If you have missing teeth but don’t want to replace it with something as permanent as a crown or bridge, then dentures may be the option for you! Dentures are removable appliances that act as your missing teeth but are never permanently placed.
Types of Dentures
There are many types of dentures and the right one depends on your scenario.
How many teeth are you missing?
Complete Dentures (a.k.a. “dentures”) are for those who are missing all the teeth in an arch. An arch refers to either the top of your mouth or the bottom of your mouth. All teeth must be extracted on one arch and a single removable denture replaces all the missing teeth.
Partial Dentures (a.k.a. “partials”) are for those who are missing some of the teeth on an arch, but still have other teeth remaining. Partials work by hooking on to the other teeth which help anchor the partial in place. Your real teeth and your dentures work together to restore your mouth’s functionality.
Are the teeth already missing or do they still need to be extracted?
Conventional Dentures are made if the teeth have already been extracted and have been missing for a long time. In this case, the gums have already had time to heal (usually gums take about 4-6 weeks to heal after extractions) and the dentures are made around your current bite.
Immediate Dentures are the better option for those who still have their teeth but know that there is no way to save them and they must be extracted. This option allows the patient to avoid walking around with no teeth! The dentures are made in advance, taking impressions at an initial visit. The teeth aren’t removed until the dentures are ready to be delivered, and the dentures are seated the same day as the extraction. The gums then heal around the dentures. Sometimes, it is necessary to make some adjustments a few weeks after, when the tissues have healed.
Getting dentures requires several appointments. On the first visit, impressions are taken. Then a second appointment involves a try-in, with a wax model, to make sure it fits well. The third appointment is a full try-in with the final denture. A fourth appointment may be necessary to do adjustments. There may be possible additional appointments if the dentist or the patient is unsatisfied with the denture. We want to ensure that it’s not only a great fit, but looks and feels great too.
All dentures are custom made for our patients. The impressions that we take are key to making dentures that are perfectly molded to you. Furthermore, our dentist will work with you to choose the perfect shade that will match the rest of your teeth. After dentures, you can once again feel like you were never missing teeth at all!
Getting used to dentures
Getting used to dentures can take some time, especially if it’s a complete denture. There may be an increased saliva flow, because your mouth still isn’t used to having a denture in it. It recognizes the denture as a foreign object and its natural reaction is to produce saliva. This should decrease as the mouth becomes used to the denture’s presence. There may also be some soreness, and if the soreness persists, then some adjusts may be necessary, until the dentures work well without discomfort. Lastly, dentures may make it hard to speak and chew normally, but after getting used to them, these second set of teeth will become so natural, even you may forget that they’re there!