What are dentures?
Dentures are a removable dental appliances that can behave as either a full or partial set of teeth in one or more areas of your mouth, replacing weak or missing teeth. Failure to seek proper assistance for one or more missing teeth results in overwhelming pressure on remaining teeth. More damage than just a decrease in self image is cause by leaving missing or weak teeth untreated — it can also increase your risk of developing systemic health disorders.
Dentures aren’t the only option for replacing missing teeth. Some other methods include partial dentures, implant-supported over-dentures, fixed bridgework and dental implants. Each approach to replacing missing teeth has it’s own risk and benefits. Details regarding what procedure works best for you should be discussed with your orthodontist.
How do removable dentures work?
Full or partial dentures are commonly made up of a gum-colored base made of acrylic resin. Prosthetic teeth projecting from the base of the dentures are skillfully designed to resemble and function just like your natural teeth. Removable dentures are held in place by the suctioning effect of their close fit against the alveolar ridges — this makes proper fit vital!. The top denture also gets extra support from the palate; which is the large surface area of the roof of the mouth. This tight fit generally keeps the dentures secure and stable.
It may take some time to get used to speaking and eating when first wearing dentures. Allowing the dentures to balance in the space formerly occupied by the teeth may seem uncomfortable in the beginning, but over time, your mouth adjust in ways that make these functions occur as they normally would. An added benefit to dentures is that they also help support the facial structure and the soft tissues of the lips and cheeks, which can help create a more youthful appearance.
Types of full dentures
Immediate Dentures :
Modern technology has greatly advanced dental care. Now patients can receive a set of dentures almost immediately after teeth are extracted. Sometimes referred to as transitional dentures. Immediate dentures are meant to be a temporary solution while healing occurs before receiving your permanent set of dentures. They are not a permanent fix.
Dentures placed immediately after tooth extraction won’t fit as well as your permanent dentures will once healing is complete. They do, however, satisfy the need to have a new set of teeth right away and give you some time to adjust to the new feeling.
Implant-Supported Overdentures :
There are two forms of implant-supported dentures. Bar-retained dentures and ball-retained dentures. The only difference being the denture locking system.
Conventional Full Dentures :
Full dentures are carefully crafted to look as much like your own natural teeth as possible and are able to function properly in your mouth for a long time. They are placed in your mouth after teeth have been removed and gum tissue has entirely healed.
Bar-retained dentures lock with the use of a metal bar that follows the curve of your jaw and attaches to at least 2 of the 5 implants.
Ball-retained dentures are also known as stud-attachment dentures. Each dental implant carries a metal attachment (either a ball or a socket) that fits into another.
Both methods are used to increase the stability of a lower or upper denture. Due to lower bone density, the upper jaw usually requires three or more implants than the lower jaw. Many people have found implant-supported overdentures to be their best option offering a great balance of comfort, functionality and value.
Types of partial dentures
Transitional Partial Dentures:
These serve as a temporary solution for a missing tooth or as a space maintainer while you endure the healing process after tooth extraction. Transitional partial dentures can be replaced or relined and are a relatively inexpensive option to consider.
Removable Partial Dentures (RPDs):
Spending a little more on removable partial dentures can be a great investment. They have reported to have a better fit and a much lighter and less obstructive feel than those made from plastic. RPDs are typically casted from vitallium and are a much less expensive option than implants or fixed bridgework.
How dentures are made and fitted
The process of making quality dentures is a work of scientific art. The first step is obtaining an accurate impression (mold) of the alveolar ridges on the top and bottom of your mouth. The denture base is made using the mold in a dental laboratory. Prosthetic teeth are then chosen from among many different sizes and shapes to recreate a natural-looking smile. When both the patient and dentist are satisfied with the final result, the temporary dentures are molded into permanent form.
Form and function of the dentures are carefully checked to ensure that they are working and fitting properly. Balancing your bite is crucial to allow normal speech and eating. The upper and lower dentures should come together comfortably and properly stabilize each other.
What to expect after you get dentures
Due to tissue shrinkage and bone loss from receiving an immediate denture, you may find that after several months, your dentures no longer fit you well. When you reach this point, you have two choices:
You can choose to have your immediate dentures relined. Relining your dentures means material is added under the denture base to better conform to the new contours of your alveolar ridge.
You can convert to a set of conventional full dentures, which will last longer and fit better.
With proper care, dentures offer function, aesthetics and an economical solution to the problem of tooth loss.