There are a number of treatments available for those who have lost some or all of their teeth, including removable dentures, bridgework, and dental implants. Of these, removable dentures are often the most affordable option.
The word “dentures” can actually mean a number of different things: Full dentures are used to replace an entire set (arch) of top or bottom teeth; a partial denture replaces some but not all of the teeth, and attaches to your existing teeth; overdentures (or implant dentures) are full dentures that are anchored by dental implants (or natural teeth), which keep them from slipping out of position. All dentures have a gum-colored base made of acrylic resin that supports a set of realistic-looking artificial teeth.
Traditional full dentures fit closely against the gums and bony ridges of the jaw, and are mainly held in place by suction. To make them, we start by taking an impression (mold) of your mouth. Then, a dental laboratory makes a model of the jaws by pouring plaster into the mold. The dental laboratory then uses the model to create a custom-made denture that will fit you perfectly. When your denture is completed, we will fine-tune it to make sure that it is stable, it works properly, and it is balanced with your bite. After a short adjustment period, most people adapt well to removable full dentures.
If you still have some, but not all, of your own teeth, removable partial dentures can be made. Removable partial dentures rest on the gums like full dentures, but they also attach to the natural teeth with metal or nylon clasps. Like full dentures, they may take a little getting used to at first, but they are usually well accepted over time.
Overdentures, also known as implant dentures, are full dentures that are held in place by dental implants or natural teeth that have been prepared for fasteners to retain the full dentures. Dental implants are small screws that attach to your jawbone after placement with a minor surgical procedure. The implants and stay in your mouth all the time—but the denture itself snaps on the implants and is removable. This solves the common problem of dentures that may shift or slip. It usually takes just two to four dental implants to support an upper or lower full denture…so overdentures can offer a stable and attractive tooth-replacement system that is far less costly than replacing all each of the individual teeth with dental implants and crowns.
No matter what type of dentures you get, all need a certain amount of care. They must be kept clean, and they should be taken out at night. In time, your dentures may need to be “re-lined” or re-made to keep them fitting well, as the tissues in your mouth change over time. But with proper care, dentures can be an economical, functional and good-looking answer to the problem of missing teeth.
If you would like more information about dentures, please contact us to Make an Appointment.