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Dentures

What are immediate dentures?

When many of your teeth are loose or painful, they may be beyond saving. This condition is usually caused by advanced periodontal disease. Periodontal disease causes bone to be lost; if it’s not caught in time, there’s so little support for the teeth that they have to be removed.

Removing your teeth and replacing them with a denture may be the best way to eliminate the infection and restore the health of your mouth. When the entire procedure is completed in one day, it’s called an immediate denture.  There are procedures now that will allow a patient to have an implant supported prosthesis that is a permanent replacement of the teeth which does not need to be taken in or out of the mouth.  We will be focusing on removable dentures in this article, but more information on the implant prosthesis can be found here.

To begin the process, your dentist first takes impressions of your mouth. From these impressions, precise working models of your mouth are made. It’s from these models that the dentures are made.

We’ll work with you to select the best color and shape for your new teeth. When your denture is ready, we’ll extract your remaining teeth. You’ll be thoroughly numbed before any teeth are removed, and should feel no pain.

As soon as your teeth are out, your denture will immediately be placed in your mouth. For the first 24 hours, your new denture will feel tight because your gums are swollen. As your bone heals over the next six to nine months, your gums will shrink and your denture will feel loose. When this happens, we’ll use a temporary lining material to tighten the fit. After this period of healing, when the shape of your mouth has stabilized, we’ll send your denture back to the lab and have it relined for its final fit.

Some temporary problems are a normal part of adjusting to your new denture. At first your denture may tip when you chew. You may notice increased salivation. The denture may seem bulky, and you might gag a little. Your tongue will feel crowded and you might have difficulty speaking. Like learning any new skill, at first it will feel awkward to eat with your new denture. But with time and practice, you’ll make the adjustment.

Nobody likes to lose their teeth, but when they’re infected, removing them and getting an immediate denture can improve your health, smile and confidence.

TopWhat are some of the problems I might have with dentures?

Some people believe that their problems will be over if they have their teeth removed and get dentures. But instead, as most denture wearers will tell you, this marks the beginning of many new and different problems.

It’s tough to chew with a denture. It could take five times longer to chew your food. And when you add up all the costs, removing your teeth, making the dentures, periodic relines and re-creation (as often as every 3 years), dentures end up being very expensive.

Farther down the road, as chewing becomes more difficult, you may be forced to consider implants and, as you may already know, they’re one of the most expensive tooth-replacement options.

When you wear a denture, over time the bone in your jaw will recede. This is what causes a denture to get loose and floppy. When this happens, your denture will have to be remade to regain a proper fit.

It’s not uncommon for this to occur every few years, particularly in your lower jaw. That’s because the base for the denture is smaller and the bone is much less stable. When you have your teeth removed, eventually the ridge of the bone in your lower jaw becomes very flat, and there’s practically nothing to hold the denture in place. Even worse, there are nerves passing through these holes that can end up on the surface of the bone, so when you bite down, it hurts! Some long-term denture-wearers suffer greatly from this. Their jaw hurts and goes numb every time they try to chew.

Unfortunately, these difficulties occur in a person’s later years, when healthy eating is critical to continued good health and quality of life.

When the bone under dentures recedes, two things happen: your nose gets closer to your chin, and your lips collapse. This causes you to look older, with more wrinkles and less support in your mouth.

An upper denture also covers most of the taste buds on the roof of your mouth. This makes it much harder to taste and enjoy your food. Additionally, the tissues and bone in the mouth were never made to have plastic continually rubbing against them, so sore spots will develop in your mouth. And if you have an active gag reflex, an upper denture might even be impossible to wear.

If you have the choice, keeping your natural teeth is the preferred option. You’ll look better, feel better, enjoy your food more and have more confidence.

TopDo I Need Overdentures?

An overdenture fits over your teeth after they have been specially prepared. From the outside, an overdenture looks the same as a regular denture. But under the denture, there is a difference. Some of your natural teeth are retained, and the overdenture fits over those teeth.

The bone in the jaw begins to recede when teeth are extracted. If some of the roots of the teeth are left in place, bone loss is slowed significantly. This can result in a more stable denture.

To prepare the teeth that support an overdenture, first your dentist will remove the portion of teeth above the gum line. Next, root canal treatment is performed on these teeth, and they may then be covered with small metal caps.

To begin the process of creating the overdenture, impressions of the mouth are taken. From these impressions, precise working models of the mouth are made, upon which the dentures are constructed. You will then select the best color and shape for your new teeth. When the denture is ready, teeth that won’t be kept are extracted and the denture is placed.

Some temporary problems are a normal part of new denture adjustment. At first, the denture may tip when chewing. There may be an increase in salivation, and the overdenture may seem bulky and cause gagging. The tongue may feel crowded, and you might have some difficulty speaking. But as you adjust to the new denture, these problems will go away.

TopCaring for Your Dentures

Dentures, like natural teeth, must be kept free of plaque and tartar. This prevents permanent staining and bad breath.

Use a denture brush and one of the many commercial cleaning products to thoroughly clean all the surfaces of your dentures at least once a day.

Tough stains and tartar can be removed by soaking your dentures in white vinegar for several hours.

If there are no metal parts in your dentures, you can also soak them in a diluted chlorine bleach solution.

Whenever your denture is out of your mouth, it should be stored in water.

To remove plaque from your remaining teeth, brush them, as well as your tongue, palate and gums, with a soft bristle brush each day. This keeps your teeth and tissues healthy, stimulates circulation and freshens your breath.

A healthy mouth and increased self-confidence will come with proper denture care.

TopWhat is a lower partial denture?

A lower partial denture is often a good method for replacing missing teeth. When remaining teeth are saved and a partial denture installed, a person will chew better and have a healthier mouth.

This is a typical lower denture. Notice how the metal clasps fit around the anchor teeth and hold the partial denture in place.

A partial denture stops several problems. By filling in spaces, it stops neighboring teeth from shifting. When missing teeth aren’t replaced, this can set off a chain reaction that can result in cavities and periodontal disease.

A partial denture also helps to balance a person’s bite. This means better chewing and a healthier jaw joint. Partials also add support to the cheeks and lips. This support is necessary for clear speaking and good facial structure.

There are some disadvantages to a partial denture. The clasps sometimes show when you smile. The bar connecting the two sides might feel bulky, and may bother your tongue at first. Even when a lower partial denture fits correctly, food will collect under it when you eat. It should be rinsed after every meal.

Over the years, as the partial is repeatedly taken in and out, it can wear on the anchor teeth, and even loosen them. The bone will continue to recede in areas where the teeth are missing. This may mean that every few years, a partial will have to be relined for an optimal fit.

Some temporary problems are normal during the initial adjustment to a lower partial denture. At first, it may tip when chewing, and there may be increased salivation. It might seem bulky and cause gagging. The tongue will feel crowded, and you might have difficulty speaking. But as you get used to the partial, however, these problems will go away. With time and practice, the adjustment can be made, and you can eat and speak with confidence.

TopAlternatives to Overdentures

The alternatives to an overdenture are:

  • immediate dentures
  • implants
  • partial dentures
  • delaying treatment

Removing all of your teeth and making an immediate denture is an alternative to an overdenture.

Implants are another alternative. An implant is a small metal cylinder that’s surgically inserted into the bone of the jaw to replace the roots of missing teeth. Implants would make your new denture much more stable; they also slow the bone loss that occurs after teeth are removed.

Your dentist can also use your remaining teeth to anchor a partial denture.

You can also delay treatment, but be aware that infected teeth and gums never heal on their own. They just keep getting worse. If you’re not in a lot of pain, you might decide to leave your teeth as they are, at least for now. But infections of the teeth and gums can weaken your body’s immune system, which can affect your overall health.

Whenever teeth are removed, the bone in your jaw begins to recede. If we leave some of the roots of the teeth in place, and place an overdenture, we can slow bone loss significantly and give you a more stable denture.

TopDo I Need an Upper Partial Denture?

An upper partial denture can be a good way to replace missing teeth. When remaining teeth are saved and a partial denture is installed, you will chew more comfortably and have a healthier mouth.

This is a typical upper denture. Notice how the metal clasps fit around the anchor teeth and hold the partial denture in place.

A partial denture stops several problems. By filling in spaces, it stops neighboring teeth from shifting. When missing teeth aren’t replaced, it can set off a chain reaction that might result in cavities and periodontal disease. Partial dentures also help to balance your bite. This means better chewing and a healthier jaw joint. And, partials add support to the cheeks and lips. This support is necessary for clear speaking and proper facial appearance.

There are some disadvantages to a partial denture. The clasps sometimes show when you smile. The bar across the palate can make tasting more difficult. It may feel bulky and may cause you to gag at first.

Even when an upper partial denture fits correctly, food will collect under it when you eat. It should be rinsed after every meal.

Over the years, as the partial is repeatedly taken in and out, it can wear on the anchor teeth and even loosen them. And bone will continue to recede in areas where the teeth are missing. This may mean that a partial will have to be relined every few years for an optimal fit.

Some temporary problems are normal during the initial adjustment to an upper partial denture. At first, it may tip when chewing, and there may be increased salivation. It may feel bulky and cause gagging. The tongue will feel crowded, and you may have difficulty speaking. As you get used to the partial, however, these problems will diminish. With time and practice, the adjustment can be made, and you can eat and speak with confidence.

TopAlternatives to Immediate Dentures

The alternatives to an immediate denture are:

  • periodontal therapy
  • root canal therapy
  • bridges
  • partial dentures
  • overdentures
  • implants
  • delaying treatment

Periodontal therapy may be an alternative if there’s still enough healthy bone tissue surrounding your teeth. Root planing or gum surgery might allow you to keep your teeth.

Infections into the nerves of teeth can be treated with root canal therapy. A crown could then strengthen and protect the tooth.

Bridges, or partial dentures, could then be used to fill in the spaces.

An overdenture might also be an alternative. These look the same as a regular denture, but they’re placed over specially prepared teeth.

Implants are another possibility. An implant is a small metal cylinder that is placed into the bone of your jaw. It replaces the root of a missing tooth.

Another alternative is to delay treatment, but infected teeth and gums never heal on their own. They just keep getting worse. If you’re not in a lot of pain, you might decide to leave your teeth as they are, at least for now. But that could be risky; infections of the teeth and gums can weaken your body’s immune system, and that could affect your overall health.

TopHow Do I Get a Precision Partial Denture?

A precision partial denture replaces missing teeth and restores your bite with a better fit and appearance than traditional partial dentures.

Traditional dentures use clasps to hold them in place. Though these clasps do a fair job of holding a partial denture in place, they are visible and detract from your smile.

Now, with special new crowns and matching attachments built into the framework, the clasps can be eliminated, creating a much tighter-fitting partial denture.

Precision partial dentures help create a new, natural look.

TopAlternatives to Partial Dentures

Some of the alternatives to a partial denture are:

  • bridges
  • implants
  • dentures
  • delaying treatment

In some cases, bridges are an alternative to partial dentures.

Sometimes, when we don’t have enough teeth to place a bridge, we can solve the problem by placing an implant. A dental implant is a small titanium cylinder that’s surgically inserted into the bone of the jaw to replace the root of a missing tooth.

Removing the rest of your teeth and making a denture is another alternative.

You can also delay treatment, but be aware that infected teeth and gums never heal on their own. They just keep getting worse. If you’re not in a lot of pain, you might decide to leave your teeth as they are, at least for now. But that could be risky; infections of the teeth and gums can weaken your body’s immune system and that could affect your overall health.

Sometimes, when you’re missing teeth, a partial denture is the best alternative to fill in spaces and keep you chewing comfortably and effectively.

TopAdditional Alternative

If you have dentures already or may be faced with needing to replace your teeth with a denture appliance, there is an alternative to traditional dentures that you may wish to explore.  The All-On-4 Implant Supported Prosthesis is available as a solution that allows for you to have the lifestyle that you want and not have to deal with or concern yourself with a denture appliance that may require adhesive, becoming loose over time, or even possibly breaking.

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