When we think of dentures, most of us think about the elderly and old-fashioned dentures sitting in a glass overnight to clean. The reality is that dentures have come a long way over the past few decades, and they can do everything from filling a gap of just a few missing teeth to giving you a full new set of teeth.
Over time, many of us will lose our teeth due to a wide variety of factors from age to diseases and decay. As these teeth fall out, they create weak spots in your mouth’s natural defenses, putting the rest of your teeth in danger from bacteria and other forms of decay. In order to protect the rest of your teeth, you need to fill the gaps created by these lost teeth with either a dental implant or a set of dentures.
Modern dentures are comfortable, subtle, and very natural looking. We work to create a perfect color match between your teeth and your new dentures, making it almost impossible to tell the difference between your natural teeth and your dentures. Dentures come in all shapes and sizes, but most fall into two categories: full dentures, and partial dentures.
Candidates for Full Dentures
If you have no remaining healthy teeth, full dentures are the best option for you. Our elite dental staff begins by taking detailed measurements and creating a full model of the patient’s jaws. Once these initial measurements are taken, our team then builds a custom-made set of dentures perfectly tailored to fit your mouth. These dentures will give you the freedom to speak clearly, eat your favorite foods, and smile with confidence knowing that your teeth look perfectly beautiful.
It is important to practice good oral hygiene and to properly take care of your dentures throughout your life. If you brush your gums, tongue, and palate every day with a soft-bristled brush, your mouth will remain healthy and clean. Dentures that haven’t been properly taken care of will warp and change shape over time, causing you discomfort and even becoming unwearable. Make sure that you follow your dentists’ denture care regiment thoroughly and your dentures should easily last years or even decades.
Candidates for Partial Dentures
If you still have some healthy teeth or just need a slight gap filled between teeth, partial dentures are perfect for you. Partial dentures are extremely effective and strong, especially when they are anchored by healthy teeth on either side, and are completely removable, making them easy to clean and maintain. Partial dentures are usually affixed to your jaw using a series of metal framework called a fixed bridge.
It is extremely important for you to have any missing teeth replaced as soon as possible as missing teeth can actively speed up bone loss in your remaining teeth, weakening them to a critical level. Partial dentures are affordable, comfortable, easy to clean, and painless.
Dentures Treatment Details
Technological advances in dentistry make the process of getting dentures easier than ever.
To begin, Dr. Pearson performs a thorough examination of your mouth to determine the state of your oral health. She checks your gums and the soft tissues of your mouth, teeth that may need removal and any existing restorations that may affect denture placement. Together, the two of you determine the type of dentures that best suit your needs. Dr. Pearson takes X-rays to rule out any unforeseen problems with your underlying jawbone.
Impressions & Denture Creation
Dr. Pearson then takes impressions of your mouth that are used to create your dentures. Any extractions or other procedures to prepare your mouth for dentures can also be done at this time. You and Dr. Pearson select the size, shape and shade of your new teeth.
Wax models of your planned dentures may be used so you can “preview” your dentures and send any feedback to the laboratory creating your appliances. Your feedback can refine the look, feel and fit of your planned dentures.
Once your custom dentures are ready, Dr. Pearson has you try on the dentures in your mouth. If any minor adjustments are needed, she can make them while you wait.
Adapting To Life with Dentures
It usually takes time to get used to dentures. Initially it may feel unusual to chew food or enunciate clearly. Eventually, you will regain the same function and control over your dentures as you had with your natural, healthy teeth. Since your dentures are custom fit to your mouth, they should feel comfortable and secure.
Dr. Pearson and our team can answer any questions you have about denture care or cleaning products. We will check in with you after a few weeks to make sure you are not experiencing any issues with your dentures.
Dentures Frequently Asked Questions
How should I care for my dentures?
If you have full removable dentures, you need to soak and brush them daily to get rid of food particles, plaque and other debris. You also need to brush the entirety of your mouth, including your gums, tongue and the roof of your mouth prior to putting your dentures back in.
How often do dentures need to be replaced?
On average, dentures need to be replaced every five to 10 years.
When you see Dr. Pearson regularly for check-ups, she inspects your dentures and checks the way they fit, advising if and when they need to be replaced. If you experience a problem with your dentures in between appointments, do not try to repair them on your own; call our office promptly.
Can I get gum disease if I have dentures?
Yes, unfortunately gum disease is a possibility if you wear dentures. Practicing good oral hygiene and seeing our team regularly reduces your risk of gum disease.
What are the advantages of implant-supported dentures?
Implant-supported dentures provide unparalleled stability when eating and speaking. Because the dentures are attached to implant posts anchored in the jawbone, there is no chance of the dentures shifting or sliding around in the mouth. Furthermore, the implant posts provide continual stimulation to the jawbone to prevent it from deteriorating.
What is the process of placing implant-supported dentures?
The process of placing implant-supported dentures is slightly longer and more involved than that of traditional dentures. First, approximately four to six implant posts are placed in the jaw and left to heal. Once they have formed a strong bond with the jawbone, the dentures are created and placed. The denture appliance clips or snaps onto mechanisms at the top of the implant posts.
For more information about full and partial dentures, please contact Essentially Pure Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today.