At SL Implant and General Dentistry of Auburn, we often find that even patients who have dentures still have questions about them. We’re here to take the mystery out of all your dental procedures, including dentures.
Dentures are prosthetic dental devices that are custom-made to replace missing teeth. They are designed to be removable and can be suitable for individuals who have lost some or all of their natural teeth. Apart from restoring your smile, dentures can benefit your health in several ways. By replacing missing teeth, dentures can improve your eating and speaking ability.
Additionally, dentures are designed to closely resemble your natural teeth or enhance your smile's appearance.
To make dentures, the dentist takes impressions of the patient's gums, remaining teeth, and surrounding tissue. These impressions are used to create a mold that will be used to form the denture base. Next, the dentist will create wax models of the dentures, which the patient tries on to ensure a proper fit and bite.
Once the wax models are finalized, the denture is cast in the final material, such as acrylic or porcelain. The denture is then adjusted and polished to ensure a comfortable and natural-looking fit. The process may take several appointments, but the result is a customized dental appliance that can restore the patient's ability to eat, speak, and smile confidently.
There are two main types of dentures: full and partial. We also offer implant-supported dentures.
Full dentures, also known as complete dentures, are recommended for patients who are missing all of their natural teeth and do not have enough bone structure to support implants. Full dentures can be either conventional or immediate.
Conventional dentures are made and placed after the remaining teeth are removed and all tissues have healed, which may take several months.
Immediate dentures are made in advance and are placed immediately after teeth are removed. However because the tissue and bone shrink over time and especially while healing, immediate dentures typically require more extensive refitting and adjustments while the jaw heals, and sometimes have to be remade entirely.
Partial dentures are a good option for patients who have one or more remaining healthy teeth. These appliances consist of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored base, which is fastened to nearby natural teeth to keep them fixed in place. They are not permanently attached, however, and can easily be removed for cleaning and while sleeping, just like full dentures.
Implant-supported dentures are attached to dental implants which are anchored in the jawbone, unlike regular dentures which rest on the gums. These are a good option for patients who do not have remaining teeth but do have enough healthy bone structure to support implants. This type of denture has special attachments that snap onto attachments on the implants. Implant-supported dentures are usually more stable and comfortable than traditional dentures, with a high rate of patient satisfaction.
Like getting braces or a new retainer, new dentures will feel like a foreign object at first. It is normal to experience some discomfort as you get used to them, but it’s helpful to keep in mind that it won’t last forever. Patience is key!
Eating and speaking with new dentures will take a little practice, but it will eventually become much easier. Start with soft foods cut into small pieces, and gradually incorporate harder food items. Don’t skip out on nutritious food! Singing is a great method of speech training, and singing along to your favorite tunes is an excellent and enjoyable way to adjust to speaking with your dentures fluidly.
It is not unusual for dentures to feel a bit loose or bulky while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place, but it will feel more comfortable in time. It’s also a good idea to talk to your dentist about recommended dental creams or adhesives, and experiment with what kind works best for you!
Patients also often experience temporarily increased saliva flow as well as minor irritation and soreness. These issues will all go away as your mouth gradually gets used to the dentures. If irritation or discomfort persists, we recommend visiting the dentist for adjustments for a more comfortable and stable fit. Do not attempt to adjust dentures yourself, as this can result in irreparable damage. And be sure to clean and care for your dentures and mouth daily!
Regardless of the type, all dentures must be cleaned daily and removed nightly. Rinse and brush your dentures daily to remove food, plaque, and bacteria, which can cause harm to exist teeth and gums. When not in use, submerge your dentures in a lukewarm denture-soaking solution or plain water to prevent them from drying out and warping. Always remove your dentures while sleeping to avoid damaging them, and also to give your gums some time to relax!
And even if you have no remaining teeth, it is important to clean your entire mouth. Brush your tongue, gums, cheeks, and roof of your mouth to stimulate circulation and remove plaque. This helps reduce the risk of oral irritation and bad breath.
We welcome you to join our dental family and look forward to serving you. If you are looking for comprehensive general and cosmetic dentistry services in Auburn and the surrounding communities, look no further than SL Implant & General Dentistry. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!