Dentures were designed to act as removable tooth replacement appliances that can replace all or many missing teeth and help restore a person’s natural smile. If your teeth have succumbed to gum disease, injury, or tooth decay, replacing missing teeth will assist in rehabilitating your appearance and your oral health. That’s because dentures make it simpler to eat and speak more naturally than you could without teeth.
When all of a person’s teeth are missing, the facial muscles can droop, making the person look much older than they actually are. Dentures fill out the appearance of a person’s face and profile. They can be made to resemble the natural teeth, so the patient’s face doesn’t change too much, and they may even improve the look of your smile.
Full-dentures are used to replace all of the natural teeth in either the upper or lower jaw. Partial-dentures are a great option when the patient still has some of their natural teeth. Conventional-dentures fit directly over the gums. Another option is an implant-supported denture, which attaches to several metal posts that have been implanted in your jaw bone.
Though it can take patients a while to get accustomed to wearing them, they are a reliable and affordable option for replacing many missing teeth. They also enable patients to eat comfortably and talk efficiently, and they help improve the patient’s appearance.
Affordable Implants and Dentures
If you have recently had multiple teeth removed due to advanced decay or dental abscesses, your dentist may recommend dentures as a tooth replacement option. In most cases, your dentist will do all that they can to keep your natural teeth healthy and viable, but they can only do so much. Teeth that have large cavities or are causing you pain may need to be removed so that they do not further compromise the health of your other teeth.
Having your missing teeth replaced by dentures offers several benefits.
- When you lose all of your teeth, your jaw area begins to look sunken in, which affects your appearance. Dentures help fill out your face, retaining your healthy appearance.
- Make it possible to eat the foods you love, which may be difficult to chew when missing many or all of your teeth.
- Allow you to speak more clearly, giving you a place to rest your tongue when making specific sounds.
- Improve your self-confidence. You will be more comfortable speaking and grinning in public and in pictures when you have dentures.
- If you opt for conventional dentures, you can avoid surgical procedures, as would be needed if you were to opt for dental implants as a tooth-replacement option.
Although most denture patients are older adults, there are cases in which younger adults need to have their teeth replaced with dentures. If you lose all or many of your teeth in an accident, your dentist may recommend them as a tooth replacement solution. Dentures are also used for patients who are born without some or all of their adult teeth. (These congenital conditions are known as hypodontia and anodontia.)
Conventional dentures are a viable tooth replacement option for those who cannot undergo dental implant surgery. They are also used for patients whose jaw bone structure is not stable or strong enough to support implants.
Types of Dentures
Dentures are distinguished by the number of teeth they replace, and how they are secured into the mouth.
Restore all of the teeth in the upper or lower arch. Some patients wear only a lower denture or upper denture, and others wear both. Your dentist will wait until after you’ve recovered from getting your teeth extracted before creating a denture for you. However, there is a type called an immediate denture that can be installed in your jaw instantly after your remaining teeth have been removed. Once you have healed, your dentist may have to remake or adjust the fit.
Restore just some of the teeth. If all of your molars are missing, but you still have your incisors, your dentist may design a partial denture. Wires fit over your front teeth, and false teeth sit in where your natural molars once were. Each partial-denture is unique, and if you lose additional teeth after having your partial-denture produced, your dentist can often alter the appliance to add new false teeth as needed.
Sit right over your jaw bone. You may need to use glue or denture cement to hold them in place and prevent them from moving as you speak or chew. Conventional-dentures sit right over your jaw bone. You may need to use glue or denture cement to hold them in place and prevent them from moving as you speak or chew.
Also known as mini-implants anchor onto four or more titanium screws that your dentist inserts into your jaw bone during a surgical procedure. This type of denture has several advantages. It does not move as you talk and chew, and you do not need to use glue or cement to hold it in place. Implant-supported dentures often look and feel more natural on the mouth than conventional dentures. However, they do require a surgical procedure, which not all patients are comfortable with, and they are more costly than traditional dentures, too.
Dentures are usually made by a prosthodontist, which is a dentist who specializes in fitting and fabricating dentures. If you choose to have full or partial conventional dentures made for your mouth, your dentist will begin by creating an impression of your jaw and taking careful measurements of your mouth. He or she will then create model dentures for you to try on. After several weeks you will return to the dentist to take delivery of your dentures and have them adjusted if need be.
Implant-Supported Dentures Process
The process of having implant-supported dentures or mini-implants applied is a bit more extensive. Your prosthodontist or dental surgeon will x-ray your jaw to ensure your bone structure is strong enough to support the implants. You will then undergo a procedure in which four or more screws are implanted into your jaw. You’ll then be allowed to heal for three to six months. During this time, your jaw bone integrates with the implants, creating a stable platform for your dentures. You may wear a temporary denture to protect the surgical sites and give you a chewing surface. When your jaw has adequately recuperated, your dentist will produce a specialized denture that will snap on the screws that protrude from your jaw.
How to Get Accustomed
It takes patients anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to feel completely comfortable wearing their dentures. For the first few weeks with your dentures, you will want to stick to soft foods so you can get used to chewing with the dentures in place. It’s normal to experience a little soreness or tightness in your jaw or cheeks as your muscles get used to eating with the dentures. You may have difficulty making certain sounds at first. Still, with practice, you should quickly be able to speak regularly and clearly with your dentures in place.
With appropriate care, your dentures will last for many years. However, you should return to your prosthodontist at least once a year to have their fit evaluated and adjusted. Your mouth may change shape gradually over the years, causing your dentures to feel loose or insecure if you do not have them refitted. Follow these tips to properly care for your dentures:
- Remove your dentures each night and thoroughly clean them by brushing them with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Always store your dentures in a denture cleaning solution. Place them directly into this solution after cleaning and rinsing; do not allow them to dry out.
- Brush your gums and any remaining teeth each morning before you put your dentures in place. This helps prevent gum disease and also stimulates circulation to your gums, which helps prevent irritation from your dentures.
- If your dentures begin rubbing or feel uncomfortable, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Never try to reshape or refit your dentures yourself. They are quite delicate, and you could break them accidentally.
How Much Do Dentures Cost?
Dentures are a more affordable tooth replacement option than you might assume. Dental insurance often covers all or part of the cost. On average, you can get a complete set of conventional-dentures for between $2,500 and $5,000. If you only need upper or lower dentures, expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,500. Partial dentures are not necessarily less expensive than full dentures. Although they replace fewer teeth, they are more difficult for your dentist to make since they have to fit around the teeth that you still have.
Implant-supported dentures are more costly than conventional dentures due to the surgical procedure and aftercare required to place the implants.
Affordable at a Dentist Near Me
If you are interested in dentures, use the “dentist near me” ZIP search tool to locate one of our Dallas Dentist offices that’s convenient for you! You can also call (214)731-0124 to schedule a free consultation. Our dentist can evaluate the health of your teeth, the structure of your jaw bone, and your overall oral health to recommend the type of dentures that are best for you. Today’s dentures are more comfortable and practical than ever before, allowing you to smile and speak with confidence once again.