While it would be great to keep all of our teeth in place for our entire lives, this isn’t the case for everyone. Actually, in the United States as many as a quarter of the people between sixty-five and seventy-five no longer have any of their original teeth!
Because this is a common issue, dentures have become a popular replacement for partial or complete loss of teeth. Thanks to advances in the field of cosmetic dentistry, they are more comfortable and realistic than ever—which allows people that have lost some or all of their teeth to continue to live their lives without having to worry about chewing or smiling.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are cosmetic dental appliances that are meant to replicate not only the teeth that are missing, but also any sort of lost gum tissue. These are for situations where teeth are missing and dental bridges or implants are not an option.
The Different Types
There are two main types of dentures that are available: complete and partial. Complete dentures are intended to replace all of a patient’s teeth. They are also helpful with replacing gum tissue that has deteriorated. These are an option when a patient has lost all of their teeth due to trauma, cavities, or gum disease.
If you are not missing all of your teeth but find that they cannot be predictably repaired with a good long term prognosis, you may need to go through a process of removing the remaining teeth to make room for the complete dentures.
Partial dentures are made for people that have healthy teeth in areas of the mouth, but are missing teeth in others. In situations where bridges or implants cannot be installed, a removable partial denture may be the best option. Unlike complete dentures, partial dentures are supported by clasps that engage surrounding teeth. This allows the partial appliances to be clipped into place and removed when needed.
Along with complete and partial dentures, there are also immediate and conventional dentures. Many individuals do not want to wait weeks or months for their gums to heal while a conventional denture is fabricated. As the name implies, immediate dentures are prepared and installed at the same time as the extraction of the teeth. In most instances these appliances are
intended as a short-term fix until conventional dentures are constructed.
Conventional dentures are the appliances that are suited for your mouth specifically, and are built for long-term use. Typically these dentures are made following prolonged healing from extractions.
Created Specifically for You
If you are a candidate for dentures, the process of creating dentures that are specific to your mouth will begin with impressions being made of any remaining teeth, or teeth that are going to be pulled. This is to ensure that they are as similar to your original teeth as possible. It can be difficult to acclimate to new teeth and gums as it is, and this process allows you to transition with
a higher degree of normalcy.
Your bite will also be evaluated, which is important both for the creation of your dentures and their interaction with any remaining teeth. Some dentists offer the ability to recreate teeth that are similar to yours by having you bring in photographs that show off your original teeth and smile. While your dentist may not be able to have your teeth perfectly replicated, they will do their best to return your smile to the way it was before your teeth were removed.
Every once in a while your dentures will need to be checked to make sure they still fit properly. Over time, your mouth may change, leading to changes that need to be made to ensure that your dental appliances fit the way that they are supposed to.
Are They Permanent?
Because of a full and irreparable loss of part or all of your teeth, dentures are a permanent solution. Sometimes your gum and jawbone can continue to remodel and change. Thankfully there are certain laboratory procedures to adapt your denture to fit these oral changes.
Since they are removable, they are easy to replace/repair if they should become loose or if they are damaged. Also, if your remaining teeth begin to fall out or need to be extracted, you can potentially transition from partial to complete dentures.
Knowing Your Options
If your teeth are knocked out or extracted due to cavities or gum disease, you may believe that dentures are your only option. This isn’t necessarily the case.
- Dental Bridges
- Dental Implants
- Dental Crowns
- Porcelain Veneers
- Dental Bonding
If none of those options are possible, your remaining solution may be partial or complete dentures.
Many people are afraid or self conscious about having to wear dentures— however, in reality we find that in most patients this is actually quite the opposite. Following an initial period of acclamation, many people that were initially concerned about getting these dental appliances found that having them wasn’t a major change in their overall lifestyle.com
Keep in mind that with partial dentures, you still need to care for the healthy teeth that serve to help hold your partial in place. You will want to continue to brush your teeth, gums, and tongue, as well as floss around any remaining teeth. Maintaining your 6 month cleaning schedule with your dentist will ensure that any potential problems are observed any addressed in a timely manner.
You’ll also want to remove your dental appliances and clean them. Most dentist recommend that you remove your dentures at night so as you give you gum tissue time to breathe. It is important to brush your gums that support your denture to ensure that they do not become
Contact West Mobile Dental Center
Our team at West Mobile Dental Center is here to provide you with comprehensive dental procedures. Contact us today at (251) 666-3600 or contact us online via our form.