A denture or a complete denture as it is often called, is an appliance that is inserted in the mouth, replaces natural teeth and provides support for the cheeks and lips.
The teeth are made of plastic, porcelain or a combination of both. Dentures can be fabricated to fit over endodontically treated teeth and a complete denture can be attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit of the appliance.
Dentures over a normal course of time will wear and need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of the teeth. Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or change.
Types of Dentures
- A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed.
- An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues are allowed to heal under the denture.
- An upper denture has acrylic, usually flesh colored, that covers the palate (roof of the mouth).
- A lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.
An immediate denture may be the best solution when complete extractions of your remaining teeth is unavoidable. An immediate denture will allow you to avoid the embarrassment of living without teeth. We will begin the preparation for this procedure before your teeth are extracted.
The first step is taking impressions of your existing teeth and gums to create accurate duplicates for placement after tooth removal. At your extraction appointment, your immediate dentures are inserted creating a natural smile you can be proud of.
Implant Retained Dentures
Usually, when you lose a tooth, it is best for your oral health to have it replaced. Missing teeth can affect your “bite” as well as your ability to speak and chew. Their loss can increase the burden on your remaining teeth and can cause muscle pain in your jaws and headaches. And of course, losing a tooth can affect your appearance. The following information reviews replacing missing teeth with an implant retained denture.
Although many patients have no problem wearing an upper denture, some people find it difficult to wear and eat with lower dentures. Several implant-supported replacement options are available if you are missing all of your lower teeth.
Ball Attachment Denture
One option is to have two implants placed in your lower jaw and a denture made that snaps onto these dental implants. This option allows your lower denture to be more stable while chewing than without implants. However, there will still be movement of your lower denture, and sore spots will occur if any food particles, especially seeds, are caught under it. As with all removable replacement teeth, you still will need periodic appointments for denture adjustment.
Bar Attachment Denture
Another option involves placing four to six implants, depending on your jaw size or shape, into your lower jaw. After healing is complete, the implants are connected with a custom-made support bar. Your denture will be made with special internal retention clips that attach onto the support bar, enabling the denture to snap firmly into place. This is called an “overdenture.” The advantage of this option is that it is much more stable than the first option and allows very little denture movement. Your denture is still removable for easy cleaning and maintenance.
Screw Retained Denture
A third option involves placing five or more implants in your jaw and attaching a permanent denture. Your denture is held in place by screws or clasps that secure it to the support posts or bar. It doesn’t touch the gum tissue, which allows you to clean under the denture without removing it. This denture will replace all your missing lower teeth and will not be removed except at maintenance visits. Although cleaning under your denture without removing it is more time consuming and requires more dexterity, many patients who want a permanent denture prefer this option.
Implant Retained Upper Denture
A similar range of treatment options is also available for your upper jaw. However, because the bone is not as hard as that in the lower jaw, people often need more implants to support their new replacement teeth. Depending upon the number of implants to be placed, it may be possible to eliminate the need for covering the roof of your mouth with a complete denture. This option allows you to fully taste your food and gives you a better sense of its temperature. Your denture will feel more natural. You will still have a removable denture, which makes cleaning the support bar and denture much easier.
A removable partial denture is designed specifically to meet the needs of the patient and can replace one or more missing teeth. A natural appearance and speech clarity is restored along with the ability to eat more efficiently.
Partial Denture Types and Materials
Partial dentures are created out of a metal and acrylic composition or completely out of acrylic. A patient’s specific needs and anatomy dictate the design of the partial denture and every effort is made to construct a self-cleansing partial denture that preserves the remaining teeth and oral tissues.
Dr. Trembath will design your partial denture so that the chewing forces are evenly distributed over the entire surface are of the remaining teeth and soft tissues. Changes to your remaining teeth may be recommended to help equalize these forces.
Metal partials are generally preferred as they are structurally superior. They are thinner and more hygienic than an acrylic partial. Acrylic partials are typically used as a transitional or temporary partial. Dr. Trembath will consult with you to determine the appropriate partial for your situation.
Benefits of Partial Dentures
A removable partial denture may help limit movement of your existing natural teeth. They also allow you to better grind and chew food improving digestion.