La Saliva and alternative adhesive systems for complete dentures

  • Javier Enrique Méndez-Silva Universidad de Cartagena
  • Cristhian Camilo Madrid-Troconis Universidad de Cartagena
  • Lesbia Rosa Tirado-Amador Universidad de Cartagena
Keywords: Complete denture, Adhesives for complete denture, Retention, Stability, Saliva, Sodium carboxymethylcellulose


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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Author Biographies

Javier Enrique Méndez-Silva, Universidad de Cartagena
Dentist. Universidad de Cartagena. Oral Rehabilitator, Universidad de Buenos Aires. Implantologist, Universidad Católica de Argentina
Cristhian Camilo Madrid-Troconis, Universidad de Cartagena

Dentist. Research Departament. School of Dentistery, Universidad de Cartagena. Researcher of the Madefouc Research Group on Dental Materials

Lesbia Rosa Tirado-Amador, Universidad de Cartagena
Dentist, Universidad de Cartagena Colciencias young researcher. Research of the Madefouc Research Group on Dental Materials.


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How to Cite
Méndez-Silva J. E., Madrid-Troconis C. C., & Tirado-Amador L. R. (2014). La Saliva and alternative adhesive systems for complete dentures. Revista Facultad De Odontología Universidad De Antioquia, 25(1), 208-218. Retrieved from