La Saliva and alternative adhesive systems for complete dentures
Complete dentures may show biomechanical problems related to retention and stability, which can arise from professional errors during functional tissue impression, as well as during prostheses design and manufacturing, in addition to errors during the laboratory phase by technicians or simply by biological changes of adjacent tissues, such as bone resorption, maxillaries atrophy, and decreased salivary flow. The latter is a circumstance of major concern because saliva plays an important role in prosthesis retention as a “natural adhesive”; therefore, various alternative retention methods have been suggested over time, especially in terms of complementary adhesive systems whose properties have been improved by including other compounds such as synthetic polymers, antimicrobial agents, colorants, additives, and preservatives, which are available in different commercial presentations. The goal of this review is to highlight the properties of saliva as a natural adhesive and the possibility of improving denture retention when it lacks the ability to guarantee the desired results by additional adhesive systems, which are a safe and effective alternative, provided that the dentist is responsible and competent enough to prescribe the right adhesive in relation to specific patient conditions to avoid undesirable situations such as systemic effects due to prolonged and excessive intake of zinc salts included in some commercial presentations of denture adhesives.
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