Dentures are removable prostheses and are a tried and tested way to restore one or more missing teeth and are a popular choice for those missing complete arches. There are two types of affordable dentures available which are complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are required when a person is missing all the teeth in their upper or lower arches. If some natural teeth remain, partial dentures can be used.
Complete dentures can be immediate or conventional. One concern amongst patients is the fear of being left without teeth after natural teeth are removed. If you are in this position, you can rest assured we will not leave you without teeth, and this is where an immediate denture is useful.
When teeth are first removed, the gums need time to heal. The gums change shape considerably during this period, so an immediate denture is made as a temporary measure. The denture is fabricated before removing natural teeth using a mold of your mouth that is specially modified. The immediate denture can be fitted in your mouth soon after surgery to extract your teeth. Usually, an immediate denture is worn two or three months after tooth removal. The gums change shape and start to shrink as they heal, so it may be necessary to reline and adjust the fitting surface of the denture during healing. Once the gums have fully healed, the immediate denture is replaced with a conventional denture.
Conventional dentures are made once healing is complete and are designed to look and feel as natural as possible. A conventional denture has an acrylic, gum-colored base supporting denture teeth designed to look natural. A full upper denture covers the upper palate. In contrast, a lower denture is designed in a horseshoe shape, so it relies solely on the bony arch that originally supported your teeth for retention.
Partial dentures are designed in a slightly different way. They still have a gum-colored acrylic base, but this is usually strengthened by a lightweight metal framework made from chrome cobalt. Partial dentures have the same type of denture teeth, but they will most likely have clasps that fit around existing teeth for additional support and stability. Further support is sometimes provided by precision attachments, where a crown over a natural tooth has a special slot allowing an attachment on the denture to clip into place.
Many people feel anxious that they won’t look like themselves once they have dentures, but you can rest assured this isn’t the case. We take enormous care to ensure dentures look and feel as natural as possible. People replacing broken down, failing, and infected teeth can find their new denture rejuvenates their appearance by restoring the appearance of these teeth and providing support for the facial muscles in their cheeks and lips.
My experience with Dr. Russo was fantastic. I started losing my teeth two years ago because a lot of family tragedies caused me to lose all of my teeth owing to depression and anxiety. I now have dentures that look fantastic. It took me a bit to get used to them, but I am very satisfied with the results.
Having a denture made and fitted is non-invasive and entirely painless and doesn’t require any surgery. After natural teeth are removed and the gums have healed, we will take a series of dental impressions.
The first impression is used to create a special tray, an impression tray that then helps us take a more detailed dental impression afterward. We use the model created from this dental impression to create a wax bite rim that is fitted into your mouth by our dentist.
The wax bite rim records all sorts of information about your bite, the height between your upper and lower jaws, and your mouth’s overall dimensions. It allows us to ensure your denture is fabricated to provide the proper support for your cheeks and lips.
We select your denture teeth together as there is a huge choice to consider. If you need a complete set of dentures, you may want to opt for teeth that look brighter and whiter than before. If you have some natural teeth remaining, we can help you choose denture teeth that blend in beautifully. The idea is to create a naturally attractive smile that will enhance your facial features. We send all this information to our dental lab.
Using this information, our dental lab will create your new denture using pink wax to replicate the acrylic base, holding your actual denture teeth in position. They can create your new smile, ensuring teeth are aligned perfectly, or if you prefer, we can replicate the appearance of your natural teeth. For example, perhaps you originally had a gap between your two front teeth that was a unique part of your personality and which you would prefer to keep.
Once the wax denture is ready, we try it in your mouth, ensuring it fits well and provides good functionality. At this stage, you can see how your new teeth will look, and of course, we can make any necessary adjustments until you are happy with their appearance.
The final stage is for the dental lab to replace the wax base with acrylic, carefully contouring and finishing the acrylic so it looks like your natural gums. When you return to our practice, we will fit the denture, making any small adjustments necessary, so it feels comfortable. Usually, we will ask you to return a short while afterward so we can make any further adjustments as needed.
Initially, dental dentures can feel a little strange, and it can take time for the muscles in your cheeks and lips to become accustomed to keeping the denture in place. It’s not unusual to require further adjustments to the denture at this stage, and you will probably need to practice speaking with dentures and eating with them. Initially, you will need to choose softer, easier to chew foods, gradually introducing other foods as you become accustomed to your dentures. There is no need to worry as we can give you lots of useful advice, including information about what to eat while you become accustomed to wearing your dentures.
It is essential to look after your dentures properly, cleaning them thoroughly every day. You need to use a proper denture brush, mild dish soap, or a proper denture cleaner to remove dental plaque and food debris. You shouldn’t use an ordinary toothbrush and toothpaste because these are too abrasive.
Dentures can be quite fragile, so clean them over a towel or bowl of water. If you do break your dentures, contact us immediately so we can arrange a professional denture repair. You mustn’t try and mend your dentures yourself, as you could damage them beyond repair.
While many people are happy wearing dentures, others find them difficult to tolerate, especially as the shape of the gum and jawbone gradually changes after tooth loss, making it harder to retain dentures comfortably and securely. This is often a problem for lower denture wearers, and although we can reline the denture, so it fits a little better, the problem remains and is where denture implants can help.
Denture implants use dental implants, tiny screws inserted into the jawbone, to hold dentures firmly in place. They won’t be able to move once clipped onto the implants but are still easy to remove for cleaning. Another option is to eliminate dentures entirely, replacing them with a fixed dental implant bridge that remains permanently in place.
Implant dentures are often very affordable since only a few implants are necessary. An implant bridge will most likely cost a bit more since more implants are required for support.
If implant dentures or a fixed implant bridge sound appealing, please ask us for additional information.