What Are Dentures?
Dentures are false teeth that are made to replace the teeth you have lost. Complete dentures are made to cover your entire upper or lower jaw’s teeth and partial dentures are made to replace one or a few teeth. The surrounding hard and soft tissues in your mouth help to support the dentures and they can be removable or fixed. If you chose fixed, implants would be used to support the denture.
Advantages of Dentures
Dentures replace missing teeth and have many advantages. These advantages include functional benefits like chewing ability and speech improvement as well as aesthetic benefits like increased self esteem and a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
Types of Dentures
Complete Dentures: This is a type of dental prosthesis that can also be fixed or removable and acts as a replacement to a whole arch of teeth (either top or bottom). They rely on hard and soft tissues in your mouth and if they are fixed, they rely on implants that are placed in the mouth.
Partial Dentures: This is a type of dental prosthesis that can be fixed or removed and acts as a replacement to one or more teeth in the same arch. It may have a metal framework and clasps that connect to your remaining teeth or it may have other connectors that are more natural looking.
Implant Supported Dentures: Implant supported dentures is having a denture that is supported by the implant. The main advantage is the denture will be much more secure and stable. Another positive is that the bone can be preserved as the implant acts similar to a tooth and the bone levels will not reduce. There are a few different replacement options for implant supported dentures which will all be discussed with you to allow for the best possible option that best suits your needs.
To learn more about implant supported dentures, click here.
What Can I Expect?
When you require a tooth to be removed, Dr. Gray will discuss treatment options with you for replacing the tooth to help restore aesthetics and more importantly function. If having a tooth removed, usually a transitional (or temporary) plate is fabricated prior to extraction in order that you leave the office looking esthetically normal. This temporary plate is typically used for 3 months to allow the gum/ bone to heal. For dentures, we take a mold of your mouth which will then be sent to our lab with specific instructions on your denture fabrication. In a few weeks, we have you return to the office for a try in of the denture to ensure proper fit and ensure you are comfortable and happy with the results.
Your oral health is just as important with dentures as it is without. You should allow your soft tissues to breathe my removing your prosthesis at night. Proper cleaning with a denture brush and denture cleanser (never toothpaste) will help to keep it free of bacteria which is important considering the denture sits right on your hard and soft tissues. When cleaning your denture, place a folded towel or face cloth over the sink in case of accidentally dropping it. Soak your denture in water or soaking solution as it may lose its proper shape if it is not kept moist.
It is important to know a few things about dentures. Over time, tissues in the mouth can change and the dentures may become ill fitting. It is important to have them adjusted to avoid any oral issues such as sore spots or infections. As we age, our mouth naturally changes and this will cause a poorly fitting denture. Just as it may become too tight, it can also become too loose as our bone and gum level recedes once we lose our natural teeth. Adjustment and realigning of the denture may be necessary at some points to ensure proper fit.