Dentures and Partial Dentures
The loss of several natural teeth affects your face and appearance. You cannot smile and be confident in yourself when you have dental injuries or got your teeth removed. Dentures not only support your remaining tooth by replacing the missing teeth but gives back your smile to you.
The denture is commonly used as a removable appliance that assists you in eating your food. There are mainly two types of dentures; complete and partial. Your dentist recommends you the dentures depending on the number of natural and missing teeth in your mouth.
Many people will need a denture after an accident when they get dental injuries and lost several teeth. There are also alternatives to dentures like crowns, implants, and bridges. It is better to ask your dentist what is best for you.
What are Dentures?
An appliance used as a removable replacement for missing teeth is known as a denture. You might need a complete or partial denture. With a few natural teeth missing partial dentures works fine but you need a complete denture if almost all of your teeth are missing.
What are Complete Dentures?
There are immediate or conventional dentures used to replace the teeth after teeth extraction. You can use the conventional denture as soon as your gum tissues heal after teeth extraction. It takes 8 to 12 weeks to heal your gums and then you can wear your denture.
Immediate dentures can be positioned on the jaws as soon as your teeth are removed and can be made in advance, unlike conventional dentures. So, you can heal while you still have your denture in place. A potential disadvantage of an immediate denture is that it needs to be fixed and adjusted more frequently than a conventional denture. As your gums and bones will shrink in the healing period, you may have to visit your dentist to get your denture adjusted. Often immediate denture is considered a temporary solution until you heal and your conventional denture is ready.
What are Partial Dentures?
Your partial denture is made of a plastic base consisting of replacement teeth. It is used as a bridge or removable denture, usually attached to a metal framework that keeps it in place in your mouth. It has a gum-colored or pink plastic to give a natural look. Generally, a partial denture is used to replace your missing teeth when you still have some natural teeth in your upper or lower jaw.
Fixed Bridge vs Partial Dentures
A fixed bridge can be used to replace several missing teeth by placing crowns on the two sides of the jaw (lower or bottom) and cementing the bridge with artificial teeth to them. Getting a fixed bridge prevents your natural teeth from changing their positions as the fixed bridge fills the gaps of the missing teeth. But, if want your teeth to look more natural, a precision partial denture is preferable as it doesn’t clash with the adjacent crowns instead has an internal attachment and is removable.
What are the Alternatives to Dentures?
To eliminate the need for dentures you can use dental implants as alternatives. Implants are attached to cemented bridges for support. If you want a more natural look and feel implants and bridge are a better choice, but it is much more costly than a denture. Sometimes you can have both dental implants and dentures as the implants can offer more stability than the dentures. A dentist may recommend a better solution for your condition after assessment.
Does Insurance Cover the Denture Cost?
Most insurance companies cover the cost of dentures; either fully or partially. You need to contact your company to specify its dental coverage.
How are Dentures Made?
Your dentist will assess your teeth and recommend what is the best option for your teeth restoration and replacement. If the dentist advises a denture, then the type of denture is determined. Following the few steps your dentist or prosthodontist will have your denture made:
- Take impressions of your jaw to identify gaps between the teeth
- Take measurements with the impressions
- Make a plastic pattern, wax forms, or models for the denture
- When the model is prepared you will be asked to try it a few times to see if it fits well, supports, and is comfortable.
- Besides fitting the shape and color of the denture will be specified.
- Finally, your dentist will cast the denture
- You need to visit the dentist when the denture is made and might get it adjusted if required.
What does It Feel like to Wear a Denture?
You might feel odd and uncomfortable wearing the new denture initially as it takes a few weeks for your muscles to get used to it. If you are wearing a denture for the first time you might feel uncomfortable inserting and removing the denture but you will get comfortable with them as you get used to it. Usually, there is a minor soreness or irritation that goes away as your mouth adjusts to it.
How will I Look like Wearing a Denture?
Dentures are removable replacements for your teeth so they resemble closely to your natural teeth. They are not very obvious and there is only a small change as compared to your natural appearance. Dentures are made not only for your mouth and serve the purpose of eating but to improve your facial appearance and smile.
Is it Difficult to Eat with Dentures?
Initially, it might be uncomfortable for you to eat with a new denture. It takes a little practice, sometimes a few weeks to get used to it. Dentists recommend starting eating soft foods with a new denture. Slowly chew your food so there is not much pressure on your jaws. You can return to your routine diet after a few weeks until you get used to it. It is good to be cautious with hard and hot foods, sticky foods like jelly and chewing gum, and sharp-edged bones. Avoid using a toothpick while wearing your denture.
Does Wearing a Denture Change My Smile and Speech?
If it is a new denture or you are using the denture for the first time you might experience difficulty in pronouncing certain words. But, it isn’t a big deal as you can overcome it with little practice. So, you can become accustomed to speaking as you used to for some time.
If you are experiencing other problems with your denture; like:
- Denture slips when you smile, laugh, or cough
- Denture clicks when you talk
- Moves even with the gentle and slow biting
Your dentist will check and adjust your denture if you face any of these issues persistently.
Can I Wear Dentures 24 hours a Day?
Mostly, dentists recommend people to wear dentures all the time, after receiving the denture so you can determine the difficulties in different areas and get your dentures adjusted if required. You might feel uncomfortable as you have to wear the denture even while sleeping. But, it is only temporary and you wear or remove your dentures as you like, once you have identifies if there is a need for adjustments in your dentures or not. When you wear the dentures 24/7 for a few days it allows your gums and mouth to get used to it. Once adjusted you can take off your dentures at night to let the saliva and tongue normal cleanse and stimulate.