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Article: Volume 42 Number 1 Page 52 - January/February 2015

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  Dent Update 2015; 42: 52-58

Restorative dentistry:  Prosthetic Rehabilitation of the Gagging Patient using Acrylic Training Plates

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Abstract: Patients with a hyper-responsive gag reflex pose dentists with a challenging problem. The gag reflex of some patients may be so severe that patients (and operating clinician) may favour extraction of any painful, infected teeth as opposed to more lengthy and complicated procedures such as root canal therapy. However, consistently adopting this approach may render the gagging patient completely edentulous. Such patients may then present to the dental surgeon requesting tooth replacement with some form of denture. This in itself can be a challenging task given the difficulties one may experience whilst taking impressions in this cohort of patients. This article will discuss the prosthetic management of the maxillary arch in edentulous patients with a severe gag reflex. There will be particular emphasis on the aetiology and physiology of the gag reflex, impression-taking techniques to allow the construction of an acrylic training plate (as an interim measure), principles of training plate design and construction of the definitive removable denture.

Clinical relevance: Removable training plates can be used as an interim measure to desensitize edentulous gagging patients before providing them with a definitive removable denture.

Author notes: Rahat Ali, BSc, BDS, MSc, MFGDP, MFDS RCS, PGCHE, Specialist Registrar in Restorative Dentistry, Asmaa Altaie, BDS, MSc, MFDS RCS(Ed), Clinical Teaching Fellow in Restorative Dentistry and Leean Morrow, BDS, MPhil, FDS RCS, FDS RCS(Rest Dent), Consultant in Restorative Dentistry, Leeds Dental Institute, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.

Objective: To describe the use of removable acrylic training plates as an interim measure with particular emphasis on impression-taking techniques.