All About Dentures

Most people are familiar with dentures, the removable oral appliances that are used to replace missing teeth and help restore a patient’s smile. While dentures may not be the first option that patients consider if they’ve lost all of their natural teeth, at Lakeside Dental, dentures are a viable alternative when root canal treatments, dental implants, or bridges simply can’t be used to restore the patient’s appearance.

It doesn’t matter if you lost your natural teeth due to gum disease, injury, or tooth decay, if dental implants and other restorative options aren’t possible for you, then it’s important to seek tooth replacement in the form of dentures in order to make it easier to eat and speak. Eating and speaking may be activities that you’ve taken for granted, but without dentures, these two very basic activities can become very difficult.

When a patient loses all of their teeth, the facial muscles may begin to sag which can cause premature aging. Dentures, however, can help create a fuller, more youthful appearance to the face and profile. Typically, dentures are designed to closely resemble the patient’s natural teeth so the patient’s appearance will change very little when the transition is made from natural teeth to dentures. In fact, some of our patients at your Moses Lake dentist actually see an improvement in the look of their smile after they get dentures!

Denture Types:

There are several different types of dentures that you may have to choose from if you’ve lost all of your natural teeth. Each denture type has certain advantages and benefits that must be carefully considered by patients before making a decision about which one is most appropriate:

● Conventional

Conventional dentures are made to cover the full arch. They can be removed as needed. Conventional dentures are usually not placed in the mouth until after all of the remaining teeth have been removed and the gum tissues have fully healed. This process can take several months. Conventional dentures are particularly advantageous for patients who have no remaining teeth on their upper or lower arches (or both). This type of denture is a common alternative to dental implants.

● Overdenture

An overdenture is ideal for patients who have some teeth still intact. These healthy, natural teeth can be used to stabilize and support the denture. Overdentures can be made to fit over a small number of remaining teeth. This type of denture resembles dental implants in some ways. One of the biggest advantages of an overdenture is that it offers a lot of stability rivaling that of dental implants and it allows patients to keep some of their natural teeth too.

● Immediate

Immediate dentures are removable. Whatever remaining teeth there are in the patient’s mouth are removed and this denture can be put in place on the same day. During a preliminary visit at Lakeside Dental, the dentist will take measurements of the patient’s jaw to create a model of it so that the dentures will be ready immediately after the natural teeth have been extracted. As a result, the patient won’t have to be without teeth during the healing period, however, immediate dentures may need to be redone slightly after the jaw has completely healed. The most obvious benefit of immediate dentures is the fact that patients do not need to wait for the appliance after their teeth have been removed.

Lakeside Dental, your trusted dentist in Moses Lake, WA, knows that your new dentures will probably feel awkward at first until you get used to them. Getting accustomed to new dentures usually takes a few weeks. They may feel loose at first and patients may experience some irritation and soreness. Many patients report that their mouth is dry at first, but over time, these problems go away. We’ll schedule a follow-up appointment with you to make sure the denture fits properly. One of the important benefits of dentures is the fact that adjustments can be made if irritation and soreness persist after the first few weeks of wearing them. Because dentures are removable, it’s possible to make subtle changes so that they conform easily and comfortably to the patient’s arch.

Modern dentures offer a lot of important benefits to patients who have lost their teeth. A set of fully functioning teeth allows patients to continue to eat and speak as they always have. New technologies have made dentures more natural-looking and the fit has become better than they used to be. A comfortable, snug fit is something that a lot of our patients at Lakeside Dental are concerned about. But new materials and technologies are now being used to manufacture dentures which has significantly improved the overall experience of wearing them.

Most patients would like to look younger, but tooth loss can cause the cheeks to become sunken in. Dentures can reverse this sunken appearance and give the cheeks added shape and volume. This added definition can turn back the clock. Many of our patients report that dentures improve the appearance of the face as well as the patient’s smile.

A summary of denture benefits include:

  • Improvements in the patient’s ability to eat the foods they enjoy.
  • Social awkwardness is reduced by getting rid of gaps or missing teeth.
  • The patient’s overall appearance is restored.
  • Remaining teeth (if there are any), are protected from extensive wear.
  • Dentures can be removed from the mouth for proper cleaning and brushing.
  • Improved self-esteem. Patients with a flawless smile tend to feel more comfortable and confident in public situations.
  • Dentures allow patients to pronounce words more clearly and speak up with greater self-confidence.

In addition to all of these benefits, patients also need to realize that missing teeth can cause oral health issues. Food can become trapped in the spaces left behind which can lead to bad breath. And these spaces that are left behind by missing teeth may breed bacteria which can cause gum disease or other oral health issues. Dentures can help patients avoid these problems by keeping the arches and the gums healthy after the loss of natural teeth.

And finally, dentures offer a financially cheaper tooth replacement option. Though dental implants have a lot of important benefits, they’re more expensive than dentures. So, for budget-conscious patients, dentures may be a better option. Contact our dental team today to find out more about how dentures can help you!