Tooth loss happens. As a matter of fact, about 70 percent of Americans are missing a tooth right now. While saving teeth is always the primary goal, it is not always possible due to some circumstances like aging, poor oral hygiene, diseases like cancer or diabetes, and genetic health factors that impact the teeth. Some patients lose teeth also because of an injury or an accident, and other patients have teeth removed because of crowding or spacing issues. No matter the reason, it is important to replace missing teeth as soon as possible to minimize complications and further damage to your teeth.
When a tooth is missing, it causes shifting of surrounding teeth, tooth loss, fractures or chips, problems with the gums, and atrophy of the jawbone. Missing teeth also lead to extrusion, or the partial displacement of a tooth out of a socket to the teeth opposite of the gap.
Missing teeth can also impact how you speak, your ability to chew, and even change your physical appearance. For many people, this results in feelings of self-consciousness, embarrassment, and even avoiding social situations. When missing teeth impacts the ability to chew, patients are forced to modify their diet, which can lead to malnutrition and unintended, unhealthy weight loss.
Tooth Replacement Options
To avoid such complications and negative outcomes, many patients opt for tooth replacement. Options for tooth replacement include:
Dental implants. Dental implants are a popular tooth replacement option because they are permanent, durable, and long lasting. Dental implants are titanium posts surgically implanted in the jawbone and are capped with a porcelain or zirconia crown. Dental implants look and function just like your natural teeth.
Dental bridges. A dental bridge is a type of restoration that fills in the gap created by missing teeth, preventing complications and future problems. Dental bridges made up of two or more crowns anchored to the teeth on either side of the gap, with an artificial tooth in the middle. These crowns are can be made from gold, metal alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are ideal restoration options for patients missing just 1 or 2 teeth.
Full and partial dentures. Unlike fixed tooth replacement options like dental implants and bridges, dentures are a removable replacement for missing teeth and gum tissue. There are two kinds of dentures available, full and partial. Partial dentures are used when some of the patient’s natural teeth remain, while full dentures are used when all the patient’s teeth are missing. Ask us about Ageless Dentures!
If you are missing teeth and considering your tooth replacement options, call us at 724-934-3422 today!
Full and Partial Dentures
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are a removable, prosthetic tooth replacement option for patients who may not want a permanent restoration, like dental implants or bridges. Some patients choose dentures as a tooth replacement option because they are noninvasive and cost less than implants.
What Kind of Dentures Are Available?
There are two kinds of dentures: full and partial. Partial dentures are used when some of the patient’s natural teeth remain, while full dentures are used when all of the patient’s teeth are missing.
The quality of our dentures goes far above and beyond standard dentures that you may find at dental chains or other dental practices that offer very basic, one-size-fits-all dentures that do not take your needs or desired appearance in mind. Because these basic dentures are not designed using specifications or measurements collected from you, these dentures are often awkward, uncomfortable, and unappealing. These basic dentures can also negatively impact your appearance, and many individuals who wear this kind of denture complain that the denture makes them look old or gives them a look that is obvious that they are wearing dentures.
In contrast, our dentures are highly customized and uniquely personal to each patient. This is because we recognize that each patient has a unique smile and unique dental needs. To craft a personalized denture for each patient, that both looks and feels good, Dr. George performs an in depth analysis of the mouth to take measurements to determine the size, shape, and fit of the denture. Dr. George also examines the face and measures the facial structure of each patient to ensure that the final product looks natural to the patient.
A properly designed and fitted denture like our Ageless Dentures can reverse the signs of aging, giving patients an instant facelift! Sagging and wrinkling caused by diminished tissue, lost teeth, or damaged dentures are instantly corrected. Patients look and feel younger!
Make an appointment to see Dr. George about your dentures if:
- You dislike your current denture(s) because they are old and no longer fit well
- You have teeth, but you think they are in really bad shape and you don’t know if they can be saved
- You just had teeth pulled and you need a permanent denture after your healing denture
- You don’t like how your dentures look or you are looking older than you feel because of your dentures
How Do Dentures Work?
When you come in for your denture appointment, Dr. George will take impressions and other measurements of your mouth. This is to ensure that your dentures are the proper size and shape and reflect the appropriate length of your teeth. Dr. George also works to find your proper jaw position. These measurements not only ensure that your denture looks natural, but fits properly and does not negatively impact your bite. These impressions and measurements will be sent to a dental laboratory and created into your customized dentures. You will even get to “try on” your dentures with a trial smile so we can make sure you love how they look!
Partial dentures are crafted onto a metal bracket that attaches to your nearby natural teeth, almost like a dental bridge, but remain removable.
Full dentures are crafted onto a gum-colored plastic base that fits over your gums. In cases of full upper dentures, the full denture prosthetic covers the roof of the mouth. For patients with full lower dentures, the full denture prosthetic is U-shaped because of the tongue.
Dentures can take a few months to get used to and may feel uncomfortable or sore as you learn to eat and speak with them. Some patients report excessive drooling during this period, which can be bothersome but will go away over time. Extended or severe irritation should be reported to Dr. George, however, for further investigation and adjustment.
How Long Will My Dentures Last?
Dentures, on average, last 7 to 10 years with good hygiene practices. Dentures must be cleaned regularly, just like natural teeth, to prevent gum disease. Periodically, dentures need maintenance to address issues of wear and tear. If your denture is uncomfortable or showing signs of wear, call Dr. George to discuss repair or replacement options.
As you age, lose weight, or gain weight, you may find that your dentures stop fitting properly. This is because our mouths change over the years, and can cause dentures to loosen and shift. Changes in your dentures due to aging should be discussed with Dr. George, and it is a good idea to come in for a denture checkup with Dr. George at least once per year.
How to Care for Your Dentures
- Handle with care. Dentures can break or chip if dropped
- Keep them clean. Use commercial denture cleaner to disinfect and deodorize your dentures, and brush daily to remove food debris and plaque buildup
- Brush your tongue and gums to encourage circulation and to brush away dental plaque
- Visually inspect your dentures for chip, cracks, or breaks. If you see any damage, make an appointment to see Dr. George
- Wear them during sleep in order to ensure proper breathing and jaw support
- Visit Dr. George at least once per year for a denture checkup
Are you considering dentures? Find out more by calling us at 724-934-3422 today!