What You Need to Know About Dentures
No one sets out planning to wear dentures. While we are all aware they exist and that they perform a necessary function, we think they are for “old people who didn’t take care of their teeth.” But that isn’t always the case. To clear up common misconceptions, we wanted to devote this blog post to what some consider the wicked stepchildren of the dental world. But while other procedures such as full mouth reconstruction and dental implants (which we will delve into in a future post) are preferable, they are not always practical or even possible.
Dentures are custom-built removable appliances to replace missing teeth and surrounding tissue. Most dentures fall into one of two categories: partial and complete.
- The type of dentures used when some but not all teeth are missing.
- The reason this type of appliance is necessary is because teeth shift when one of them goes missing.
- Shifting from their original positions, teeth try to fill in empty space.
- Partial dentures fill gaps created by missing teeth.
- Dentures do not perform the same as natural teeth. They are a substitute for natural teeth which provide less ability to chew and are less powerful because they rest on an acrylic base which is removable.
- A partial denture consists of a replacement tooth attached to a gum-colored base.
- Dentures are held securely in place by a clasp made of plastic or a special metal alloy.
- The clasp wraps around neighboring natural teeth to keep the denture in place and can be removed whenever necessary so that the remaining natural teeth can be cleaned and brushed regularly.
- A precision partial denture is more natural-looking prosthetic. It can also be removed but is attached internally to adjacent crowns instead of clasping to natural teeth.
- Used when all the teeth are missing so nothing sufficient remains to support a bridge, complete dentures are employed.
- Two categories of complete dentures exist: 1.) Immediate Dentures: made in advance of dental extractions, so they can be placed in the mouth immediately. The advantage of this type of denture is that the patient does not have to live without teeth while awaiting delivery of the device. The disadvantage is that these require more adjustments for a proper fit. They also often require several adjustments, with soft and healing liners which promote healing. Gums and bones tend to shrink during the healing period. So, immediate dentures are usually temporary and transitional. 2.) Conventional Dentures: made after the tooth has been extracted and gum tissue have started to heal. These are positioned in the mouth 8-12 weeks after teeth have been extracted.
- Complete dentures are tissue bearing unless the patient has implants underneath, which help them absorb stress and pressure from chewing. In this case, implants more effectively retaining the denture. When done like this, this is called “over dentures.”
- When an implant is used beneath the denture, the bone is better preserved, there is less adjustment, fewer relines, better function, and far less movement of the bases.
Anyone who is new to dentures will face an adjustment period. Denture wearers need to continue to see their dentist, who will ask for your thoughts and opinions about how the dentures are working. He will also tweak things to make sure you have a perfect fit. And, if problems pop up, he will make small adjustments. This is standard procedure, so it is nothing to worry about. Discomfort will eventually disappear once the mouth and oral muscles adjust to the new appliance.
Whether you wear dentures or not, Dr. Antoine Sayegh & the ImplantaSmile Team use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 963-7581.