For decades, dentures, a removeable treatment option, have been one of the most popular solutions for replacing teeth missing due to missing teeth. Dentures are an easy way to restore your smile and rebuild self-esteem that may have been loss due to losing one or more teeth.
Why Would Someone Need Dentures?
There are many problems that can lead to the need for dentures. Some of the more common ones include:
For some, years of decay have led to teeth rotting and falling out. This could be due to poor oral hygiene or, at times, can be hereditary or diet related despite regular dental hygiene check up and brushing and flossing.
Especially if left untreated, gum disease can result in the loss of teeth. Swollen, tender, red, or bloody gums as well as shifting or loose teeth are all indicators of gum disease.
A significant injury to the face or jaw can result in teeth falling out or becoming seriously damaged. Sometimes, teeth can easily be restored through preservation or implants, but this is not always the case.
Most individuals will lose teeth as they age. This can cause a loss in facial structure which can be helped through complete or partial dentures.
Types of Dentures
There are a few types of dentures and after a thorough examination and discussion with you, your dentist will let you know which type you will need.
When you think about dentures, the image that comes to mind is more than likely that of a full set of teeth with a gum line included. What you’re thinking of is a complete or full denture set. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing. Complete dentures can by either “conventional” or “immediate.”
Conventional dentures are made after all teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal. Typically, it takes about eight to twelve weeks after teeth have been removed for a conventional denture to be ready for placement.
Alternatively, immediate dentures are made in advance and can be position as soon as the teeth are removed. Because of this, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. A disadvantage to this is that overtime, and, especially during times of healing, bones and gums will shrink which means immediate dentures require more adjustments to ensure they fit properly. Generally, this leads to immediate dentures only being considered as a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.
If complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, one can probably (& correctly) guess that partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. This treatment option is ideal for anyone who does not wish to have dental implants or a dental bridge because they are removable. Partial dentures consist of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored base, which sometimes is connected by a metal frame that holds the dentures in place in the mouth. The dentures are held in place either by the natural teeth, with clasps that fit around existing teeth, or with precision attachments which clip onto an attachment connected to a crown or bridge.
Bonus: Not only do partial dentures fill the spaces created by missing teeth, but they can also prevent other natural teeth from changing position.
Benefits of Dentures
Outside of the boost in self-esteem that may come from having your smile restored, there are a variety of other benefits to having dentures.
Dental procedures can sometimes be costly as well as invasive and time consuming. Dentures tend to be an affordable solution for replacing missing teeth, and the treatment involved is a less invasive option.
Our face structure is widely dependent on our jaw line and cheek bones. Our mouth plays a role in both of those spaces. So, when teeth are missing and gums and bones begin to soften, our face structure may begin to change. Dentures that replace missing teeth or teeth that may have been worn or decayed can improve your appearance by providing proper support to your cheeks and lips.
Improved Ability to Eat & Speak
Take a moment to think back to the last thing you ate. How many of your teeth were involved in that process? Did it include your front teeth, as well as the back and side teeth?
Now say “red leather, yellow leather, red leather, yellow leather, red” slowly. Did you notice how many times your tongue touched your teeth to make a letter sound?
When you’re missing teeth, your ability to speak clearly or properly as well as eat certain foods may be altered. Properly made dentures can help improve speech and enable patients to comfortably eat a greater variety of foods.
Caring for Dentures
It’s important to be careful when handling your dentures. If dropped, the dentures could break so try to handle them over a basin of water or clean towel to lower the risk of impact should they drop. It’s also important to remove your dentures for daily cleaning. Use a denture brush which is softer than a normal toothbrush and can reduce the amount of wear and tear over time. Clean your dentures with a mild cleaner or something specifically designed for dentures. Ordinary toothpaste can be too abrasive and cause scratching on the surface of your dentures, and don’t boil your dentures because the heat can cause the dentures to misshape. Once clean and while not being worn, soak your dentures in a cleaning solution or plain water to help keep them fresh and to maintain shape.
For a full look at what post denture care and maintenance looks like, download our informational document.
What is a denture?
People wear dentures to replace lost or missing teeth so they can smile with confidence and enjoy a healthy diet of a variety of foods. Dentures are typically made of either acrylic or metal, and there are different types: complete and partial. Depending on your needs, your dentist will recommend the best denture for you.
Why would I want dentures?
Full dentures, which fit snugly over your gums to replace all teeth, help you eat comfortably and speak more clearly. They can also improve your confidence and self-esteem.
Partial dentures, which replace teeth that are missing and can sometimes be supported by your remaining teeth, help ensure the teeth you have left do not shift. If you have empty spaces in your mouth, your teeth will sometimes move to take up some of the space. This could cause your teeth to become crooked or to tilt, which in turn affects your bite and could cause damage to other teeth.
How soon can I have a denture after my teeth are taken out?
If your treatment plan includes immediate dentures, these can usually be fitted straight after your teeth have been removed. However, you will need to visit the dental team beforehand for them to take measurements and impressions of your mouth.
With immediate dentures, you don’t have to be without teeth while your gums are healing, but bones and gums may shrink over time – especially during healing. If this occurs, your immediate dentures may need relining, adjusting, or even replacing.
Your dentist may advise you to wait until your gums are healed before having your dentures. This allows for a better fit initially. Healing times vary, and your dentist will communicate with you on a timeline.
Who will make and fit my denture?
Your dentist will take measurements and impressions of your mouth, then have your dentures made by a dental technician. As previously mentioned, over time bones and gums can shrink leading to your dentures needing to be adjusted. If this occurs, contact your dentist and they can adjust for you.
Will dentures make me look different?
Replacing lost or missing teeth is very good for your health and appearance. A complete denture replaces your natural teeth and provides support to your cheeks and lips. Without this support, your facial muscles may sag and can make you appear older. You may also find it harder to eat certain foods or speak clearly.
A partial denture will restore your smile by filling gaps left by missing teeth. It also will help ensure your remaining teeth do not shift and cause more problems down the road.
How long will my dentures last?
With proper treatment and care, your dentures should last several years. During this time, however, your dentures may need to be relined or remade due to normal wear or a change in the shape of your mouth.
How often should I see my dentist after I receive my dentures?
Regular dental check-ups and having your teeth professionally cleaned will still be very important for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Attending regular visits allows our dental team to check other parts of your mouth as well, such as your tongue and cheeks. These dental hygiene examinations are key to your oral and overall health. During these visits, dental professionals will check for any signs of infection, disease, or oral cancer.
Bring life back into your smile.
Our talented team of dental professionals will work with you to create a denture treatment plan that fits your needs. Contact us today to get started!