Dentures are false teeth meant to replace your natural teeth in the event of their loss. At our office, we provide you with the opportunity to turn to dentures as a means of substituting for any lost teeth. There are two different types to choose from, so we can ultimately decide what’s best for every patient’s unique situation. These two types are referred to as full and partial dentures.
Their appearance is that of a flesh-colored acrylic base that fits over your gums. If dentures are required on the upper row of your teeth, they will generally cover the roof of your mouth. Bottom dentures are shaped much like a horseshoe to allow your tongue to move freely.
The first type of denture, called full or complete, is an option when all the patient’s teeth are missing. Complete dentures can either be installed immediately after the teeth are removed or after the area and tissue has healed. If dentures are placed in your mouth right after your teeth have been extracted, it means that we have taken measurements to construct these dentures at a prior appointment so that the model can be made and ready to insert after tooth removal. While these immediate dentures have the benefit of the patient not having to be without teeth for a period of time, you may need to come back in after a few months to have them relined. This is due to the fact that the healing of the bone and tissue after extraction could reshape and cause the denture to loosen. Typically, immediate dentures are considered as a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.
The alternative full denture is a conventional one; that is, dentures that are placed several months (roughly 8 to 12 weeks) after the tooth extraction. This time gap, although you will be without teeth, allows for the tissue and bone to heal before applying the dentures. Allowing for everything to heal means that the fit for the dentures will likely not need to be relined.
The other option for dentures is a recommendation we offer when some of your natural teeth still remain. Partial dentures sit on a metal framework that attaches to the surrounding natural teeth. Sometimes, in order to ensure stability, crowns are placed on your natural teeth to serve as an anchoring point. Partial dentures are a removable alternative to bridges and help prevent other teeth from shifting positions due to empty space.
For the first few weeks or even months after the installation of dentures, they may still feel a bit awkward or uncomfortable. Eating and speaking with them takes practice – after all, the muscles of your tongue and cheek need to learn how to operate while holding your dentures in place. Minor irritation and soreness, excessive saliva flow, and the sensation that your tongue doesn’t have enough room are not uncommon. However, if you experience irritation or have other concerns you should contact us.
Dentures are not the only option for missing teeth, just one of the many that our staff may discuss with you. If you have any concerns or questions about dentures as an option for tooth-replacement, contact our office today!