rehabilitation, although one study showed that the esthetic preferences of the patient and dentist differed in most cases.[24],[25]

This article presents a new system for selecting complete denture anterior teeth, the Dental Veneers Selection Form (Dental VSF, European Patent EP 2759278);[26] it allows quick visualization of the final esthetic result in a realistic, three-dimensional manner during the maxillomandibular recording session. The described system is a prototype, an idea to be submitted to manufacturers of artificial teeth, to make it easier for the dentist to choose the set-up for the teeth of the anterior group. The manufacturer would produce a kit with the forms and the dimensions of its product line.

Clinical Innovation

After the impressions sessions, the dental technician makes the denture bases with wax rim. At the end of the maxillomandibular recordings session, the dentist chooses the most suitable dental molds for the upper and lower denture, using the Dental VSF kit. This kit consists of 18 maxillary and 6 mandibular anterior molds [Figure 1]. The molds differ, similar to the traditional molds present in the market, in dimensions and form. The unique feature of the system is that six teeth of each mold are represented by veneers, which are connected to each other on the lingual surface by a fiber that allows each veneer some degree of movement [[Figure 2] and [Figure 3]]. During the esthetic and phonetic test, the most suitable dental mold in size and form is chosen; hence, the anterior wax rim is removed from the right to the left canine and the chosen dental mold is placed for the aesthetic try-in [[Figure 4] and [Figure 5]].
Figure 1 Dental molds of the Dental VSF system. At the centre of the kit an example of radiopaque dental mold, useful for radiological template, is shown

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Figure 2 Dental mold of the Dental Veneers Selection Form

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Figure 3 Teeth of the mold are represented by veneers connected to each other on the lingual surface by a fiber

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Figure 4 A dental mold is chosen and placed for the esthetic try-in

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Figure 5 The dental mold may be changed with another from the system

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An “artificial gum” made from wax can be produced and made to adhere to the base of the denture in order to make the aesthetic appearance of the chosen mold more effective.

At this moment it is possible to provide the appropriate horizontal and vertical overlap, to change, if necessary, the tilt of a single tooth, to individualize the denture with some characterization [Figure 6], and to verify the patient’s esthetics and phonetics. If not satisfied, the mold could be replaced with a different one without working the wax to move or replace each tooth, saving chair time.
Figure 6 The tilt of a singular tooth may be changed to individualize the denture

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After the esthetic and phonetic tests, the technician makes a silicone template to record all the information sent to him, to be able to place the dental mold corresponding to that chosen with the Dental VSF system in the indicated position [Figure 7]. In fact, the dental mold of Dental VSF will have to be substituted by that of ready-made teeth, and because of the silicone template, the following information will be recorded: the median line, chosen dental mold, position of each individual tooth, their inclination in the buccal-lingual and mesiodistal direction, overjet, overbite, and the position of the teeth in relation to the smile line. [Figure 8] shows the patient’s smile where the anterior teeth, belonging to the product line of the manufacturer, are corresponding to the chosen dental mold of the Dental VSF System.
Figure 7 A silicone template is made to record all the information useful for placing the corresponding dental mold of the product line in the indicated position

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Figure 8 The patient’s dentures with the anterior teeth corresponding to that chosen of the Dental VSF System

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  Discussion Top

The assessment of dental appearance, one of the most important aspects of dental esthetics, often refers simply to the six maxillary anterior teeth because they are the most visible ones.[27],[28],[29] The described technique allows verification of the patient’s esthetics and phonetics during the maxillomandibular recording session. After recording the occlusal vertical dimension and jaw relations in the horizontal and sagittal planes, the dentist removes the anterior wax rim from the right to the left canine and places a mold of Dental VSF system. At this point, both the dentist and the patient may evaluate the esthetics of the denture and, if necessary, the dentist can easily replace the mold with a different one in form or size, without working the wax to move or replace a tooth. The phonetics can also be evaluated and the teeth of the Dental VSF can be moved to try to find the best position for correct phonetics, according to Ritchie and Ariffin[30] who reported speech defects caused by different incisor positions in maxillary dentures; in addition, it was reported that immediate phonetic adaptation of prosthetic restoration can be achieved if the original position of the natural teeth is transferred to the denture.[31]A method that includes a kit with three transparent esthetic guides had been proposed for fabricating a denture with computer-assisted design and machining (CAD-CAM) technology; in that system, the chosen transparent guide was applied and bonded on the existing denture or wax rim.[32] That system had the advantage of helping the dentist to choose the form and size of teeth in the patient’s mouth and not delegating this task to the dental technician, making the dentist’s decision easier. However, it was a superficial system because it was based on unrealistic paper drawings, without a three-dimensional perspective, and without the possibility of moving a single tooth.

The use of the Dental VSF system may be extended:

  1. To implant supported dentures; the dental molds of the Dental VSF system, when selected and placed in the correct position, can be used for manufacturing a radiological or surgical template.
  2. To CAD-CAM technology; the assembly may be scanned and the scanned image may be used to design a screw-retained denture or a Toronto bridge.

The main advantages of this technique are that:

  1. It is possible to try some forms of teeth and to check the esthetics and phonetics in a single appointment, making the decision of the dentist easier and less subject to mistakes of evaluation.
  2. The patient actively participates in the choice of his smile. The system gives the dentist the chance to show to the patient different forms of teeth, easily and at the same appointment, and with the same ease to move the inclination of each veneer as well as to change vertical and horizontal overlap, previsualizing the final aesthetic result of the denture.
  3. The dentist does not need to entrust the choice of the most suitable dental mold to the dental technician, but may choose it on the face of the patient, testing different forms without having to work the wax.

Disadvantages of the system are that:

  1. It is impossible to move the body of a single veneer in the buccolingual or coronoapical direction. The single veneer, which is connected to the others by a fiber bonded on the lingual surface, has some freedom of movement in the horizontal, sagittal, and frontal axes, and hence the dental long axis can be tilted in the buccolingual and mesiodistal directions.
  2. The dental veneers of the kit are monochromatic. This is justified by the fact that the presence of many colors for each form and size of tooth mold would require a very large number of tooth molds in the kit, inducing more confusion rather than simplification.


The authors thank Mr. Fabio Calandra, dental technician and inventor of the Dental VSF, who introduced to us the new system described here and placed it at our disposal.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflict of Interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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Jahangiri L, Reinhardt SB, Mehra RV, Matheson PB. Relationship between tooth shade value and skin color: An observational study. J Prosthet Dent 2002;87:149-52.  Back to cited text no. 4
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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7], [Figure 8]

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