Complete (Full) Dentures
Full dentures replace a full arch of missing teeth to restore chewing and facial appearance. A denture can be constructed to replace missing top teeth, missing bottom teeth, or both.
A denture is normally constructed of an acrylic (plastic) base, colored pink to look like the gum tissue it covers. The teeth are either plastic or porcelain. Choice of which type of material to use for the teeth will be based on our judgment and what the teeth in the opposing arch are. Porcelain goes against porcelain. Acrylic goes against acrylic or natural tooth.
There are four ways to have dentures made:
1) Replacement dentures:
2) Immediate dentures:
3) Delayed placement dentures:
The option chosen depends on the number of teeth being removed, personal preference and the dentist.
Replacement Dentures: If you already have a denture or dentures, construction of new dentures is relatively straight forward. Your mouth is familiar with the feel of the denture. But first and foremost the tissue bearing areas for the dentures must be healthy. Sometimes one or more treatments for tissue conditioning are necessary. Once the tissues are in optimal health the dentures can be fabricated. Most of the time preliminary impressions are made from which more exact impression trays are designed and fabricated. These trays are used to make a final master impression, from which the denture will be made. The line of the teeth in relation to the face and jaws and thickness of the denture are established in wax and checked. Teeth are selected by color, form, and material. They are placed in the wax and tried in place in the mouth. When you approve the form, design, and setup of the teeth, the dental laboratory will complete the process in acrylic. Then they are returned to the office and delivered to you. They will be adjusted at that time to ensure a custom fit. You may need additional visits with us, as the dentures settle in and sore spots may develop. Do not expect the new dentures to fit the same as your old ones. Dentures cannot be exactly duplicated. The feel will always be different. Not worse, just different.
Immediate Dentures: An immediate denture is made indirectly on casts (models of impresssions) of your teeth and gums before any teeth are removed. It is a "best guess" since the teeth are still in the mouth, but experience in the procedure yields good results in the majority of cases. Therefore, an immediate denture may be considered a transitional denture or may be relined later to become the definitive prosthesis. If you have one or more teeth extracted, or are having a full denture made after wearing a removable partial denture, you will need more time to adjust to the new full denture. Partial dentures have some mechanical retention from clasps on teeth. Full dentures do not have this help and are more difficult to keep in place. The more teeth that are removed, the more change there will be and the longer it will take to heal. Sometimes the bone is also reshaped by the surgeon during the extraction procedure to help the fit of the future denture. It can take 3 to 6 months for soft tissue to heal and reshape itself fully after an extraction(s). Sometimes, another denture is made before this time period has elapsed, depending on the satisfaction with the immediate denture. Expect to have some sore spots and adjustments before the denture feels comfortable. You may also expect to have the denture relined several times for first few months to compensate for that tissue change. This process uses a "tissue conditioner" which is removed and replaced about every two weeks. One tissue conditioner reline is usually done on the day the teeth are removed. Another is done about 1 to 2 weeks later after the initial healing, depending on the extent of the surgery. The tissue conditioner fills in the space that develops under the denture and around the extraction site(s) and boney changes after surgery. Replacement of the tissue conditioner is done about every 2 to 3 weeks. Six to 8 weeks later, the tissue conditioners are eventually replaced with a more resilient soft or hard chairside liner, after the tissue and denture remains relatively stable and comfortable. So, once the patient feels the denture is comfortable and relatively stable I will replace the tissue conditioner with a stronger temporary liner that can remain in place until the hard reline. The laboratory hard liner is done after about 6 months of healing.
If you have a denture or dentures, make sure to remove them daily. Do not sleep with them in. Your gums need a chance to have unimpeded circulation of fresh blood. Dentures tend to restrict blood flow. Plaque can accumulate on your denture and on your gum tissue. Use a very soft toothbrush to gently brush your gums. Be sure to keep your dentures clean by brushing them daily with a denture brush and denture cleanser and be sure to store them in water when they are not being worn. See the link for Caring for your Dentures
Dentures (or 'false teeth') should be comfortable and painless. It is important to choose the dentures that are right for you, and to keep your dentures clean and your mouth healthy. You will need information about your options and you may also need to prepare yourself for dentures.
Preparing for dentures
Today, dentistry is aimed at ensuring you keep your teeth for life. However, if you do need to get dentures, you may need to prepare for the effects of losing your teeth. A 1998 British study (Fiske et al) indicated that the effects of tooth loss included: emotions similar to the 'five stages of bereavement' - denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance; a loss of self-confidence; self-consciousness when eating, talking or smiling. Your best approach is a good attitude that this will be a success, and you will succeed.
link for Denture Problems
link for Denture Care
link for Relines
If you have any questions about complete dentures, please feel free to ask us.
link to other information about dentures
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