If you have lost some or all of your teeth, dentures may be a good solution. They can rest on your gums or snap onto dental implants inside the bone for increased stability. Whichever option works for your lifestyle and budget, modern dentures can look natural and beautiful.
Dentures are removable appliances that are designed to precisely and comfortably rest on top of the gums that cover the jawbones. They consist of natural-looking artificial teeth set in a supportive base. In addition to offering a cost-effective solution for the replacement of missing teeth, dentures are quite versatile. They can be used to replace either a few teeth that have been lost or all of the teeth in the upper or lower jaws.
While conventional bridgework and dental implants offer fixed solutions for rebuilding complete smiles, partial and full dentures are removable oral appliances. This statement means it’s possible to take dentures out of the mouth to clean and maintain the health of the underlying tissues and any remaining teeth, as well as clean the dentures themselves, or remove them while sleeping.
The two main types of removable dentures are full dentures and partial dentures. Which of these types offers the best solution for your smile depends on how many natural teeth are still present in your mouth and the health of these remaining teeth. While a partial denture can offer an effective solution in cases where some sturdy natural teeth remain, you may be a candidate for a complete denture when all the upper or lower teeth are missing or require extraction.
Full dentures, also known as complete dentures, can effectively replace all the upper teeth, lower teeth, or both the upper and lower teeth. As with other types of dental solutions, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for every case. The ultimate design, fabrication, and insertion of a full denture can vary based upon a patient’s specific needs.
With an immediate denture, a patient does not have to go without teeth while waiting for complete healing of the extraction sites. Although an immediate denture offers the advantage of not having to go without teeth for any length of time, it can require a reline and adjustments as the tissues remodel and heal. In some cases, for optimal comfort and fit, a conventional denture may eventually be required.
As the name implies, this type of denture attaches to a select number of strategically placed implants in the upper or lower jaw. These small surgical posts provide precise points of attachment for the overlying denture and add a significant measure of stability and retention.
In situations where some sturdy teeth remain, partial dentures can offer an effective solution for the replacement of missing teeth. Partial dentures typically achieve adequate retention and stability with clasps or precision attachments on the teeth adjacent to the edentulous areas (the spaces formerly occupied by the missing teeth).
Removable partial dentures can fill the void left by individual missing teeth and multiple ones to restore the look and function of a complete smile. At the same time a partial denture fills the gaps left by missing teeth; it also stabilizes the dentition and bite and prevents unwanted drifting of the remaining natural teeth.
As with full dentures, partial denture design and fabrication varies based on a patient’s specific needs. With advances in dental materials and technology, partial denture wearers have more options than ever before. Today, a partial denture’s supportive framework can be fabricated from various materials, including cast metal, flexible resins, and hybrid materials.
At the office of Smiles Elevated, our patients' care and comfort are our top priorities. Our goal is to help patients enjoy optimal oral health and to keep them well informed every step of the way.
Adjusting to wearing a new denture
Getting used to wearing a new denture, especially a full denture, can take a little time. It’s not unusual to need some minor adjustments as you begin to speak, chew, and function with your new teeth. It can take a few adjustments to fit completely and feel comfortable. If you have a sore spot, try to wear the denture at least the day before your adjustment visit. In this way, we can see exactly where we need to relieve the area causing your irritation.
More saliva than usual
One of the natural responses to a new denture is for your mouth to produce more saliva. Not to worry, this is only a temporary reaction. The flow of saliva gradually decreases back to a normal level.
Speaking with easeWhile it may seem challenging to speak clearly at first with a new denture, that feeling will pass within a few days. It’s important to keep talking, as usual, to allow yourself to adapt to your new set of teeth. You can help things along by reading some passages from printed materials or a computer out loud.
Getting used to eating with a denture
If this is your first denture, it can also take some time to adapt to eating with your new prosthesis. Getting used to eating with a full denture is typically more challenging than doing so with a partial denture. It’s best to start with soft foods and to avoid chewing on just one side. Your tongue, lips, cheeks, and soft tissues will soon adapt to chewing with your new denture, and from then on, you’ll be able to eat with ease.
Taking care of your dentures
It’s essential to keep your denture clean! Rinse your dentures after eating and brush them daily. In this way, you can prevent stains and bacteria from accumulating on your new set of teeth. It helps to use a brush designed for dentures. Also, remember to soak your dentures in water when you’re not wearing them and at least once a week in the recommended denture cleaner.
Brush any remaining teeth as well as your gums to keep them clean and the tissues healthy and firm. If you wear an upper denture, rinse and gently clean the roof of your mouth as well.
Take your dentures out at bedtime. This practice gives the gums and the jawbone a chance to rest, helping to prevent irritation and infection as well as bone resorption (shrinkage).
Due to the status of the underlying tissues and other factors, there are some cases where full dentures benefit from additional means of retention. While denture adhesive is often sufficient, full dentures that are implant-supported or clip onto special attachments offer added stability and retention.
Maintaining oral health and overall well-being involves routine checkups and care. At these visits, we not only check the fit and condition of your dentures but we also perform a comprehensive exam to check the status of any remaining teeth as well as assess the health of all of the soft and hard tissues in and around the oral cavity.
Over time, the tissues supporting the denture can change. As the shape and contours of these tissues shrink or remodel, your denture may not fit as comfortably or feel as stable as it once did. A separate procedure, which is known as a reline, may be recommended.
If you have any additional questions or concerns about your new dentures, feel free to contact our office.
After you have received your denture, it is important to follow these recommendations to ensure its success:
Chewing and eating
To protect your denture, avoid chewing ice or other hard objects. If small pieces of food work their way under your denture while you eat, simply remove your denture and rinse it with water.
Brushing and flossing
Brush your tongue, gums, palate, and any remaining teeth at least twice a day to keep them free of plaque and bacteria. Brushing also massages the gums and keeps your breath fresh. In addition, we may recommend dental floss, mouth rinses, or other cleaning aids.
Cleaning your denture
Clean your denture over a sink full of water to prevent your denture from breaking if it is accidentally dropped. Use a denture brush and a denture cleaning product at least once a day to thoroughly clean all of the surfaces of your denture. We may recommend special denture cleansers or brushes.
Also, soak your denture periodically in a commercial soaking solution, or, if your denture has no metal parts, you can soak it in a solution of half white vinegar and half water. After soaking, rinse dentures thoroughly in cool water.
Sleeping and storing your denture
Unless we tell you otherwise, remove your denture for sleeping or for at least 6 to 8 hours a day. Store your denture in water or a soaking solution whenever it is out of your mouth, so it does not dry out.
When to call us
Call us right away if your denture breaks, cracks, or chips, or if a tooth becomes loose, so we can properly repair it. Also call us if your bite feels uneven, your dentures become loose, you have sore spots, irritation, swelling, or discomfort, or if you have any questions or concerns.
Today, it’s easier than ever to replace missing teeth and achieve natural-looking, durable, and long-lasting results! Depending a patient’s dental needs, lifestyle, expectations of care, and budget, choices can include conventional fixed bridgework, dental implants, or removable partial and complete dentures. At the office of Smiles Elevated, we’ll discuss all your options in care and answer all your questions as you choose the solution that’s right for you.
With advances in dental materials and technology, today’s dentures are more comfortable and realistic-looking than ever before.
Whether you wear partial or complete dentures, it’s essential to see the dentist for routine care. Besides checking the fit and condition of your dentures and making any necessary adjustments, you’ll also receive a comprehensive exam to check on the health of any remaining teeth as well the soft and hard tissues in and around the oral cavity.
A same-day denture offers an accelerated design and fabrication process that allows a patient to go from impression taking to denture insertion in a single day.
For patients who don’t want to wait after having teeth extracted, an immediate denture can be inserted the same day your teeth are removed. Sometime later you may need the denture reline to address any changes in its fit once the extraction sites have completely healed.
While no one wants to drop or break a partial or complete denture, accidents do happen. The good news is that in some cases, your partial or complete denture is reparable. It all depends on the extent of the damage. Don’t hesitate to contact our office if you’ve broken or damaged your denture. We’re happy to help.
The simple act of taking your partial denture in and out can cause certain types of metal clasps to loosen over time. When you come in for your checkup visit or contact our office for an adjustment, we’ll assess the fit of your partial and tighten the clasps for improved stability and comfort.
While rebuilding a complete smile is a worthwhile investment, our office is sensitive to the costs involved in dental care. We customized care and will discuss which treatment options address your needs, lifestyle, and budget. How much a new denture will cost depends on the type of the prosthesis, its design, and the materials used to fabricate the supportive base, teeth, and clasps or precision attachments. Dentures that include the placement of dental implants for added retention and stability typically involve additional costs.
If you have dental insurance, your coverage may include a new or replacement set of dentures. Our staff is happy to review your coverage with you to ensure you are maximizing your insurance benefits while minimizing any out of pocket expenses.
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