These days fewer and fewer people need to wear full dentures thanks to implant technology. However, if you suffer from broken, badly decayed or missing teeth, dentures may be a good choice.
There are two types of complete dentures, conventional and immediate. A conventional denture is the type that would be used to replace an existing denture or when the teeth are already missing. In many cases, as people age and dentures wear, they can become loose and have a poor fit. This can cause sore spots and problems chewing or even keeping the denture in place. Not to mention the unwanted years that can be added to your appearance. A new, custom fit, conventional denture can restore a youthful appearance and look as natural as your real teeth…or even better! The denture is made through a series of impressions that are taken and processed by a lab. The entire process takes 4-6 weeks to complete.
An immediate denture is one that is placed the same day the teeth are extracted. It is made in much the same fashion as a conventional denture, but takes 8-12 weeks to complete. When teeth are extracted and the healing process begins to take place, the denture acts as a “bandage”. Some initial swelling will occur and help to “mold” the denture to the shape of the bone, helping the long term fit of the denture. However, as the healing continues, the swelling will recede and the bone will very slowly begin to shrink. This often causes the denture to become loose, requiring several adjustments and refits throughout the first year.
Fixed Bridges and Partial Dentures
For those patients who are missing only a few teeth, a fixed bridge or a partial denture may be a better option. The fixed bridge is designed to replace only one or two missing teeth in the same area. A fixed bridge closes the gap where the missing tooth is present with a false tooth, called a pontic. It is held in place by essentially crowning the teeth on both sides, called abutments. Unfortunately, this often means grinding down perfectly healthy teeth. It is permanently cemented and is not meant to be a removable appliance. Though a fixed bridge is not considered state of the art in tooth replacement, it can be a reliable option and may be expected to last as long as 10 years with excellent home care and regular preventative maintenance.
A partial denture is a removable appliance that is used when a complete denture is not necessary. A partial denture can replace several missing teeth on either or both sides of the mouth. It is fabricated much the same way as a complete denture. There are a series of impressions that are taken and it is processed by a lab as well. A partial denture is held in place with clasps that attach to solid, healthy teeth. This may provide a more stable fit than a conventional denture which relies only on the level of bone to hold them in place. The clasps are often metal, so the cosmetic appearance can be an issue for some patients. Partial dentures will require some adjustments to ensure a proper fit as well. This process takes approximately 4-6 weeks to complete.
Call Riverview Dental today and let us help find the best option for replacing your missing teeth! It will restore comfort to your mouth and put confidence back into your smile!