Full or partial tooth loss, if left untreated, doesn’t just affect a person’s self-image. Tooth loss can increase the risk of developing nutritional problems and other health disorders. Fortunately, there’s a reliable and time-tested method for treating this condition: full or partial conventional dentures.
Dentures are just one option for replacing missing teeth. Some of the others include fixed bridgework and dental implants. Each method has its particular pluses and minuses, which should be carefully considered. There are also several varieties of dentures available. Each type of dentures address specific issues, from partial dentures to implant-supported over dentures. The best option for you will depend on your individual situation.
Full or partial dentures consist of a gum-colored base made of plastic resin. The gum-colored base fits over the remaining alveolar (bone) ridge that formerly held the teeth. The prosthetic teeth attached to the base, are designed to look and function just like your natural teeth. Dentures are held in place primarily by the suctioning effect because of their close fit against the alveolar ridges. That’s why it’s so important that they are fitted properly.
The upper denture gets extra support from the large surface area of the roof of the mouth (palate). The extra support from the roof of the mouth generally makes it extremely stable.
At first, wearing dentures may require some getting used when you are talking and eating. The dentures become “balanced” in the space formerly occupied by the teeth, making eating and talking feel more natural. Over time, the muscles, nerves and ligaments of the mouth learn to work in new ways. This can help create a more youthful appearance.
Types Of Full & Partial Dentures
Conventional Full Dentures:
After a period of time, permanent dentures that conform to your mouth with near-perfect accuracy can be made. These are carefully crafted to look as much like your own natural teeth as possible. The dentures are able to function properly in your mouth for a long time.
To increase the stability of a lower or upper denture, it’s possible for it to be securely anchored using two or more dental implants. The upper jaw requires more implants (generally three or more) than the lower jaw due to a lesser bone density. Many people find the option offers a great balance of comfort, functionality and value.
Transitional Partial Dentures:
These relatively inexpensive removable plastic dentures serve as a temporary tooth replacement and space maintainer as you wait for your mouth to heal from tooth extraction, for example. Once the healing process is complete, dental implants can be place.
Removable Partial Dentures (RPDs):
Usually made of cast vitallium, these well-constructed, metal-based removable partial dentures are much lighter and less obtrusive than those made of plastic. They are a little more expensive than plastic dentures but will fit better. They are, however, much less expensive than implants or fixed bridgework.
How Dentures Are Made And Fitted
Making quality dentures is a blend of science and art. First, an accurate impression (mold) is made of the alveolar ridges on the top and bottom of your mouth. The base of the denture is made from this mold in a dental laboratory. Working together, the dentist and lab technician choose from among many different sizes and shapes of prosthetic teeth to re-create a natural-looking smile. When everyone is satisfied with the result, the temporary dentures are made in permanent form.
To enable normal speech and eating, it’s crucial to balance your bite. This means that the upper and lower dentures come together and properly stabilize each other. The form and function of the dentures are carefully checked to ensure that they are working and fitting properly.
What To Expect After You Get Dentures
If you’ve recently lost your teeth and received an immediate denture, it’s normal to find some tissue shrinkage and bone loss occurring. Therefore, in several months you may find that your immediate dentures no longer fit well. You will have two choices at this point: You can have your immediate (temporary) dentures re-lined. Means that material is added under the denture’s base to better conform to the new contours of your alveolar ridge. A better option is to move to a set of conventional full dentures. Conventional full dentures will last longer and fit better. With proper care, dentures offer a functional, aesthetic and economical solution to the problem of tooth loss.