If you are missing a few or many teeth, dentures are a cost-effective way to restore your smile.
Missing teeth is a common problem for many people. This can happen because of extensive damage from tooth decay, or when instances of periodontal disease result in bone loss and cause the teeth to become too loose.
Having missing teeth can result in:
- Difficulties with eating and speaking.
- Discomfort due to the shifting of the remaining teeth
- Gaps in your smile affecting your self-esteem
Dentures are one of the solutions to this problem that we offer at TLC Dental care.
The best type of dentures to use can vary depending on your situation, and Dr. Clauson can suggest the best option to suit your needs.
Why You Should Consider Dentures
Dentures can provide you with a number of benefits.
Aesthetically, they can significantly improve the appearance of your smile by eliminating the gaps caused by your missing teeth. Facial muscles can sag due to the loss of natural teeth, causing a sunken look. Dentures can help fill out the appearance of your face and profile, improving the look of your face overall.
Functionally, dentures can improve your ability to eat and chew, as well as to talk.
Different Types of Dentures
Complete dentures are a replacement for all of the teeth on the top or bottom of your mouth, with the teeth typically set in artificial, acrylic gums. These dentures can be “conventional” or “immediate.” The conventional type is placed in the mouth about 8-12 weeks after any remaining teeth have been extracted and the mouth has been provided time to heal.
Immediate dentures are made ahead of time and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed, but, as gums and bone will change during the healing process, these dentures will need more adjustments in order to fit properly.
Partial dentures are an option when there are still healthy natural teeth remaining. These are similar to the complete dentures as they consist of artificial teeth and gums, but will typically be held in place by attachments or clasps which hold them on your natural teeth.
For filling smaller gaps between natural teeth, a bridge is one available option. Unlike dentures, there are no artificial gums as bridges only consist of replacement teeth which “bridge” the gap. Bridges rely on the strength of the teeth on either side of the gap, as these will be supporting the replacement. The process does require these teeth to be prepared for crowns, however, which is one reason why modern dental implants may be a better alternative. Dental implants, unlike bridges, can also help to prevent bone loss and do not require replacement, as bridges occasionally do.
Dental implants are a modern innovation when it comes to the replacement of missing teeth. While they can be used alone when replacing a single tooth, they can also be used in combination with dentures or bridges to restore your smile.
In the case of implant-stabilized dentures, a small number of dental implants (most often in the lower jaw) can be used as anchor points for a removable overdenture. A number of different attachment options (such as a bar, ball, or locators—which function like suction cups) are available for the implants, which allow the denture to be clipped into place. This prevents the dentures from slipping and enables much greater bite force than you would have without the implants.
Implant-Retained Dentures and Bridges
Dental implants can also be used in fixed (non-removable) dentures and bridges. Rather than resting on the gums, these replacement teeth are supported by dental implants, allowing them to have similar stability and functionality as natural teeth. The dental implants have the additional bonus of helping to prevent further bone loss.
Having Problems With Your Dentures?
If you already have dentures but are experiencing problems with them, we can help!
Are your dentures causing you pain or discomfort, or do you have ill-fitting dentures? If they don’t stay in place or move around in your mouth, they can cause issues and allow food to get trapped between the dentures and your gums. Have Dr. Clauson to check your dentures to make sure they are in good condition and fit properly.
Caring for Your Dentures
Be sure to discuss the proper cleaning method for your dentures with Dr. Clauson!
- Rinse your dentures after eating.
- Handle them with care—it’s typically recommended to hold your dentures over a soft towel to prevent them from being damaged if you happen to drop them.
- When not wearing your dentures, make sure they do not dry out or lose their shape. You should avoid putting them in hot water which may cause your dentures to warp.
- Make sure you’re using the correct cleaning solution for your dentures.
- Don’t clean your denture with toothpaste! Toothpaste can be abrasive and could damage your dentures, creating scratches where plaque can build up.
- The brush you use to clean your dentures should have soft bristles. Ideally, you will want to use a brush that is specifically designed for cleaning dentures.
- Consider using an ultrasonic cleaner for your dentures in addition to daily brushing.