As people get older and the teeth begin to weaken or the jawbone is no longer able to support teeth, dentures are a common solution. Although today’s dentures look like natural teeth, the dentures used before the development of modern dentistry were uncomfortable and not very durable. Now we have several choices of materials to use in the fabrication of dentures. However, the reasons to get dentures remain relatively the same:
People often choose to get dentures because of the aesthetic appearance of their teeth. Missing or rotting teeth may cause a person to avoid smiling or simply feel embarrassed about the poor condition of his mouth. Missing and broken teeth usually cause other teeth to shift and can often create a traumatic bite which can cause TMJ and muscle stresses. Missing teeth can even cause premature aging as facial muscles loosen without support from the jaw.
Function of Dentures
Although improved cosmetic appearance does provide an added benefit, dentures usually function to improve oral activity like eating. People with missing teeth often have trouble chewing and digesting food. Missing teeth can even impact a person’s ability to speak clearly. Dentures provide an easy, comfortable and natural-looking way to fill in missing teeth or replace an entire set.
Financial Aspects of Dentures
Dentures are not just an easy way to improve the look and feel of a mouth, dentures are often a wise financial decision. A mouth that needs extensive work may cost a large amount to repair and restore. Simply pulling some or all of the teeth may be a much cheaper option if the person does not mind removing her natural teeth.
Relining and Rebuilding Dentures
Often an ill-fitting partial or full denture can be very successfully refitted, or relined, to get it back to fitting properly and not collecting residual food under or around it. We can examine your denture and evaluate the possibility or rebuilding the base or teeth on it. Not only can this save you large amounts of money, but often will not necessitate sending the denture out to the lab and interrupt your lifestyle.
Misconceptions about Dentures
If you decide to get dentures you still need to take good care of your mouth, even though you may not have any “real” teeth, reports University of Iowa Health Care. Gum can still harbor the bacteria that cause bad breath, especially if you still have some natural teeth. Dentures do not last forever, the gums and jawbone change shape over time and denture plastic needs to be remolded.
A partial denture is used to replace one or more teeth. These appliances can improve a person’s physical appearance. By filling in spaces where teeth are missing, partial dentures can prevent other teeth from shifting. Partial dentures also allow you to chew better. Although some partial dentures are removable, others are worn permanently. Being fitted for a partial denture requires several visits to the dentist’s office to ensure a proper fit.
Flippers are partial dentures that replace missing teeth, leaving spaces for the natural teeth in between. Wire loops are attached to hold the denture in place. Although a flipper may not look as natural as other dentures, flippers are a less expensive alternative for replacing missing teeth. New teeth can also be added to the denture quickly if a person loses more teeth to tooth decay or periodontal disease. One disadvantage is that the irregular shape causes these partial dentures to break easily.
A removable partial denture is designed to rest on the gums or palate. Metal clasps hold the denture in place by clipping onto the adjacent natural teeth. The design of the denture is important to prevent plaque formation, particularly where the denture and natural teeth come together. Proper fit also prevents food from lodging under the denture or between the denture and natural teeth. Sometimes, the natural teeth to which the denture is clasped must be crowned so that the denture can be attached more securely.
A dentist takes impressions of the upper and lower jaw so that a dental technician can make plaster casts. The technician then positions the artificial teeth into a wax denture that is placed in the patient’s mouth. Any adjustments are made before the base of the finished denture is made from acrylic or metal. The wax gums of the denture are then replaced with pink acrylic to resemble the natural gum.
Follow-up for Dentures
Because the shape of the mouth changes as people get older, periodic follow-up appointments are necessary so that a dentist can check the fit of the denture. If a partial denture has shifted in position or the gums recede, an adjustment may be necessary because this can cause dentures to become loose. Loose-fitting dentures often cause sores in the mouth that can lead to infection.
Crowns and Bridges
Crowns are metal and/or resin or porcelain ‘caps’ that cover the tooth for structural or cosmetic purposes. Crowns can fill in gaps and chips, fix rotated and misaligned teeth and be fabricated to be any shade desired. We make many different types of crowns based on your wants and needs. Some of the best esthetic crowns are Captek and Empress II. These crowns give the most natural look and feel. Crowns can support teeth that have been weakened by cavities, large fillings or that have had root canal therapy.
Often we will make an all gold crown for the back of the mouth. All gold crowns can withstand incredible chewing and grinding forces since they have fabulous strength, but are still softer than most of the other materials used to make crowns.
Bridges are designed to remain permanently in place. A bridge is a false tooth that fills a gap where a tooth is missing. Anchored to the natural teeth with metal bands or with crowns, the dentist then applies resin or cement to hold the false tooth in place. Proper fitting is necessary not only for the patient’s comfort, but because a poorly fitted bridge or any other restoration, can damage a person’s jaw, gums or remaining teeth. It usually takes at least two visits for a dentist to fit and adjust a bridge. Similar to the process for fitting partial dentures, the dentist takes an impression of your teeth.
There are as many different choices for bridge materials as there are for crowns. X-Rays and a consultation will help you decide which one seems right for you.