Everything you need to know about Dentures
What are dentures?
Dentures go in your mouth and act as natural teeth for individuals who may be missing some or all of their teeth. There are two types of dentures: complete and partial.
Complete dentures are made of acrylic plastic that rests on the gums and act as an alternative to teeth. This is a replacement of all the teeth in a given arch, meaning either the entire top or the entire bottom arch of teeth. Each person has an upper arch and a lower arch.
A Partial Denture is a removable replacement for some of the teeth on the top or bottom arch. You can do as little as a one-tooth partial, meaning if you are missing all of your teeth except one, Dr. Hale could make you a partial. However, this is not common nor recommended. For a partial denture, it is more common to have at least two remaining teeth in your mouth. Two remaining teeth (assuming the two are healthy and stable), can ensure a better outcome- but that all depends on the teeth and how strong and stable the surrounding teeth are.
How are Dentures Made
Dentures are made over several appointments with the doctor. The doctor will take an impression of your mouth, and then we have our lab fabricate pieces of wax that the doctor will test and verify how much room we have to put teeth in.
The lab will then send back bite blocks that the patient will try on to see how much room is left in the mouth. This is where the we determine the height we want to make the teeth.
How tall we can make the teeth and determine what is a comfortable bite. These also help to shape your face because your teeth contribute to the shape.
Common Issues with Dentures and How they Fit
Fit is very important with any denture. To ensure you comfortable with how your denture fits it one of the most important parts of the process making and adjusting the denture. Without a proper fit, a patient may experience discomfort eating, dentures falling out of your mouth, a feeling of gagging on the denture. These can cause sores, but sores usually result from the edges of the denture being over extended or pushing of the denture too much on the gums.
– FAQs of Dentures –
When does someone get dentures?
Age is not a factor, however, it is more common for older people to need dentures because they’ve had their teeth longer. The longer you can put off needing dentures, the better. If you regularly care for your oral health and do not have gum disease, you should not need dentures. It is possible to have never had a cavity in your entire life, but still develop gum disease which could result in a need for dentures or alternative treatments.
Are there alternatives to Dentures?
Your natural teeth are the best. The most functional replacement is an implant. Not far behind that is a bridge, then a partial and lastly, a denture. In term of function and quality of life.
What are the benefits of dentures?
Dentures are chosen by patients more often than other treatments because they are more affordable than the alternatives.
Better than No teeth
If you are missing teeth, a denture or partial is a great option because it helps you chew, talk, support your face and jaw structure.
Dentures are removable unlike bridges or implants. You can take out either a full denture or partial denture. The key to success with other procedures such as a bridge or implants is maintenance. If you do not maintain your natural teeth around where the bridge or implants were placed, plaque and bacteria will still build up and you will continue to have issues. With dentures, you do not have that risk.
What are the cons of dentures?
Lack of Support
You do not get the same amount of chewing support in a partial or full denture as you would with your natural teeth or even a bridge or an implant for that matter.
When you choose to get dentures, you are choosing to live your day to day life differently. There is a learning curve to overcome when familiarizing yourself with your new dentures.
A complete denture is a piece of plastic. It is not like having teeth and oftentimes, it takes a while to get used to. If you are experiencing issues with your teeth, it may seem like pulling your teeth out is the best way to get rid of the problem, but there are significant lifelong changes. Starting out with a denture will be the most difficult step.
It may take more than a few trips to the dentist office to get the fit right. You may need to learn how to chew or talk differently than before. These changes are oftentimes minor, but sometimes can be a challenging part of choosing dentures.
How do I maintain my Dentures?
Caring for dentures involves taking them out every night. Your gums need to recover and heal each night. Leaving your dentures in at night is like leaving your shoes and socks when you go to bed every single night. When you take your dentures out, you should brush them with a denture toothpaste and a denture toothbrush. While you can use a traditional toothbrush and toothpaste, they are more abrasive and can prematurely wear your dentures.
Are Dentures Right for Me?
Partial and complete dentures can be viable replacements for your teeth, if necessary. Nothing beats your natural teeth, but sometimes replacing them is necessary. Dr. Hale will discuss all of your options with you in order to give you the best treatment possible.
No one ever says “I love my dentures.” Most people do pretty well with them, and put up with them, but they can aren’t as good as healthy, natural teeth.