When confronted with partial or complete tooth loss, dentures offer a practical remedy. Constructed from durable materials designed to emulate the look of real teeth and gums, dentures bestow a natural aesthetic upon your mouth. These custom-fitted prosthetics snugly adhere to your gums and can be easily removed for regular cleaning and maintenance.
Adjusting to life with dentures may require some patience, particularly when it comes to speaking and eating. However, with time, you’ll adapt to these changes. To ensure optimal oral health and prevent issues like bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease, it’s imperative to maintain a meticulous hygiene routine for both your dentures and gums. Our dedicated hygienists are well-equipped to guide you on proper denture care, introducing you to specialised brushes and techniques.
Different Types of Dentures
Dentures come in several forms to suit individual needs, whether you require a full or partial set to replace missing teeth in one arch or both arches. In this guide we will explore the various denture types, including complete and partial dentures, their key benefits, and what to expect as you explore teeth replacement solutions with your dentist.
Full dentures, also known as complete dentures, are a lifeline for individuals missing an entire arch of teeth. These dentures rest above your gums and rely on your palate or lower jawbone ridge for support. You may need to use denture adhesive to keep them firmly in place. Full dentures typically consist of artificial teeth and a gum-colored base. Users usually remove them at night for cleaning and to give their gums a rest.
Partial dentures are a great option for those missing several or most of their teeth in one or both jaws. Like full dentures, they rely on your gums and underlying bone for support. However, they also have special clasps that hook around your remaining natural teeth, providing additional stability.
Immediate dentures are temporary appliances used when tooth extractions are necessary before you can wear traditional dentures. Some patients wear them right after extractions, and in other cases, they might transition to final dentures once they’ve healed. Your dentist will guide you through the process based on your specific situation.
Implant-retained dentures attach to dental implants, offering enhanced stability. These small, threaded posts replace missing teeth roots and provide a secure base for your dentures. Unlike traditional dentures, they “snap on” to implants embedded in your jaw, eliminating the need for denture adhesive. This added stability is why some call them “snap-in dentures.”
Your dentist will perform a comprehensive examination of your mouth, including your jaws, gums, and any remaining teeth. Dental X-rays are taken to assess the thickness of your jawbone. Based on various factors such as the number of missing teeth, duration of tooth loss, and your preferences, your dentist will discuss suitable denture options with you.
The denture fabrication process includes several steps:
- Taking dental impressions of your upper and lower jaws.
- Creating a dental model of your mouth at a dental lab.
- Customising the denture by determining the placement of artificial teeth and building up the base with materials like acrylic, nylon, or resin.
- Polishing the denture to a natural-looking shine before fitting it in your mouth.
Your dentist will carefully check the fit of your new dentures in your mouth. It’s important to understand that achieving the desired fit might take several visits as the soft tissues in your mouth may need time to adjust to the denture.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Dentures
Dentures provide various advantages, enhancing the quality of life for those who wear them. Firstly, they significantly improve chewing function, enabling individuals to enjoy a wider range of foods. This improved chewing ability contributes to better nutrition and overall health. Furthermore, dentures enhance one’s appearance, restoring a natural and appealing smile. They play a crucial role in improving speech function, ensuring clear and confident communication.
Despite their many advantages, traditional removable dentures come with their share of challenges. Some wearers encounter issues such as denture shifting, wobbling, or slipping during speaking or chewing, which can be inconvenient and uncomfortable. Additionally, tooth loss can lead to jawbone shrinkage over time, resulting in facial changes, including sunken cheeks. These are important factors to consider when evaluating the use of dentures.
Dentures: Adaptation & Maintenance
The time it takes to get used to dentures varies from person to person. It can take weeks or even months to fully adapt. Frequent adjustments during the first few weeks may be necessary to achieve your desired fit.
The average lifespan of a denture is seven to ten years, after which most people require replacement dentures. Additionally, a denture reline is recommended every one to two years or when changes in fit are noticed. This process involves adding material to ensure a more comfortable fit.
Proper care and maintenance are crucial to keep your dentures in good condition. Key guidelines include removing your dentures at the end of each day, using a denture brush and paste for cleaning, soaking them overnight in a denture solution, and regularly brushing your gums, tongue, inner cheeks, roof of your mouth, and any remaining teeth to remove plaque and debris.
Alternatives to Traditional Dentures
Dental implants are a popular alternative to dentures. They mimic natural teeth roots, stimulating the nerves in your jaw and preventing bone loss. These implants can last a lifetime with proper care, though they tend to be more expensive than traditional dentures.
Dental bridges are effective if you still have several healthy teeth. They work best for individuals with one to three missing teeth in a row. A bridge consists of crowns (abutments) and artificial teeth (pontics) in between. The crowns are bonded to your natural teeth on either side of the gap, completing your smile.
Conclusion – Your Smile, Your Confidence
In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored the different types of dentures, the denture procedure, its benefits, and the alternatives available. Whether you opt for full dentures, partial dentures, or consider dental implants or bridges, your dental health is crucial to your overall well-being.
At Smiledent, we understand the importance of your smile. Our dedicated team is here to guide you on your journey to a confident smile. If you have any questions or are ready to explore your denture options, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Your smile is our priority, and we’re here to make it shine. Contact Smiledent today for your denture needs.