Custom and Partial Dentures
The days of hiding your smile because of missing or failing teeth are over, thanks to dentures. Dental dentures are artificial teeth and gums that replace missing teeth. If you are missing all of your teeth on the top or the bottom, you can get dentures to replace them, called a full arch. If you are missing one or a couple of teeth, you may get replacements that are called partial dentures.
What Are Dentures?
If you are facing the loss of all of your teeth, dentures are one of the most common tooth replacement methods available. Although all types of dentures in years past had a fake look to them, today’s modern dentures look more natural than ever before.
Who Is a Candidate for Dentures?
Anyone who is missing all or some of their teeth may be a good candidate for dental dentures. Here are some reasons why a person may qualify.
Missing Teeth From Injury
There are times when an injury results in tooth loss. In these cases, partial dentures can provide an effective tooth replacement.
When tooth decay has progressed to the point where the tooth cannot be saved, it will have to be extracted [removed/pulled]. Depending on the number of teeth that must be removed, either full or partial dentures offer tooth replacement.
Choosing the Right Type of Denture
The type of dental dentures you need will depend on how many teeth you have lost. Two0 types are partial dentures and custom dentures.
A partial denture is a removable tooth prosthetic that is meant to replace several teeth in a row that are missing. Partial dentures look very natural because they are made to match the color of your gums and your surrounding teeth., A partial denture stays in place with a clasp that fits around the teeth surrounding the gap in your mouth.
If you are facing the loss of all of your teeth, custom dentures can provide a complete replacement. Custom dentures are crafted to look natural and feel comfortable. Although there is a period of adjustment with dentures, after you get used to them, you’ll be able to laugh, speak and eat much like you did before you got custom dentures.
Denture Preparation and Placement
Today’s dental dentures look very much like your natural teeth, and they are much more comfortable than dentures of the past. Regardless of the reason for your tooth loss, full or partial dentures can restore your chewing function and improve your ability to speak properly.
- Initial Visit
At your first visit to the dentist, your gums and supporting bone structure will be examined to help your dentist determine the best treatment plan for you. Your dentist may also make a mold of your natural teeth and gums at this appointment to help in creating your custom dentures.
You may need to have additional teeth pulled. If this is the case, your dentist may give you an immediate denture designed to promote proper healing of the extraction sites. It will also mean you will not have to go without teeth while you wait for your custom dentures. You may have to have these adjusted while you wait for your custom dentures because gums shrink after the healing process of tooth extraction.
It will take time for your gums to heal. Once that happens and your gums are restored to a healthy condition, it will be time to make your custom dentures.
If you are getting a partial denture, your dentist will take impressions and measurements of how your upper and lower jaws align. Then, they will make a model of the denture. You may have to go through a number of partial denture adjustments to ensure that the prosthetic has the correct shape, color and alignment.
Restorative and Aesthetic Benefits
Both partial dentures and custom dentures provide several restorative and aesthetic benefits. Here are a few examples.
- They Restore Your Ability to Chew and Speak Properly
When even just a few teeth are missing, chewing and speaking can be a challenge. People with missing teeth often find that their nutrition suffers because eating healthy foods without a full set of teeth is difficult. With partial dentures or custom dentures, there may be a period of adjustment, but in time, people find that their ability to chew properly is restored. Speech can also be impacted, depending on where the tooth loss is located. Forming sounds correctly requires that the lips, tongue and teeth work together.
- They Are Removable
Keeping your partial dentures or custom dentures clean is easy because you can take them out of your mouth. Dentures are a good option for people who do not like the thought of a permanent prosthetic in their mouths.
- They Support Your Facial Structure
When teeth are missing, there is nothing there to support the structure of the face. This can lead to sagging. Filling in the gaps with partial dentures or custom dentures preserves the look of your face.
- They Are Cost-Effective
Both types of dentures are cost-effective ways to replace missing teeth. Affordable dentures are one of the most popular ways for tooth replacement.
- Denture Care: Adapting to Your New Smile
Most dentists will tell you that it may take a month or longer to adapt to your new smile. There is a learning curve with both types of dentures until speaking and eating feels normal again. You can help with the process by planning meals out ahead of time and sticking to softer foods that will be easier for you to chew. You can also practice speaking aloud in the privacy of your own home to become accustomed to talking with dentures. There are denture adhesives you can use to help you get used to your new dentures.
Keep in mind that developing sore spots on your gums when you first start wearing dentures is normal. You can rinse your mouth with warm salt water to help alleviate symptoms.
Oral Health Best Practices
Taking care of your dental dentures is easy because they are removable. They can crack if you drop them. So, be careful when handling them.
Take them out and rinse them thoroughly after eating. Rinse your mouth thoroughly before putting them back in. Brush your dentures at least once a day and soak them overnight. Rinse them before putting them back in — especially if you use a denture-soaking product.
Denture Repair & Reline
As you age, your gums change shape. Your upper and lower jaw may not align properly as the gums shrink and recede, and you may notice that your custom dentures no longer feel the same. Improperly fitting dentures can cause mouth sores and other issues.
Types of Repairs
There are three main types of denture repairs: (1) reline, (2) rebase and (3) adjustment. A reline involves resurfacing the side of your denture to make it fit more securely. A rebase is when your denture’s gum part is completely remade before adding your prosthetic teeth to the new base. An adjustment is needed when your dentures are causing irritation on the gums. Your dentist will adjust your dental dentures to make them more comfortable.
When to Replace the Dentures
Most people can expect to replace their dentures 5 five to 10 years, however, you’ll need to realign your dentures throughout your lifetime. Visiting your dentist regularly is essential— even when you are missing all of your teeth — so they can advise you when your dentures should be replaced.
Getting Dentures at West Coast Dental
At West Coast Dental, we provide partial dentures and custom dentures for patients. If you have experienced tooth loss, we can restore your ability to chew and speak comfortably and make you want to smile again.
Team of Board Certified Specialists
Our team is made up of experienced general dentists and board-certified specialists who can create natural-looking, comfortable dental prosthetics. We pride ourselves on our state-of-the-art dental practice and our commitment to providing patients with the best possible care.
Same-day Appointments Available
If you are experiencing a dental emergency, give us a call. We have space in our schedule for same-day dental appointments when they are needed. Set up an appointment today.
Accepts Most Insurances
At West Coast Dental, we accept most dental insurance plans. We also offer a variety of payment options to make dental care affordable for our patients.
Dental Discount Program
We don’t want the cost of treatment to keep people from getting the dental treatments they need. To help make dental care affordable, we offer a dental discount plan to help keep expenses down through the Dental Alliance Discount Plan. We also offer financing options through CareCredit and Dental Alliance Financing so patients can get the care they need today and pay for it with affordable monthly payments.
Are you wondering if dentures are a good option for you? Here is a list of frequently asked questions to help you decide.
How to improve your oral health
Many people ring in a new year by making health-related resolutions to improve their lives, but how many of those lifestyle changes are kept past January? The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), a professional association of more than 35,000 general dentists dedicated to staying up to date in the profession through continuing education, has compiled some easy-to-keep oral health tips that consumers can work into their everyday routines and continue to perform throughout the year.
“Oral health means more than just an attractive smile,” says AGD spokesperson Raymond Martin, DDS, MAGD. “Poor oral health and untreated oral diseases and conditions can have a significant impact on quality of life. And, in many cases, the condition of the mouth mirrors the condition of the body as a whole.”
- Floss every day. It’s the single most important factor in preventing gum disease, which affects more than 50 percent of adults. Spend two to three minutes flossing at least once a day. Not flossing because it irritates your gums? The more often you floss, the tougher your gums will become.
- Brush your teeth for at least two to three minutes twice daily. If you’re not sure whether you’re brushing long enough, simply brush for the length of an entire song on the radio.
- Change your toothbrush or toothbrush head (if you’re using an electric toothbrush) before the bristles become splayed and frayed, or every three to four months. Not only are old toothbrushes ineffective, they may harbor harmful bacteria that can cause infections, such as gingivitis and gum disease.
- Drink sugary beverages through a straw. This will minimize the amount of time that the sugars are in contact with your teeth, which can minimize the risk of developing cavities.
- Replace carbonated beverages, which cause enamel erosion and cavities, with water, milk, tea, or coffee.
- Chew sugarless gum that contains xylitol after meals and snacks. This will help cleanse your mouth and prevent the bacteria associated with cavities from attaching to your teeth. Even better, gum will increase your saliva production and reduce bad breath!
- Wait one hour to brush your teeth after consuming highly acidic food or drinks, like wine, coffee, citrus fruits, and soft drinks. Otherwise, you run the risk of wearing away the enamel on your teeth.
“One last reminder to patients is that they should make an appointment to see their general dentist every six months,” adds Dr. Martin. “More than 90 percent of all systemic diseases have oral manifestations, meaning that your dentist could be the first health care provider to diagnose a health problem.”
What are dentures?
Dental dentures are removable prosthetics for missing teeth and the surrounding tissues. The two most common types of dentures available are (1) custom [or complete dentures] and (2) partial dentures. Custom dentures are used when patients are edentulous [missing off of their teeth], and partial dentures are used when patients still have some teeth in their mouth.
What is a partial denture?
A partial denture is an oral appliance that is used to replace one or more adjacent missing teeth. It consists of replacement teeth attached to a base that is made to match the gums. It is a removable appliance that is usually clasped to the teeth to keep it in place.
Can you get custom dentures made?
Yes. Custom dentures are an affordable tooth replacement. Custom dentures will replace teeth that have been lost because of tooth decay, gum disease, injury or other causes. Your dentist will make them to fit the structure of your gums. You can customize your dentures’ look by tooth color, gum color, tooth size and tooth spacing.
What are dentures made of?
Dentures can be made from many different materials. Some of the more common include porcelain, resin, acrylic, nylon or metal. The materials used will depend on the type of denture you will be getting.
When should I get dentures?
Although many people equate getting dentures to being elderly, adults of all ages who are experiencing tooth loss might need dentures. There are many reasons for tooth loss, including injury, tooth decay and gum disease. If you have lost one or a few teeth, getting a partial denture can prevent your remaining teeth from shifting. A partial denture might also be able to protect you from further tooth loss. When one or more teeth are missing, the remaining teeth tend to shift in order to fill in the gap left behind. This can lead to more tooth loss.
If you are losing all of your teeth, or just a full arch [ the upper or lower teeth], affordable dentures can restore your ability to chew and speak properly.
How long does it take to get dentures?
The amount of time it takes from start to finish varies from patient to patient. The process for getting dentures will take longer if you still have teeth that need to be extracted. This is because you will need to allow time for the extraction sites to heal. If you do not need to have any teeth pulled, the entire process can be as quick as just three or four appointments with the dentist.
How long do dental dentures last?
Dentures have an average lifespan of 5-10 years. You should have your dental dentures assessed by your dentist if you have been wearing them beyond that amount of time to ensure they are still functioning as they should be.
Can you sleep and eat with dentures?
You can sleep with your dentures in, but most dentists recommend that you remove them at night. This gives your gums and jawbone a chance to relax from the pressure of having dentures in your mouth during the day.
You can eat with your dentures. However, new denture wearers will likely find it awkward at first. You can start with soft foods until you get used to chewing with your dentures, but eventually, you should be able to eat almost everything.
How do you clean and care for dentures?
Caring for and cleaning your dentures is easy. You should rinse them after eating and brush them at least once a day with a soft toothbrush. At night, you can soak them in water or a special denture-soaking solution. Be sure to use care when handling them — they can crack if you drop them.
Can you whiten dentures?
You cannot whiten dentures the way you might whiten your natural teeth. If they have superficial staining, you should be able to brush that away. Denture teeth do not respond to whitening kits or whitening toothpastes the way your natural teeth do. In fact, you should not use whitening toothpaste on your dentures because the abrasive components could scratch the surface of your dentures
How should dentures fit in your mouth?
Top dentures should stay in place snugly on your gums with suction. The bottom dentures will float above your gums, but they should stay in place without too much effort. You can use denture adhesive to help ensure a tight fit. These are usually connected to adjacent teeth with a clasp if you have a partial denture.
What type of dentist can fit someone for dentures?
A prosthodontist is a dentist who specializes in making and fitting dentures. Prosthodontists receive additional training beyond general dentistry. They also specialize in other dental restorations such as crowns and bridges.
Does insurance cover denture procedures?
Most dental insurance policies cover a portion of preventive care costs, fillings, dental crowns, root canals and oral surgery. Some policies will also cover treatment for periodontics (gum disease) and prosthodontics (custom dentures, partial dentures and bridges). If you are unsure of your coverage, you should contact your insurance company.
What to do when a tooth gets knocked out
If your tooth is knocked out, immediately call a dentist for an emergency appointment. It is important to see your dentist within an hour of when your tooth is knocked out for the best chance of the tooth surviving the trauma. Handle the tooth by the crown (the top), not by the root (the pointed part on the bottom).
Touching the root of the tooth can damage cells that are necessary to reattach the tooth to the bone. Gently rinse the tooth in water to remove dirt. Do not scrub the tooth! Place the clean tooth in your mouth between the cheek and gum to keep it moist. It is important not to let the tooth dry out. If it is not possible to store the tooth in the mouth, wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse it in milk or saline solution (the solution used for contacts). If a baby tooth is knocked out, the tooth should not be replanted. The patient should be seen as soon as possible to make sure there are no remaining pieces of the tooth.
Are there any alternatives to dentures?
Dental implants are a possible alternative to dentures. Implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically anchored into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place. Implants and bridges may resemble the “feel” of real teeth, but they may be more expensive than dentures. Not all patients are good candidates for implants, so be sure to talk to your dentist about which treatment option is best for you.