and encourages the logical progression to an initial differential diagnosis based on radiographic evidence, followed by a more definitive diagnosis using the additional evidence provided. Also included in the presentation of each case are two or three relevant questions, often slanted to test the knowledge of the reader on points such as alternative views or other investigations which may be indicated. Not unnaturally one is tempted to turn rather too rapidly to the Answers towards the end of the book and this must be resisted. The answers are extensive and in many cases include a fairly comprehensive discussion on points of differential diagnosis. In a book of this nature and in which a large number of radiographs are reproduced it is inevitable that one or two at first sight fail to demonstrate a point clearly. Again some allowance must be made in respect of terminology, for instance the vertex occlusal view is referred to as the ‘Maxillary cross fire view’, but these are small criticisms of a book which is very well produced and is laid out clearly. For obvious reasons the cases are not grouped in any particular order and some conditions are repeated in different cases, which is particularly appropriate where they may have more than one ‘typical’ radiographic appearance. The authors’ approach is an excellent one and presents a challenge to dental surgeons in every field of practice (many of whom are largely self taught in the subject of Dental Radiology) and particularly to junior hospital officers and consultants alike, all of whom must surely benefit by taking up the challenge and testing their knowledge from time to time. PETERD. BIRD
Essentials of Complete Denture Prosthodontics. By Toronto: Saunders, 1979, pp. 329, price f29.00.
This textbook is expanded from a series of papers published in Dental Clinics of North America and contains contributions from no less than 30 authors, many of whom are prominent in the prosthodontic field. The approach to the subject is divided into the pre-treatment, constructional and maintenance phases of complete denture prosthodontics, and is followed by a section dealing with special techniques. The opening section includes oral anatomy and physiology with specific reference to complete denture treatment, together with some selected systemic diseases likely to occur in the complete denture age group. The latter, however, devotes a disproportionate amount of space to neoplastic conditions and the chapter is interspersed with several unnecessary case reports. The construction of complete dentures includes the surgical approach, treatment planning, clinical stages, and laboratory procedures. Although extensive, the section suffers from some lack of continuity and considerable repetition, which is only partly relieved by the cross references present. A large amount of attention has been given to laboratory techniques which are the province of the technician, and appear out of place in a modern text on clinical prosthodontics. A degree of imbalance is also present as shown by the fact that 20 pages are devoted to the methods of establishing a postdam whilst only 17 pages are used to cover the subject of jaw relations, which is possibly the most fundamental stage in denture construction. It is gratifying, however, to see the emphasis which has been placed on the physiology and mechanics of occlusion, load distribution and evaluation of occlusal form and balance. The third section is directed to the post-insertion phase of complete denture treatment and the desirability of follow-up treatment and patient education in the widest sense, subjects which are often unfortunately absent in many standard textbooks on prosthodontics. Included in this section is a chapter on repairs which is purely laboratory orientated and fails to consider the clinical problems which may lead to denture fracture. The final section dealing with specialised techniques includes immediate dentures, overdentures, obturators, implants, geriatric problems, and the biocompatibility of denture base materials. Although each chapter tends to cover a single subject in detail, the illustrations and script may cause confusion between immediate dentures and overdentures. Once again in the section there is unnecessary repetition, particularly with regard to occlusion and jaw relationships. For the specialist this part of the book is probably the most valuable. In conclusion this is a textbook of limited appeal, even within the prosthodontic field. The contributors have been allowed to pursue extensively their own chosen interest in prosthodontics to the detriment of continuity and verbal economy. This has resulted in a large book with irritating repetition and excessive use of unnecessary illustrations. As such it will be of little value for undergraduate students. Nevertheless it does present a variety of authoritive views on complete denture prosthodontics and should find a place in the library of specialists and embryo specialists within that field. W. R. E. LAIRD