Dentures and Partials
Everything You Need to Know About Dentures
For patients with extensively damaged natural teeth or numerous missing teeth, dentures are a popular and effective solution. Modern dentures are virtually undetectable. They function exactly the same way natural teeth function and can even provide patients with the flawless smile they’ve always wanted. If you’re in the Green Valley/ Sahuarita area and beginning the process of finding a provider and a dental solution, there are a few things you’ll want to understand before you proceed.
What Are Partials?
Partial dentures function like a removable bridge. For patients who still have a substantial number of teeth, partials are a solution that limit the need for extraction or additional dental work. If the existing teeth are healthy, they can coexist with a partial denture. Partial dentures fill the empty spaces in the mouth, preventing the natural teeth from shifting or migrating into the empty spaces. This aspect of their functionality often extends the longevity of healthy teeth.
What is a Full Arch Replacement?
Full arch dentures, also known as complete dentures, replace an entire arch of teeth. Full dentures can be created for the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both. All natural teeth must be removed for full dentures to be fitted.
There are two types of dentures – immediate dentures and conventional dentures. Immediate dentures are made before the teeth are extracted. As their name implies, they’re ready to be worn as soon as the extractions are fitted. While immediate dentures may seem ideal on the surface, there are many issues that they fail to address. Following recovery of dental extractions, the gums and the bones in the mouth will heal and shrink. Immediate dentures cannot account for how much the gums will shrink and will often need a series of adjustments before an optimal fit can truly be achieved.
Conventional dentures typically take a few weeks before they’re ready to be placed. They’re created to fit a fully healed gum, and therefore, they’re less likely to require numerous adjustments. The fit will last longer and be more comfortable from the very beginning.
At Desert Villa Dental, we prefer conventional dentures. Although conventional dentures leave the patient without teeth throughout the healing process, the end result is a perfect denture that requires less follow up for the patient.
Getting Fitted for Dentures
After a full dental exam and x-rays, your dentist will make molds of your jaw where dentures are needed. This may include full casts of both the upper and lower jaw, depending on where the denture is being designed to go. Colors will then be selected. If the denture will be used in conjunction with natural teeth, the hue of the denture will be matched to the hue of the teeth. The color of the gum will also reflect the color of the natural gum.
Once casts have been taken and colors have been selected, all relevant information will be sent off to a dental lab that will create the denture. The patient will then come back to see the dentist to have the fit of the denture evaluated. It’s important that the denture is comfortable and that it won’t impede the natural motion of the mouth. Well fitted dentures won’t make it difficult to chew, close the mouth, or pronounce certain words. If the fit is ideal and the denture functions like normal teeth, the patient is all set. If adjustments need to be made, the dentist will work with the dental lab to make corrections.
Because the mouth continues to heal following extractions, the fit of the denture may change over the course of several months. If the denture feels loose, begins slipping, or starts to cause the patient difficulty in talking or chewing, the denture may need further adjustments. This is why it is crucially important not to postpone follow up appointments.
Caring for Your Dentures
The primary function of dentures means that they’re constantly exposed to bacteria and prone to staining. Proper care will assure that your dentures last longer and that your mouth remains healthy. Dentures should be cleaned just as often as regular teeth.
Dentures should be soaked and brushed thoroughly with a soft bristled toothbrush at least once a day to remove food debris and prevent plaque. Don’t use whitening toothpaste or any bleaching products to clean your dentures. This will unevenly discolor your dentures and cause them to degrade faster.
After you eat, remove and rinse your dentures. Clean your mouth and gums. If you use a soaking solution to clean your dentures, be sure you have thoroughly rinsed away all remnants of the solution before you place the dentures back into your mouth. Most dentures should be soaked overnight, and the proper procedure for soaking them will come at the advice of your dentist. Simply follow the instructions.
Dentures that initially fit well may begin to fit less comfortably over time. It’s normal for the gums and bones to shrink slightly over a prolonged period. If this happens, it may not be necessary to have a new denture created. Relining your dentures may be the perfect solution.
Soft relining is often the most comfortable. If you have sensitive gums, a soft reline promotes optimal comfort. A liquid polymer is used to add cushion to the denture and improve the fit without placing any additional pressure on the gums. A hard reline uses a material similar to the material the denture is made of and will ultimately create a new fit without changing the way the denture feels. This is the best solution if the gum and bone have significantly changed.
Book Your Appointment
Desert Villa Dental, serving the Green Valley and Sahuarita areas, can meet all of your dental needs – including dentures and denture relining. If you’re considering dentures, we invite you to book an exam with us online by email or by phone at 520-399-2700. At Desert Villa Dental, we pride ourselves on our experience serving patients like you seeking natural looking dentures with a comfortable fit. We’re always available if you have any questions about the process or procedures involved.