What are Dentures?
Dentures are removable devices that mimic missing teeth and the surrounding tissue. Dentures can be taken in & out, and are held in place by the existing surrounding gum tissue and bone. Utilizing a combination of suction, friction and tension, the device fits securely in your mouth and replaces your missing teeth.
It is important to note that dentures are long term solutions for missing teeth, but they are not permanently placed in your mouth. While dentures take some getting used to, and will never feel exactly the same as one's natural teeth, they can help our patients regain a natural looking, brilliant smile without the commitment of cost & possible surgery. They are a feasible & affordable way to replace multiple missing teeth. READ MORE
There are a few main types of dentures used today:
Complete dentures are used when all of the natural teeth are missing. Complete dentures are placed in the mouth after any remaining teeth are removed and all tissues are healed. After the extraction process, there is a 6-8 week healing period before we can initiate the fabrication of the permanent denture.
During this first 6 weeks post-extractions, there are dramatic changes in the architecture of the bone and gums. While patients will have to be without a permanent denture during the healing period, we can consider fabrication of an immediate denture.
An immediate denture (partial or complete) is inserted directly after the involved teeth are removed. It is a TEMPORARY solution to restore esthetics. Function, however, will be compromised and limited until a final and more permanent solution is obtained. The general guideline is that an immediate denture will require replacement 6 weeks to 6 months after insertion. The bone supporting the teeth reshapes as it heals, causing the denture to eventually become loose.
Partial dentures are used when only some of the natural teeth remain and the missing teeth are replaced with fake teeth over metal framework or flexi-gum colored material.
There are 2 types of dentures we typically provide as options for our patients:
|Types of partials||Disadvantages||Advantages|
|CAST METAL DENTURE||metal can show so not ideal esthetically||last longer and less prone to breakage easier to adjust|
|VALPLAST / FLEXI DENTURE||carry less risk of breakingharder to adjust||look more naturalmaterial can be tinted to resemble the patient's natural gum color.|
The teeth that help hold the denture in place do take on quite a bit of extra stress and can deteriorate sooner that otherwise anticipated. Despite being more affordable, it is important to know the indirect cost of this added stress to the supporting teeth. Additionally, we want to reinforce the importance of regular check-ups to help keep these and all your teeth as healthy as possible,
Overdentures/Implant Supported Denture
Overdentures are complete dentures that rest on top of the gums, attached by implants. This option is removable by a dentist and is actually one of the most practical options available for patients who need to replace multiple teeth. With this type of denture you don?t have to worry about the dreaded clicking sound of loose dentures. READ MORE
The flipper is a temporary removable partial denture that can replace one or a few missing teeth to give the illusion of a full smile. We do not recommend flippers for long term use because they can be uncomfortable, have a loose fit, and are barely functional. Once the involved area is healed &/or the patients is ready for a permanent restoration, more functional and ideal options should be considered like implants and fixed bridge work.
How to Maintain Dentures
Real or fake, taking care of your teeth is important. Removable and permanent dentures are cared for differently and understanding how to care for yours is essential for their longevity. Over time, the architecture of the bone & gums will change, and more so in areas without teeth. These changes can cause your dentures to loosen, making chewing difficult and irritating your gums. This may warrant the need to reline, rebase, or remake the denture. This is why, as part of your care, regular check-ups are always necessary. Here are tips to help you care for dentures:
- DENTURES ARE FRAGILE! When handling dentures, stand over a folded towel or basin of water. Dentures are delicate and may break if dropped.
- DON'T LET DENTURES DRY OUT! Place them in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in plain water with a drop of clorox when you're not wearing them. Never use hot water, which can cause dentures to warp.
- BRUSHING DENTURES DAILY! This will remove food and dental plaque, and help prevent them from becoming stained. An ultrasonic cleaner may be used to care for dentures, but it does not replace a thorough daily brushing.
- KEEP TEETH & GUMS HEALTHY & CLEAN! Brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert dentures. This stimulates circulation in your tissues and helps remove plaque.
- CONTACT US IF YOUR DENTURE BREAKS/CHIPS! See your dentist if dentures break, chip, crack, or become loose. Don't be tempted to adjust them yourself ? this can damage them beyond repair.
- DON'T FORGET ABOUT YOUR CHECK-UPS! Whether its is some teeth or no teeth, we want to make sure there are no signs of pathology and no need for any additional treatment.
If you are ever unsure about how to care for your dentures, feel free to contact Dr. Kumar with any questions.