If you have missing teeth you would like to replace, complete or partial dentures are the most non-invasive and inexpensive treatment option available. A set of dentures will complete your smile, make you feel whole again and improve your ability to eat.
Complete dentures replace an entire row of teeth (top or bottom) and do not rely on teeth to hold them in place. Instead, they stay in place in part due to physiological factors like suction caused by saliva, and your mouth muscles and other structures keeping them stable. They can take a while to get used to, but eventually using them becomes second nature.
Partial Dentures replace some but not all of the teeth in your arch. Partial dentures are held in place by clasps that fit onto neighbouring natural teeth, as well as by other retentive features depending on how many teeth have been replaced. If the neighbouring teeth are not sufficiently strong enough to hold the dentures in place, your dentist may recommend implants for additional stability.
Unlike dental bridges and dental implants, dentures are removable. If you are on a fixed budget or you are not a candidate for a bridge or dental implants, dentures are an excellent alternative.
The denture procedure
First, your dentist will make an impression of your upper and/or lower gums. The impression is then poured into a cast and sent to the dental laboratory where the dentures are made. Using your cast as a reference, the lab creates a wax version of the gum line and the acrylic resin teeth are added. The dentures are then sent back to your dentist who will try them in your mouth to ensure they are designed to maximize function and aesthetics. Once you and your dentist are satisfied with the wax models, they are sent back to the lab for final processing. During this process, the wax is replaced by acrylic, the dentures are completed, cleaned and polished; and they are sent back to your dentist, ready for you to wear. The entire process generally takes a few weeks to complete.
The Advantage of Dentures
Dentures do not require invasive work, and they are a relatively inexpensive treatment option to replace missing teeth.
The Disadvantage of Dentures
They need to be removed for at least eight hours per day and do not provide the same function and aesthetics that bridges or implants do.
It will take time for your cheek muscles, lips, and tongue to adjust to your dentures; and speaking or eating may feel different. But once you get accustomed to your dentures, they will feel natural and your smiling, eating, drinking or talking will be greatly improved.
In general, no. Partial dentures have the potential to impact the teeth they are connected to, but with good denture design and the proper precautions, the impact tends to be minimal.
Just like your natural teeth, plaque and tartar can form on the denture. Unlike regular teeth, the denture can be removed and cleaned. Here are some general tips:
1. When you remove your dentures, run them under warm water to rinse off loose food particles.
2. Use a denture brush and denture cleaner — regular toothpaste is too abrasive and could damage your dentures. Gently brush all surfaces of the dentures, especially around the clasps of the partial dentures. Do not push too hard around the wires as you do not want to bend them out of shape.
3. Take your dentures out at night and soak them in warm (not hot) water. This cleans them and gives your mouth a rest.
4. If you drop your dentures they might break, so always put them on or take them off over a folded towel or place them in a container for safe storage.
5. Cracked dental plates can lead to many problems. If you find a crack in your denture, bring them to your dentist right away.
6. The shape of your mouth changes with time. Make sure you have your dentures checked at least once a year so your dentist can tweak their shape as needed. A poor fit can lead to many issues in your mouth.
On the contrary. Eating will become easier with proper, well-fitting dentures.
It is difficult to determine this without an assessment. Factors like the number of teeth being replaced, the location of the missing teeth, denture design, and the materials used in the denture fabrication will impact the overall cost of treatment. Once your dentist has had an opportunity to examine the area, they will be able to provide an accurate cost estimate. The cost estimate can then be sent to your insurer to determine if the proposed treatment is covered under your dental plan and to what extent.
Do you have a missing tooth or are you unsatisfied with your current dentures?
Make an appointment for an examination and we will let you know if dentures are an appropriate approach.