Dentures have been around for a long time as a replacement for the loss of teeth. Edentulism or rather the complete loss of all permanent teeth can reduce quality of life, daily functioning (eating and speaking) and self-image. It can cause nutritional problems and different health disorders. The most common issue associated with edentulism is loss of bone. Without teeth in the jaw, the ridge of bone which used to hold the teeth gradually gets smaller. Edentulism is a manageable condition. Dentures are a viable and affordable solution to restoring function and quality of life that may be lost or inhibited due to edentulism.
How Dentures Work
Dentures support the facial profile and affect the muscles in your face. Dentures will rejuvenate the appearance and functionality that may have been lost or inhibited previously. Dentures are supported by the ridges of bone that used to support the teeth. Dentures are held in by creating suction between the denture and ridge of bone. The more hill-shaped the lower ridge is, the better the area is for the lower denture to rest on and create suction for better stability. The upper ridges have a greater surface area for the dentures to rest upon than the lower ridges. In many cases the upper dentures will fit securely while those individuals with poor lower ridge height may find that their dentures are knocked loose by the tongue. If your ridge is flat and stability is minimal your Denturist may recommend that the denture be supported by a few implants.
Types of Dentures
There are two common types of dentures. Removable full dentures, and implant supported dentures.
Removable full-denture prosthetics are a viable solution when complete loss of teeth has occurred, yet bone position, strength and ridge height remain good. If bone position, strength and especially ridge height is poor, your Dentist or Denturist may recommend implant supported dentures.
Immediate dentures refer to the full set of removable dentures used by the patient directly after tooth extraction. Immediate dentures help in the healing process by protecting the healing tooth sockets after tooth extraction and minimizing bone loss while the tissues heal and re-mold themselves. There will be some tissue shrinkage in the first year, therefore these immediate dentures will need to be realigned in 6-9 months or a new set will need to be made. This will ensure a flawless fit since the structure of your mouth and ridges can change after your gums have healed completely.
Dear Doctor calls two-implant overdentures an “affordable option that combines the stability of implants with the economical costs of dentures.”
Overdentures or implant supported dentures for ease of explanation can be considered a hybrid treatment choice between traditional implants and traditional dentures. Removable overdentures are a set of dentures that fit ‘over’ the implants to increase retention, stability and comfort when compared to traditional dentures. An overdenture is often the treatment of choice for patients who have issues with lower denture stability, lost all of their teeth and/or have lost significant bone or facial support. Overdentures have a number of benefits for individuals lacking support. Facial aesthetics is a large contributor to self image and is often one of the first concerns mentioned by patients seeking dentures. Overdentures will replace lost tissues, improve facial symmetry and they are removable yet completely wearable and stable. Many who have had the chance to wear both a removable and a fixed denture are pleased with the stability and clarity of speech of overdentures. In addition, one of the greatest benefits of overdentures is that they help prevent the loss of the ridge of bone that can happen with traditional dentures.
Transitioning to Dentures
Pre-planning and counseling by your Dentist before and throughout the treatment process is an important step. Pre-planning will minimize discomfort and enhance acceptance as you learn how to wear/use your new teeth. To ensure the process is as smooth as possible and you are pleased with the final outcome, it is important to be involved in the process and communicate with your Dentist or Denturist.
Do your homework! Bringing in photographs is helpful and aids your Denturist in planning a treatment program that fits you best. This will help us determine how you want your smile to look. Some patients are looking for a perfect smile while others prefer to maintain the natural characteristics of their original smile. For example individuals who have had smaller teeth all of their lives may want to maintain that look. Communication with your Denturist will ensure that your transition is smooth and that you receive the smile that fits you best.
Living with dentures will take time to get used to. Removable full dentures require a short learning period as the jaw joints, ligaments, nerves and muscles learn to work in new ways. This only takes a bit of practice and like anything, a bit of time to get used to. Soon you will be smiling, chatting and chewing even better than before.
Your Denturist will take molds of the residual ridges or rather the area where your teeth used to lie. These molds will supply the base for your dentures. A well made mold will easily suction to your gums and ensure a natural and lasting bite.
Our skilled Denturist will work with your natural gum, lip and bite lines to ensure your smile is natural and you are pleased with the results. This is an important step as your facial profile is structured by the natural teeth and jaw lines. At this stage photographs can be quite helpful in determining the best tooth position, size, colour and relation between the upper and lower dentures.
The most important aspect of denture creation is balancing the bite profiles. The upper and lower dentures must come together properly to stabilize the bite. This will make everyday actions easy, like biting, chewing and chatting that may have been difficult without careful planning and a skilled technician.
The denture must be perfectly created. If the denture is made too large it will push out the lip and cause pain and difficulty, if too small they will not be supportive and will cause issues during their everyday use.
Our synergized team approach at Westney North Dental will ensure that your dentures fit perfectly and steadily in your mouth.
Will My Dentures Look and Act Natural?
Concerns regarding aesthetic and function are often put at ease when patients learn about the developments in denture fabrication including new materials and treatments that allow your dentures to function well and fit both comfortably and naturally in your mouth.
Your dentures will act natural. Materials and procedures have advanced to the point where dentures can be simulated to look realistic and even improve their function. For example the incisive papilla (the bump or ridges behind your front teeth) can be simulated to improve clarity of speech and minimize spitting when talking.
Your dentures will look natural. This includes both the look of your teeth and the look of your gums. Colours and materials have been developed and in recent years perfected which allows our skilled technicians to create your realistic-looking denture. Photographs can be a helpful aid during this step to ensure that the colours and materials chosen are the most appropriate for your individual case.
Removable dentures are easier to clean than overdentures. This is because they are just that – removable, which allows you the ability to clean the denture itself and the surrounding tissues easily. Whether you choose fixed or removable dentures your dentures will require maintenance over the years.
To ensure your dentures remain in good shape and your tissues remain healthy, it is important to visit your Dentist on a regular basis. The support and good fit of your denture is important. If your dentures are not performing as they used to, it is important to address your concerns to your Dentist as soon as possible.
If you are currently displeased with your dentures, please don’t hesitate to book a consultation with one of our experienced Dentists to discuss how we can change the way you smile.