If you’re in need of partial, complete or “full” dentures in Clayton, NC then you are not alone. It has been reported by the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry that approximately 35 million Americans do not have any teeth, and 178 million people are missing at least one tooth. And these numbers are expected to continue to grow in the future. Whether you are missing most or all of your teeth, have had no success with implants or had an injury resulting in tooth loss, dentures might be the best course of action for you. Keep in mind that partial dentures can be a comfortable and less invasive option for filling in one or more missing teeth.
Dentures not only look and feel much more real than in recent years, but patients have commented on how comfortable they are compared to years ago. Today’s dentures are typically made from acrylic and can be fabricated in a couple different ways:
- Complete Dentures – Use of complete dentures consists of both a top and bottom plate that can be fabricated in a number of ways. If a few teeth remain, these will generally be pulled to make room for the denture. The bottom denture will fit snug over the gum line in a horseshoe shape to make room for the tongue. The upper denture will cover the palate of the upper mouth to hold it firmly in place. Sometimes an implant can be used to secure dentures in place. Each individual will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
- Partial Dentures – Are generally a removable acrylic bridge accompanied by metal framework that fits around remaining teeth to fill in the gap. Partials are typically used when both the remaining teeth and gums are in great condition, but there are several missing teeth on either the upper or lower jaw. Many times partials are used as a less invasive or non-surgical alternative to implants after an accident results in missing teeth.
This course of action may be the best bet when all of your remaining teeth will need to be pulled. Impressions of your mouth will be taken upon the first visit for fabrication, so that after the remaining teeth are pulled your dentures will be ready to be worn immediately. There can be some aesthetic compromises that will have to be made in some cases, due to being unable to check the fit prior to tooth extraction.
All dentures are custom made to your mouth, gums and jaw bone structures so that the contours allow them stay firmly in place. The muscles in your mouth also adjust to life with dentures, placing further pressure in the appropriate spots for control. Lower dentures can sometimes shift a bit more due to the tongue, so there are alternatives to help them stay in place. Overlaying dentures onto existing teeth can sometimes be an option, as well as implants to keep them in place. Common over the counter adhesives can also be found at any drug store.
Eating with new dentures for the first couple of weeks may feel a bit foreign and take some practice. However, after the first initial “break in” period, most patients find that chewing and eating with dentures is a lot easier than with missing teeth. Be cautious with hot foods or foods that are stickier or extremely hard.
Adhesives can be helpful for many patients as it increases confidence and greatly impacts everyday activities such as eating and even speech. However, if a patient feels the need to use adhesives all the time to keep their dentures from falling out, they may be poorly constructed and would need to be replaced. It’s always good to consult with your dentist or prosthodontist if you are having issues keeping dentures in place.