There are many reasons why people lose their teeth including dental caries, periodontitis, and tooth trauma. Dentists have been using dentures for numerous years to replace lost teeth. There are also other ways to replace lost teeth. Compromised oral function has been linked to decreased self-esteem and a decline in the quality of life. Adults with missing teeth or loose dentures may avoid certain social activities because they are embarrassed to speak, smile, or eat in front of others. Your teeth provide support and structure to your face and cheeks, and lost teeth may result in sagging cheeks, making you appear older than you really are. By replacing your teeth, you can remove years from your face.
Dentures are removable appliances to replace your teeth, and are made to look, feel, and function naturally. They are made to look like your teeth and gums, and look very realistic and natural and have a comfortable feeling. There are several different types of dentures, and these include partial and full dentures. Partial dentures are made when there are some teeth that are in good condition still remaining in your mouth, and full dentures are made when there are no teeth remaining in your mouth. Partial dentures are clasped onto your existing teeth, and will keep those teeth from shifting in your mouth. Made of acrylic resin and plastic or porcelain teeth, we can now give you many different aesthetic options to replace your missing teeth.
Full dentures are held in place by suction created on the roof of your mouth when the dentures are in place. Lower dentures do not have the same suction, due to their smaller surface area and your tongue and muscles of the mouth moving. These lower dentures may require an adhesive agent to hold them in place, as they can become loose upon eating. There is an alternative, You can have the option of having either dental implants, or miniature dental implants, placed into your gums and underlying bone, to stabilize the denture and hold it in place. This way you can eat anything you want without the worry of your dentures loosening or coming out. Many denture patients are receiving these implants, because they dramatically improve their confidence.
The best way to care for your dentures is to make sure they are kept clean. Your dentures should be removed while you sleep to allow your gums to rest, and allow them to be exposed to your mouth environment in order to keep them healthy. When you remove your dentures, you should brush them and soak them in cold water, or a cleaning tablet specifically made for this purpose that you place in water. DO NOT USE BLEACH! Also, brush your dentures again before replacing them back into your mouth. If your denture has large buildups and debris that you cannot remove by brushing, visit your dentist and have them or their dental hygienist remove the debris and clean your dentures. Even though you don’t have your natural teeth, it is very important for you to visit your dentist on a regular basis, in order to make sure that your dentures and your underlying supporting tissues are in good shape. They will also fit your dentures better if they are getting loose from shrinkage of the underlying tissues. Dentures that do not fit properly, cause gum irritation and inflammation, and other problems such as bad speech and inability to chew food
Dentures can last quite a while if they are properly maintained by the patient and you visit your dentist regularly. There is some natural wear and wear that occur to dentures, especially those made with plastic teeth. These teeth wear more quickly than porcelain teeth. Also, your gums and underlying bone tissues may shrink causing your dentures to get loose and changing your bite in the process. Your dentist will reline or rebase your denture depending on the situation. However, it is highly recommended that you have new dentures made after five years.
Your dentist will perform a complete examination and take radiographs of your mouth. After discussing your needs and wants, your dentist will determine if dentures are right for you. If you already have an old denture, your dentist may use your old denture to take an impression of your mouth. If not, the dentist will decide if there are some questionable teeth remaining in your mouth that cannot be saved. After this is decided, the dentist will take impressions of your mouth and a bite registration, and stone models will be made of your mouth in the dental laboratory. Dental technician(s) will fabricate the best possible dentures according to your dentist’s instructions.
If you need to have teeth extracted, “immediate” dentures will be fabricated prior to teeth removal, and following the surgery, the denture is inserted immediately. This aids in the healing of the extraction sites and will act as a surgical stent. It allows you to function and have better aesthetics during the healing period. These dentures usually require relining with soft and/or medicated material while the tissues are healing and shrinking. “Regular” full dentures are fabricated after the healing is complete. This denture can usually be inserted 8-12 weeks after the teeth have been extracted.
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