Many people struggle with teeth that, for whatever reason, don’t function optimally. Perhaps they have suffered some injury or trauma to many of their teeth, or extensive decay has damaged their smile. Other patients may suffer from intense tooth sensitivity. No matter the reason, if you find yourself thinking about dentures, our dentists at Pro Solutions Dental Group are here to help.
Types of Dentures
Dentures are removable dental appliances used to replace many or all of a patient’s teeth. They come in two main types: partial and complete dentures. All dentures are made from realistic-looking materials that can replicate the look of your natural teeth.
If you need to replace several teeth due to damage or decay, Dr. Jason Campbell, Dr. Rick Farnsworth and Dr. Mitchell Grimmer may recommend a partial denture. Like all dentures, partials are removable appliances that help restore proper eating and speaking ability. Partials can include any range of teeth, from molars to incisors. Many partials feature a mechanism or clasp to help anchor the appliance to neighboring teeth; you may have even heard of them referred to as removable bridges.
When you picture “dentures,” these is probably what you think of. Complete dentures replace a full arch of teeth. Complete dentures are held in place by suction. Many patients also find some sort of denture adhesive to be helpful. Dentures can also be anchored by dental implants.
Are Dentures for Me?
To determine if dentures are the best solution to your smile needs, our dentists will schedule an initial consultation with you. During this visit, we will carefully examine your mouth, including your teeth and bone structure. We may take digital X-rays or use our Orthopanthomograph® 3D CT Imaging System to get a better idea of your underlying facial structure. These images can also be useful in planning treatment.
Dentures are often a good option for patients who, for whatever reason, can’t receive dental implants. However, since many teeth need to be extracted, dentures may not be for everyone. We will talk with you about your health history to determine the best way forward.
Receiving dentures typically takes several visits to our dental office. Once the process is complete, you will have a new, functioning smile you can be confident in.
The first step involves preparing your mouth to receive dentures. To begin with, our team will take detailed impressions of your oral cavity. These impressions will be used to design and manufacture your custom appliance. If you currently wear dentures, we recommend not wearing them for at least 12 hours before your visit so your gums can be well-rested.
During this step, any teeth that need to be removed will be extracted. When any extraction sites are healed we will take additional impressions so that your new dentures fit your gums perfectly.
Next, we will need to register your bite. This is done with wax blocks built into the denture base. Registering your bite helps our dentists and lab technicians in creating a final denture for your try-on visit.
Once your appliance is complete, you will have a try-on appointment. It is at this time that you will be able to see the finished product in place for the first time. We will be able to make any needed adjustments to the denture if something feels off about your bite, or if the fit isn’t ideal. We encourage you to bring a spouse or close friend to this visit to offer an outside opinion about how your denture looks. Depending on the adjustments needed, additional try-on appointments may be needed. When everything is just right, your appliance will be ready for final processing.
At your final appointment, your new denture will be delivered, and any fine-tuning adjustments can be made. However, it is not uncommon for dentures to require further adjustment as time goes by and your mouth settles in to the new appliance. We may schedule follow-up visits to check on fit a few months after this final fitting.
Caring for Dentures
Although your dentures are immune to the decay that natural teeth are prone to, they still need to be well-maintained or they can be damaged. While we will provide you with detailed instructions after your treatment, here are a few quick reminders.
• Always remove your denture for cleaning at least once a day. Let it soak for several hours in a cleaning solution. This allows your gums to rest.
• Don’t brush your dentures like you brush your teeth. This can leave scratches and other damage.
• Rinse your mouth after eating to remove any residual food particles. These can get caught between your dentures and gums and cause irritation and bad breath.
If your dentures do suffer damage, don’t attempt repairs yourself. Our dental professionals can repair most damage right here in our office.
Staying Comfortable with Dentures
Even the best-fitting denture can cause occasional discomfort. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to have a more comfortable experience with dentures, including using a denture adhesive or a soft denture liner.
Many denture wearers find over-the-counter denture adhesives to be helpful in keeping their dentures firmly in place. Dentures are designed to stay in place using suction. However, changes in the mouth over time or chewy foods can cause a denture to become dislodged. Denture adhesives prevent this by literally acting like a glue. Another benefit of denture adhesive is it can help keep pesky food particles from getting between your appliance and your gums. Ask our dentists about good adhesive options!
Soft Denture Liners
If the fit of your denture has significantly changed due to flattening or receding gums, or if your mouth is particularly sensitive, soft denture liners may be a good option for you. Soft liners are made of comfortable, pliable material that helps enhance comfort and improve fit. Soft liners can be applied to new dentures or used in retrofitting old dentures.
Dentures are a common and economical option for replacing multiple teeth and regaining confidence in your smile. If you are interested in learning more about dentures in Prescott, Arizona, please contact Pro Solutions Dental Group at 928-776-1208. We look forward to meeting you!