Blackstone Family Dentistry is committed to making sure you have a healthy smile. Sometimes that includes dentures/plates. We are here to make sure you understand all your denture and implant options and make the most informed decisions.
A denture is a removable plastic or ceramic replacement for missing teeth and their surrounding tissue. Dentures are custom-made from impressions taken of your mouth.
There are two types of dentures: compete dentures and partial dentures. A complete denture is used when all of a patient’s teeth are missing. A partial denture is used when only a few natural teeth are missing.
There are two types of complete dentures: immediate and conventional (or regular).
Immediate dentures are made before the teeth are removed. Before the teeth are pulled, the dentist takes an impression or mold of your existing teeth and gums. They use the mold to create the dentures that will be ready as soon as your teeth are extracted.
The greatest benefit of immediate dentures is that you won’t have to wait any length of time for your dentures. You can immediately begin getting used to chewing and speaking with your new dentures the same day your natural teeth are removed.
The immediate dentures will need adjusting or you may need temporary linings during the natural healing and receding process of your gums after your teeth are removed.
After your mouth is completely healed you will need a permanent “reline” or denture refitting to make sure your dentures fit properly and comfortably.
Because of the number of adjustments immediate dentures usually require, dentists typically treat immediate dentures as a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made after the healing process is complete.
Conventional dentures are made from a mold or impression taken of your mouth after your teeth have been removed and everything has healed. Typically, conventional dentures are ready three to six months after your teeth were removed.
Conventional dentures are a more permanent solution than immediate dentures because they are created to have a more accurate fit.
Partial dentures fill in the spaces left by missing teeth and prevent the other teeth from moving out of place. Partial dentures also make it easier to chew and speak properly.
A removable partial denture (also called a flipper) is made with the replacement teeth attached to a plastic or ceramic base that sits on top of your gums. Sometimes it includes a metal frame to hold the denture in place.
There are a number of myths and misconceptions about dentures. Dispelling the common myths can help you make an informed decision about what kinds of dentures are right for you.
Myth: It will be difficult to eat with dentures.
Depending on the types of dentures and other oral health factors, some people may have some dietary restrictions or find it difficult to eat certain foods. Learning to eat with dentures does take some adjustment and time.
Myth: You will only need one set of dentures.
The truth is your gums and jawbone change constantly, requiring regular denture adjustments and rebasing. Additionally, just like natural teeth, dentures wear down over time.
Typically dentures need replaced every 5 to 7 years and you will need to see your dentist about once each year for denture adjustments and a check up to make sure your gums and mouth are healthy.
Myth: Once you have dentures you never have to visit the dentist.
Even if you have a full set of dentures you should still visit our office once or twice each year for your regular checkup. We will make sure your gums, tongue, and tissues inside of your mouth are healthy and strong. We will also do a yearly oral cancer screening. The dentist will also make any necessary adjustments to your dentures during these visits.
Myth: Dentures are obvious to everyone.
Denture technology has come a long way in the last ten years. Your dentures will probably be indistinguishable from natural teeth if it fit properly and you maintain good oral health.
In the past dentures were the only solutions to edentulism—the complete loss of the top and / or bottom teeth. But technology has come a long way and brought alternatives to the traditional denture options. The most popular and effective alternative is the dental implant.
Dental implants are metal posts that are surgically implanted in the jawbone under your gums. Replacement teeth are mounted to the metal posts. An implant is a more permanent solution than dentures and generally don’t need to be anchored to other teeth for strength or stability.
Dental implants require healthy gums and jawbone to support the implant and some people require a bone graft to make sure there is enough bone. It will be important to maintain good oral hygiene and regular dental visits to make sure the dental implants stay strong and healthy. Dental implants have become a popular and reliable alternative to conventional dentures.
Who should get dentures?
Complete dentures are for anyone who has no natural teeth remaining on the upper, lower, or both parts of the mouth. Partial dentures are for anyone who still has some of their natural teeth.
Dentures improve chewing and speech and even helps provide facial support, not to mention making sure you have a healthy smile.
Will dentures make me speak or eat differently?
Even the best fitting dentures feel a bit awkward at first. Eating with new dentures takes a little practice and getting used to.
Speaking may also take a little practice and time. You may have a little difficulty saying some words or sounds at first.
What do new dentures feel like? What should I expect when I begin wearing dentures?
It takes time to adjust to dentures. Usually patients say their new dentures feel big and dentures may cause an increase in saliva flow or slightly impact your speech at first. Adjusting to dentures takes time, practice, and patience.
Are dentures worn 24 hours a day?
Only if instructed to do so by your dentist.
Will I need a denture adhesive?
Some people do find that they have a better “seal” if they use a small amount of denture adhesive. Some also feel that it gives them more confidence when wearing their dentures in public if they add a small amount of adhesive. Be sure to tell your dentist how frequently you need to use a denture adhesive.
Do I still need regular dental checkups even if I have complete dentures?
Even if you don’t have any natural teeth it is important to maintain good oral health. It’s a good idea to get a checkup once a year. Your mouth will continue to change over time, requiring adjustments and potentially new dentures in the future. Never try to adjust your dentures on your own.