Full and Partial Dentures
In an ideal world, it would be possible to retain all of our teeth for the duration of our life without any problems. Unfortunately, the reality is that tooth loss is extremely common. Estimates suggest that around 120 million Americans have lost at least one permanent tooth, whilst more than 36 million adults have no teeth at all! This is because, despite exhaustive efforts to care for our teeth through brushing, flossing and regular visits to our dentist, dental problems can sometimes still occur. In some instances, these are severe enough to cause a tooth to fall out or for our dental team to recommend that an extraction is the best course of action.
If you have lost a few or all of your teeth in either your upper or lower jaw, it can have a huge impact on your day to day life. Not only are you likely to be self-conscious, embarrassed or even ashamed about the appearance of your teeth, but you will also find it difficult to eat and even speak. Fortunately, it is possible to replace some or all of your missing teeth in a simple and effective solution known as a denture.
Dentures tend to have a bit of a negative reputation, causing people to conjure up images of their grandparents with false teeth that would look extremely unnatural, move around when they spoke and fall out from time to time. Fortunately, modern dentures have significantly evolved and now, they are a very successful, reliable and attractive way to replace missing teeth. Dentures are prosthetic teeth that are attached to a plastic, nylon or metal mold (called a denture plate) that sits over the top of the gums and this is held in place using special denture adhesive. Dentures are available in both partial and full designs.
Unsurprisingly, partial dentures are usually recommended for patients that have lost a few but not all, of the teeth in one of their arches. Partial dentures may use adhesive, but they are also usually clipped onto some of your natural teeth via metal clasps which help to hold it securely in place and prevent it from sliding about.
Full dentures replace all of the teeth in either the upper or lower arch of the jaw. Since there are no natural teeth for them to anchor to, they rely fully on denture adhesive to secure them. The denture plates into which the prosthetic teeth are attached vary slightly depending on whether they are going in the upper or lower jaw. The design of the plate for the lower jaw is a horseshoe shape that fits purely over the gums so that it doesn’t interfere with the tongue. However, dentures for the upper jaw also have a plate that extends over the inside of the roof of the mouth to give the device greater stability.
Every denture, whether partial or full, is bespoke – designed specifically for an individual patient. This helps to ensure a comfortable, secure fit and artificial teeth that look and feel just like the real thing.
Can I get dentures as soon as my teeth have fallen out/been extracted?
It is generally not recommended to have dentures fitted immediately after the removal of teeth. This is because your gums and jawbone will alter in shape over the following weeks and months. Therefore, our team will be able to advise you when it is the best time to obtain your dentures.
It is also important to bear in mind that the shape of the jawbone can continue to change a little over time. This won’t be noticeable immediately, but most denture-wearers find that they need their devices redesigned and fitted again in the future to allow for these changes and to ensure that their dentures continue to fit properly.
If you would like more information about dentures, our dedicated dental team would be happy to help. Please contact our dentistry team in Omaha, NE today by calling 402-396-0003.