If you are missing teeth or anticipate an upcoming extraction, your dentist will consult with you to discuss several options you have for replacing those teeth. A popular option is custom dentures.
The consultation will include choices like a removable denture, fixed denture or perhaps an implant supported denture. Factors to consider include the number of teeth involved, your budget and timeline and what you ultimately want. Do you wish to restore your dentition as close to natural as possible, or are you content with a removable prosthesis?
Dentures are either complete or partial … a complete denture is needed when all teeth in either or both arches are gone, while a partial denture is appropriate when natural teeth remain in place to help support the denture.
The process starts with dental impressions for the lab to fabricate the denture. Once crafted, the denture will be adjusted as needed to ensure proper fit. The patient may require a few adjustment appointments to get the denture to fit, feel, and look perfect.
The patient has the option of a removable or fixed denture. A removable denture is made up of the artificial teeth affixed to a plastic base often connected to healthy abutment teeth by metal framework.
A fixed denture is going to be permanently cemented in place. The abutment teeth (biological teeth on either side of missing teeth) must be healthy. This means surrounding gum tissue must be sound and teeth themselves must not be experiencing excessive decay.
The abutment teeth will be prepared for crowns. The artificial teeth between the crowns are called pontics. When ready, the crowns will be cemented in place making your denture permanently attached to your dentition.
Caring for dentures differs depending on what you’ve selected. If you have a removable denture, you will remove it at night usually placing it in a container or denture soak to keep it moist. Cleaning it requires using a brush and paste designed specifically for dentures. Using anything else could result in scratching or pitting your denture.
Never boil or microwave your denture to sterilize it. Also, if it requires adjusting, do not attempt to “fix” it yourself. Seeing your dentist every six months for your hygiene appointment will help assure your denture is properly maintained to last you many years.
To learn more about your tooth replacement options, contact our office today!