Dentures provide replacements for missing teeth and the surrounding gum tissue. These removable dental appliances are designed to resemble a patient’s teeth as closely as possible, or improve the patient’s smile.
They can be either full or partial dentures. Full dentures are necessary when all the teeth are missing. Partial dentures, on the other hand, can be used when some of the natural teeth are missing. Partial dentures can fill the spaces left by other teeth, and keep the other teeth from shifting.
These are more commonly called “partials”. A partial is made of plastic or porcelain teeth created together with clasps to attach to existing teeth. They replace missing teeth. These are removed at night for cleaning. They are commonly created for missing molars.
Full or complete dentures can fall under two categories: Conventional and immediate. Conventional dentures are made after the teeth have been removed by the dentist and the gum tissue has healed. The healing process lasts 4 to 6 weeks, and during this time the patient will go without teeth.
Immediate dentures are created before the teeth are removed and are put in right after the teeth are pulled. With immediate dentures, the patient does not have to go without teeth, but adjustments will be necessary after the gum tissues heal and shrink. The denture will be relined when the swelling has gone down.
Reasons for dentures:
- Loss of all teeth in the top arch (requires a complete denture)
- Loss of several teeth in an arch (requires a partial denture)
- Enhancing smile and facial tissues
- Improving chewing, speech, and digestion
What does getting dentures involve?
Getting dentures is a process that takes several appointments spread out over a few weeks. Highly-accurate molds and measurements are necessary to create a custom-fit denture. It might take several appointments to ensure that the dentures are the correct color, shape, and fit. We will adjust and place the completed denture at your final visit, giving you a comfortable, natural-looking fit.
When first adjusting to new dentures, it is normal to experience some soreness, difficulty in speaking and eating, as well as increased saliva flow. As you get used to the dentures, these issues will resolve themselves. It’s important to wear them every day. Your mouth will adapt to the new furnishings inside it. If you don’t wear them daily, your tongue will take over the vacant space. If they don’t fit or the bite doesn’t match well, schedule another appointment for adjustments. Otherwise your dentures may never fit properly because the tissues in your mouth change to adjust to the shape or your mouth.
Proper care of your dentures, along with regular visits to your dentist, are necessary to extend the life of your dentures, and we will give you instructions on how to best care for your new dental appliance. Be sure to take them out at night to rest your gums. Denture pressure wears down gums in time.
Dentures are created to last for several years, but they might have to undergo repairs or readjustments. Every few years they must be relined or remade to adjust to the bone loss under them and the changes in gum tissue.
Dentures are not a complete replacement for teeth because they do not have roots. Without tooth roots in place, the jawbone gradually dissolves. This gives you less bone for the denture to rest on. This is particularly true of the lower denture. This explains why dentures have 70% less biting force than natural teeth.
Implant Supported Dentures
Luckily, we can place implants in your jaw to support your dentures. This is particularly useful for lower dentures that tend to “float” after awhile. With implants in place, your denture will be relined and fitted with connectors that snap into place on the implants. This improves your biting ability and gives you a more secure smile. You can eat salad again and don’t need to worry about dentures moving when you’re eating out.
Learn more about dentures – Contact your Salem dentists at Oak Park Family Dental.