Dentures, also known as false teeth, are natural looking and metal-free prosthetic devices that we construct to replace missing or loosened teeth in our Thousand Oaks office. The soft and hard tissues that surround your mouth support dentures. Conventional dentures are removable; however, there are many different denture designs, some of which rely on bonding or clasping to teeth or dental implants.
Are Dentures Needed?
The determination to have teeth replaced with dentures first begins with an examination in our Thousand Oaks office. Some teeth, like loosened teeth, can be extracted. Dentures are then fitted to the contours of your gums and can even sit atop or go around any remaining teeth. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth, and it can take a little bit of time to get used to them. But once you’re accustomed to the dentures, all the normal functionality and appearance return and you can carry on with your life as usual. As a quick side note, often times dental implants can be used to further stabilize the dentures.
Types of Dentures
There are different types of dentures, but they share a common function. Dentures replace missing teeth on the mandibular arch (lower) or the maxillary arch (upper). Dentures for our patients in Thousand Oaks are used to replace teeth that have become loose or have fallen out due to bone loss. When bone loss around the roots of teeth is great enough to loosen them or lose them, it’s time for dentures. Relax, though. Nobody likes losing their natural teeth, but you can still eat and talk regularly with dentures and they look like real teeth.
Removable Partial Dentures (RPD)
Removable partial dentures are for a partially edentulous dental patient who desires to have replacement teeth for functional or aesthetic reasons, and who cannot have dental implants or a bridge (a fixed partial denture) for any number of reasons, such as a lack of required teeth to serve as support for a bridge or due to financial limitations.
The reason that this type of prosthesis is referred to as a removable partial denture is because patients can remove and reinsert them when required without professional help.
Dentures are a replacement for missing teeth that can be removed and put back into your mouth as you please. Depending on each individual patient case, they may receive full or partial dentures. Full dentures are used when all of the natural teeth are removed from the mouth and replaced with a full set of dentures.
There are two types of full dentures:
- Conventional Full Dentures – This is when all the teeth are removed and the tissue is given time to heal before the dentures are placed. It could take a few months for the gum tissue to heal completely. During this time you will be without teeth.
- Immediate Full Dentures – Prior to having your teeth removed, your dentist takes measurements and has dentures fitted for your mouth. After removing the teeth, dentures are immediately placed in your mouth. The benefit is that you do not have to spend any time without teeth. You will, however, need to have a follow up visit to refit your dentures because the jawbone will slightly change shape as your mouth heels. The dentures will need to be tightened after the jawbone has healed.
Partial dentures are another option when not all of your teeth need to be removed. This is similar to a bridge, but it is not a permanent fixture in your mouth.
Getting Comfortable with Dentures
Your dentures may take some time to get used to. The flesh colored base of the dentures is placed over your gums. Some people say that it feels bulky or that they don’t have enough room for their tongue. Other times the dentures might feel loose. These feelings will affect the way you eat and talk for a little while. Over time, your mouth becomes trained to eat and speak with your dentures and they begin to feel more and more like your natural teeth.
Even though dentures are not real teeth, you should care for them like they are. You should brush them to remove plaque and food particles before removing your dentures. After they have been removed you should place them directly into room temperature water or a denture cleaning solution. Never use hot water because it could warp the dentures. Your dentures are delicate; so make sure you are careful when handling them so you don’t drop them. Also, never try to adjust your dentures yourself. You could ruin them, so you should always seek assistance from your dentist if they feel uncomfortable or loose.