Over 35 million Americans have lost all of their upper or lower teeth and as the population ages, more will be in need of dentures. Fortunately, advances in denture technology have made them more aesthetically attractive and functionally improved over traditional dentures.
Having the right dentures means being able to smile without embarrassment, chew with comfort, speak clearly, and support the structures of the face so you don’t appear to be aging beyond your actual years.
TYPES OF DENTURES
If you still have some teeth, then a partial denture is all you need. It can be fixed into your jaw or made as a removable partial. This needs to be treated like a set of natural teeth, brushed at least once a day and soaked overnight in a special denture solution or plain water at room temperature. You will want to clean your mouth after removal and rinse the dentures before you put them back in.
If you have lost all or most of your upper or lower teeth (the remaining ones can be painlessly extracted), then a conventional denture is what you will require. This will appear to be a full set of natural teeth for each arch set in realistic acrylic gums and attached by a dental adhesive. Both partial and full dentures need to be checked for their fit as bone gradually is lost and they will need to be readjusted or replaced every 5-10 years.
An alternative is an overdenture, which consists of a removable custom prosthetic that provides some artificial teeth where required, but fits over the remaining natural teeth or dental implants. This is more stable than other dentures, reducing unnecessary movement during chewing or talking, making it less likely sores will develop, and it slows down the process of jawbone loss.
BOOK A CONSULT
The first step is to have one of our denture experts do a thorough exam, including a digital x-ray, to determine exactly what would work best for you. If you have an active periodontal infection or an infected root canal in a tooth that is not being removed, you should have these treated first. If you have significant jawbone loss, you may first require bone grafts (a painless procedure) to provide a foundation for the dentures. It may be recommended that you have some teeth replaced with dental implants so that you can wear a partial or an overdenture.