Dentures and Implant Supported Dentures
A removable bridge, more commonly known as a denture, is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues. It is made of acrylic resin, sometimes in combination with various metals. Dentures improve chewing ability, speech, and provides functional support for facial bones and muscles. Dentures greatly enhance your smile and overall appearance.
Types of Dentures
Complete dentures replace all teeth for patients who have lost most or all of their natural teeth. You can have a full denture on your upper or lower jaw, or both. Complete dentures are called “conventional” or “immediate” according to when they are made and when they are inserted into the mouth.
Immediate dentures are inserted immediately after the removal of the remaining teeth. To make this possible, Dr. Benson takes measurements and impressions of the mouth during a preliminary visit. An advantage of immediate dentures is that the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing periods. When teeth are missing, the physiology of the maxillae and mandible become jeopardized, causing the bones and gums to shrink, especially during the first six months after the teeth have been removed. When this shrinkage happens, immediate dentures may require rebasing or relining to fit properly. Once the tissues have healed, a conventional denture can be made. Healing can take an additional six to eight weeks after delivering the conventional denture.
A partial denture fills in the spaces creating by missing teeth. By replacing missing teeth with a partial denture, we prevent other teeth from changing position. Partial dentures are often a solution when several teeth are missing, usually 5 or more depending on the patient. Depending on your needs, Dr. Benson will design a partial denture that may have a metal framework and clasp that connect to your teeth, or other connectors that are more natural looking, such as precision attachments.
Implant Supported Denture
An implant-supported denture is a type of denture that is supported by and attached to dental implants. An implant-supported denture is used when a person does not have any teeth in the jaw, but has enough bone to support implants. This denture has special attachments that snap onto attachments on the implants.
Implant-supported dentures are usually made for the lower jaw. A conventional denture on the upper jaw is stable on its own and does not need the extra support of implants. The lower jaw tends to be a less stable environment for a conventional denture because your lower jaw moves constantly as you talk, chew, swallow and perform other involuntary movements that you may not be conscious of.
Since the implant-supported denture process is more complex than conventional and partial dentures, we recommend setting up a consultation appointment to discuss the process and answer any questions you may. If you would like to read more literature on implant-supported dentures, we recommend Colgate’s page on Implant Supported Dentures, which offers an indepth look at the process and treatment phases. Please note that it is important to meet with Dr. Benson to discuss your questions and your case as each patient requires their own unique treatment plan. Every mouth and every patient is different. Our priority is delivering the best care that is tailored to your personal treatment needs.
How are conventional dentures made?
The denture process can require multiple appointments. Once the treatment plan is agreed upon between you and Dr. Benson, an impression and “wax bite” are made to determine vertical dimensions and proper jaw position. A “try-in” appointment is set to assure proper color, shape, and fit. Then the final delivery appointment is made, followed by any minor adjustment appointments.
Over time, adjusting the denture may be necessary. As you age, your mouth naturally changes, while your bones and gum ridges may continue to shrink. This affects the fit of your denture. Dentures that do not fit properly should be adjusted as this can cause various problems, including sores or infections. If your denture becomes loose, call us. Maintaining regular check ups can ensure your denture fits properly and your overall oral health is excellent.
If your denture breaks, cracks, or chips, or if one of the teeth becomes loose, call us immediately. Oftentimes we can make same-day repairs. Complicated repairs may require that we send your denture to a special dental lab for a day.
Remember: You can do serious damage to your denture and your health by trying to adjust or repair your denture. Using a do-it-yourself kit can damage the appliance beyond repair. Glues sold over-the-counter often contain harmful chemicals and should not be used.
Denture adhesives can provide retention for well-fitting dentures, but adhesives are not the solution for old, ill-fitting dentures. These dentures may need a reline or need to be replaced. If your dentures begin to feel loose, or cause pronounced discomfort, consult with Dr. Benson, as prolonged use of misfitting dentures causes sores, which can become infected.
What to expect:
In the beginning, your dentures may feel awkward or bulky. This is normal, and you will eventually become accustomed to wearing them.
Inserting and removing a partial denture will require some practice. Never force it into position by biting down. This could bend or break the clasps.
If the denture puts too much pressure on a particular area, that area will become sore. Call us for an adjustment.
Eating should become a more pleasant experience with dentures. Start out by eating soft foods that are cut into small pieces. Chew on both sides of the mouth to keep even pressure on both sides. Avoid foots that are sticky or hard. You may want to avoid chewing gum during this adjustment period.
Care and Maintenance
Whether you wear full or partial dentures, you still have to practice good dental hygiene. Brush your gums, tongue and roof of your mouth twice a day. Brushing with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures in the morning helps stimulate circulation in your tissues and helps remove plaque.
In addition to brushing your gums, tongue and roof of your mouth, your dentures should be brushed daily to remove food particles, plaque, and prevent staining. Use a non-abrasive cleanser to brush all surfaces of the dentures so they don’t get scratched.
When you are not wearing your dentures, put them in a safe place covered in water to keep them from warping.
We recommend using Polident (https://www.mydenturecare.com/en-us/polident-denture-cleaners/) to clean your dentures regularly. We also support Polident’s instructions on how to clean and care for your dentures.
If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact us as we are here to help.