Like many things in life, the importance of something is never truly appreciated until it is gone.
If you’ve lost your teeth, whether due to injury, tooth decay or gum disease, you surely understand. The good news is that you have options to replace them. Dentures can help restore your way of life by helping you with day-to-day functions, such as eating and speaking, as well as help restore your confidence by improving your appearance and smile.
There are many different options that are available with dentures, and depends on each individual’s circumstance. Dentures can be used to replace a varying amount of missing teeth – from just one or two teeth (partial denture) to an entire arch of teeth (complete denture). Dentures can also be stabilized and retained using dental implants as anchors.
Denture Treatment Process
One of the most important steps in making any type of quality denture is to start with quality impressions of your mouth. Getting a great impression is often a two-visit process, and the impressions are then sent to the dental laboratory.
At the next visit, we will record how your jaws close together in order to set the teeth appropriately. At this visit we will also help you select the shape and color of your new teeth. To make a denture that has a natural look, we will help you choose a shade that achieves your desired look, and doesn’t have a fake appearance.
In the subsequent visits we will adjust your bite, test your speech and check the appearance and functionality of the denture teeth. After a satisfactory fit and appearance is achieved, the denture is then sent back to the laboratory to be finalized.
How long does the process take?
Making a quality denture is a multi-step process. At each visit we collect a critical bit of information, which is then sent to a talented lab technician who makes the denture. You should expect about five total visits, start to finish, for the entire process, along with additional visits for adjustments. The timeframe is typically 4-6 weeks.
While every effort is made to make a good and functional denture, please keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect denture. After delivery of the denture, a few adjustment visits are typically needed as the denture begins to adapt with the gum tissues. The most important point to remember is that adjusting to your new dentures is a process.
A new denture can also alter your eating and speaking habits and it may require a bit of practicing before you get comfortable.
Finally, due to differences in the shapes of the jaws and the strong muscle movement of the tongue and cheek, a lower denture may be harder to keep in the mouth compared to an upper denture.
What is an Immediate Denture?
In cases where someone only has a few teeth remaining in their mouth that need to be removed, impressions can be made of your mouth before the teeth are removed and the denture can be made before the extraction appointment. In this case, you will be able to go home from your extraction appointment with teeth in your mouth, which helps make for an easier transition. We will let you know if this is a good option for you.
My denture is loose. How can I make it more stable?
Dentures will unfortunately never have the same chewing effectiveness as you had with your natural teeth. Even the best fitting dentures will always have some sort of movement when eating, as dentures rest on your gums and are not anchored to bone like your natural teeth are. Luckily, there options to improve this, and to make your dentures feel closer to your natural teeth. At Smiles of Groton, we will do a thorough evaluation of your situation and will let you know if your denture just needs to be relined with a new inner layer of acrylic to better adapt to your gums, or if placing implants to anchor your denture would provide you with a better outcome.
If you are unhappy or frustrated with your current denture, please give our office a call to discuss options to stabilize your denture and improve your chewing function!
Partial dentures are replacement teeth for people who have lost one or more of their teeth. Partial dentures can be taken in and out of the mouth and are made of a casted metal framework, a pink acrylic base, and denture teeth. Partial dentures are held in your mouth by clasps on your teeth.
The steps to making a partial denture are very similar to a complete denture, as described above, but will take an additional few weeks for processing time due to the extra step of making a custom casted metal framework.
Caring for Dentures