What are Removable Dentures?
Removable dentures replace missing teeth. There are a few different types of partial dentures the dentist uses according to the individual case of each patient. The following types of denture become usually the treatment of choice when a couple or more teeth have been permanently lost.
Full dentures: These are typically made of acrylic (plastic) and are used when all the teeth of a dental arch have been lost. If a patient has lost all his teeth from both arches then a full set of acrylic dentures is needed for all the upper and lower teeth to be replaced. An alternative to acrylic dentures are Vaplast dentures, a softer and more flexible material that can be more comfortable, but is also more expensive.
Partial dentures: These are used when a patient is missing a few teeth but still has some remaining that are strong enough to support a denture. Partial dentures can also be made wholly of acrylic. Alternatively, they can consist of acrylic teeth on a light metal alloy base: this type of partial denture is more secure and less bulky, but it also has a higher cost. Metal frames can have the gum wings made from classic hard or more flexible acrylic (Sunflex). While flexible acrylics can have comfort and aesthetic benefits, they are more slow for repairing and more expensive.
Immediate or direct dentures: These are no differently made compared to the dentures described above. The difference lies in the fact that they are pre-manufactured, just before the patient is about to have his teeth extracted. The great benefit of immediate dentures is that the patient does not stay without teeth at all, as the these dentures will go in replacement of the extracted teeth straight after on that same visit. The downside is that this type of dentures will not be fitting very well as the dental laboratory technician would have pre-fabricated them only as a guesswork of how the mouth will be after the extractions. After the immediate dentures serve their initial purpose they will need to be either relined a few times or better replaced with a new set within six months to a year after the gum and bone have healed and formed a more stable shape to support the new, properly fitting dentures.
Why should I replace my missing teeth with dentures? Why are dentures important? What are the benefits of having dentures?
- If you have lost some teeth, dentures can fill in the gaps and give you back a whole smile, support the soft tissues of your face and so improve your overall looks, making you look better and younger. At our dental practice we keep very high standards of aesthetics and will make your dentures look as natural as possible.
- Dentures will improve the way you chew, bite and eat and help you enjoy meals more and keep a complete and well balanced diet.
- Dentures can improve the way you talk if the missing teeth gaps had affected your speech.
- The teeth that are left are protected from wear and tear. Without dentures, the natural teeth may move or tilt, stopping your teeth biting together properly.
- Dentures can be fitted immediately after teeth have been taken out so nobody will know that you have had a tooth out. These are called “immediate” dentures.
What is the procedure to make me a set of dentures? What will the dentist do?
1st visit: The dentist will take some initial impressions with a plastic generic tray and soft putty-like material to make moulds of your mouth. These will then be sent to a dental laboratory where they will manufacture special trays made for your mouth only.
2nd visit: These special trays will be used a carriers to take more impressions and make the final moulds of your mouth. Also wax blocks will be used to determine the size of your new teeth and their bite. Finally the shade of your new teeth will be determined.
3rd visit: This is a rehearsal or Try appointment as we call it. During this appointment we will try in the mouth a model of dentures made of wax but with the acrylic teeth chosen on it. According to the fit of this model we will either plan the fitting appointment next or take more impressions to make corrections and go for a second try.
4th or 5th visit: Fit and initial adjustment. The dentures are now ready and we fit them. Remember there is no such thing as “perfect fit” for a new denture. It always needs a number of adjustments. On the fit day the dentist will do a fine first adjustment with his burs. Further adjustments will be needed after initial use.
*If having immediate dentures, there is no Try appointment, and the teeth are extracted and the dentures fitted on the 3rd visit
6th+ visits: The dentures will need to be adjusted a second time within 48 hours of the first fit as they will create pressure points on the gum and soft tissues that can be very painful. More visits like this may be needed once a week for the first few weeks.
How do I take care to maintain my new dentures?
Please watch the video below and read the Aftercare instructions underneath.
New Dentures After care:
- Keep your dentures in during the day at all times and visit us within 48 to adjust the pressure points. Visit us again in a week or more times if needed. We are committed to aid the adaptation of your new dentures and ease it as many times as needed at no additional cost to you.
- Remove the teeth overnight and soak them in clean water or a cleansing solution. A tablet can be used for this purpose a few times per week. Do not let the dentures to dry out as this can cause distortion over time.
- Keep a soft diet for the first few days and only gradually built up for more chewy foods. Give it at least 10 days before chewing meat. Avoid completely anything that is very hard. A soft diet does not mean only soup. There are plenty of options like chopped or blended recipes yogurt, soft fruit etc.
- Always take your time to put in the teeth properly in place and do not rush or try to bite them in!
- Feel free to use dentures adhesive like Polygrip, Fixodent or Secure. For some people with inadequate bone saddle or awkward gum this will be needed from start, even for a new set of dentures.
- Do not compare the fit of your lower denture to the fit of the upper denture, as the lower denture has the tongue in its way and lacks any suction like the roof of the mouth has, the lower denture will always be a tool to learn how to keep in properly.
- As time goes unfortunately the bone saddle under your dentures will resorb, it will lose height and change shape and so your denture will need to be relined. The procedure requires you to come for impressions and it usually takes only 2-3 visits.
- Dentures will never feel like your own teeth and it can take time to get used to them. This includes talking and eating and keeping them in properly. All these functions will improve but it takes time.
- If you are having any problems down the line please give us a call, it might be time to reline them or make some adjustments. Do not try to keep in with adhesive a denture that has become lose and is now ill-fitting.
Why is my denture getting lose?
What is the atrophy of the jaw bone?
How can I stop this from happening?
What are implant supported dentures and how do they stop jaw atrophy?
When we lose our last tooth, unfortunately the jaw bones, that act as saddles for any dentures put on them, will enter a state called atrophy. This destructive condition will cause the advancing resorption of the precious bone that holds the dentures, until the jaw crest will be completely flat. According to the global dentists association a person that has lost all of their jaw bone height is considered permanently disabled, as no denture and no implant can be placed and nothing at all can be done about it.
This detrimental disability can be prevented only if one or more dental implants are placed in the jaw soon after the extraction of the last tooth, when there is still some bone to use for the placement. It is proven that dental implants stop bone resorption, as probably the body interpreters their presence as natural teeth still exist and so pauses the signal for bone resorption as bone would still be needed to ‘hold teeth’ in place.
Contemporary dental restorative procedures use 1-4 dental implants to support a denture in place. These are called implant supported dentures, on their best design they utilize 4 implants and they can provide a comfortable and stable dental arch and prevent the disability of staying toothless if they are made promptly.