When you need to replace missing teeth, a removable prosthesis may be an option. A complete denture replaces all the teeth in an arch while a partial denture replaces one or several teeth. Advantages of denture treatment include lower treatment cost, shorter treatment time, and relative ease of maintenance and repair. At Metropolitan Prosthodontics, we perform all denture laboratory work in-house so we are not dependent on outside laboratories on timing and quality. You benefit from our clinical and laboratory expertise and will smile with confidence again.
Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing in an arch. Dentures rest on the gum tissues and are removable for maintenance and cleaning by the patient. You will find that the procedural steps a prosthodontist uses to make a denture are more thorough than the average dentist and we will involve you in the selection and positioning of the teeth so there are no surprises when the denture is placed. While not the same as natural teeth, dentures can restore chewing function, improve speech and provide an excellent esthetic result by supporting the facial tissues and restoring a great smile.
If you still have some teeth remaining that are to be removed, an Immediate Denture may be prescribed. The impressions and jaw records are completed while your teeth are still present and the denture is completed before the extraction surgery. The denture is placed immediately so that you do not have to go without teeth for any period of time. This denture may require more adjustments and temporary linings while the gums and bone heal and change shape. The denture will also need to be relined or possibly remade once the tissues are more completely healed, usually 8-10 months later.
In instances where one or several teeth are missing, the most appropriate solution may be a removable partial denture. This is a removable prosthesis that replaces missing teeth and attaches in various ways to remaining natural teeth to aid in retention. Thus, the partial denture is generally more stable and retentive than a complete denture. They are often used as a temporary solution while waiting for healing prior to other treatment but can also be a final solution for replacement of missing teeth. Partial dentures are a frequent choice when there are too many teeth missing for a fixed bridge and implant solutions are not feasible or desired. Partial dentures can be made of several different materials depending on the situation, anticipated length of service, and cost. The teeth on a partial denture are selected to match the shape size and shade of the adjacent natural teeth. Like complete dentures, partial dentures will require maintenance to keep it fitting well to the tissues that it rests upon.
Retention and stability of removable dentures are dependent on the patient’s anatomy, quality of the denture, and the patient’s ability to manage the denture in function. These factors vary from person to person. Loose and uncomfortable dentures sometimes cannot be corrected by conventional means or with the use of denture adhesives.
A better option is to consider the use of dental implants to retain and support a removable denture. Attachments placed on the implants and within your denture will hold the denture in place and greatly improve the stability and function of the denture. With more implants, options to provide a fully fixed restoration are also possible.
Removable prostheses like dentures and partials should be removed at night to give the tissues they cover “a rest.” The denture can be cleaned by a variety of methods and should be kept in water overnight in a safe place. Continuous wear can speed up the rate of change in the shape of the underlying gum and bone tissues that will occur over time. The fit of your prosthesis should be evaluated at least yearly for proper fit and will need to be relined/remade periodically to maintain good oral health.
Occasionally, emergencies do happen. If you’ve dropped your denture and it has cracked or broken, give our office a call. We can often repair your denture the same day in the office or discuss replacing your poorly fitting prosthesis. If you’ve had your denture for several years and it’s starting to fit poorly,relining the denture base may be all you need.
Having a new denture made is an individual process. After assessing your oral health status and discussing your goals/expectations, we will discuss the advantages/disadvantages for each treatment option. From there, we’ll create a customized care plan that outlines all of the visits and fees involved, so you know exactly what to expect.