LOST SOME OR ALL OF YOUR TEETH?
Dentures can be used to improve your health and appearance.
If you have lost some or all of your natural teeth dentures can be used to replace your missing teeth – improving your health as well as your appearance.
Dentures prevent the sagging of facial muscles, which makes a person with no teeth look much older. Dentures also enable you to eat and speak normally, little things often taken for granted until natural teeth are lost.
Brush your gums, tongue, and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and to help remove plaque. Regular dental checkups are needed so we can examine your mouth and dentures to ensure a healthy and comfortable fit.
Complete dentures can be either “conventional” or “immediate.” Made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal, a conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about 8 to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed. Immediate dentures, unlike conventional dentures, are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, because bones and gums shrink over time – especially during the healing period following tooth removal – a disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.
A removable partial denture or bridge usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth. Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. A fixed (permanent) bridge replaces one or more teeth by placing crowns on the teeth on either side of the space and attaching artificial teeth to them. This “bridge” is then cemented into place. Not only does a partial denture fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from changing position. A precision partial denture is removable and has internal attachments rather than clasps that attach to the adjacent crowns. This is a more natural-looking appliance.
Alternatives to Dentures
While dental implants can be used to support permanently cemented bridges, eliminating the need for a denture, the cost may be greater. While the cost is usually greater, the implants and bridges more closely resemble the feel of real teeth. Dental implants are becoming the alternative to dentures but not everyone is a candidate for implants. Consult your dentist for advice.