Missing teeth can be a great inconvenience for your smile and overall health. The gaps in your teeth distort your smile and affect your ability to chew food correctly. When you have one or more missing teeth, a denture is one of the ways through which you can replace them.
Dentures are removable replacements that are custom-made to replace lost teeth. Dentures could be partial or complete, depending on the number of teeth you have lost. Complete dentures are suitable for individuals who have lost all their teeth, while partial dentures are recommended if you have lost a few.
Depending on your preference and budget, dental technicians make dentures using materials like metal, nylon, and porcelain. Often, these restorations are made using the mold taken from your teeth to ensure they fit comfortably in your mouth.
While fitting dentures is easy, the outcome can significantly affect oral health. You will require the top-notch services we offer at Washington Dental if you want to restore your missing teeth with dentures in Lomita, CA.
What are Dentures?
Dentures are removable oral appliances used to replace missing teeth. These restorations can replace teeth on the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both. Whether or not you are a good candidate for dentures will be determined by your dentist during your routine checkups. You could lose one or more teeth through:
- Gum diseases. When plaque and tartar build-up in your mouth, it can cause an infection in the gums. This weakens the bone that supports your teeth and could result in tooth loss.
- Tooth decay. Another leading cause of tooth loss is cavities and dental decay. Dental cavities could be a problem for people of all ages and, when left untreated, could cause tooth loss. Often, your dentist may recommend tooth extraction if the decayed tooth cannot be saved with a root canal.
- Oral trauma. Physical injuries during sports or an accident could cause a traumatic loss of teeth. You can wear a mouthguard during contact sports to protect your teeth from trauma.
- Chronic illnesses. Some diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, are detrimental to oral health. These health conditions can increase your risk of gum disease or accelerate tooth decay.
Tooth loss will affect your smile and cause difficulty chewing food. Regardless of the cause of your tooth loss, you can restore your smile with dentures.
Materials Used for Dentures
Understanding the different types of denture materials will help you choose the material that meets your aesthetic needs. Additionally, denture materials vary in cost. Therefore, you must choose a material that fits within your budget. Common denture materials include:
The strength and durability of porcelain make it a popular material for dentures. Dentures made of porcelain make your smile look natural by mimicking the appearance of natural teeth. Since porcelain is strong and resistant to damage, you must ensure regular dental visits during the fitting of the dentures.
This helps ensure that the dentures fit perfectly in your mouth. Porcelain is an expensive material. Therefore, you may need to pay more for the porcelain dentures.
In addition to porcelain, acrylic resin is another material whose popularity in making dentures has grown tremendously. Acrylic is very comfortable and allows for easy adjustment of the dentures. Dentures made of acrylic resin are resistant to damage and can serve you well before a replacement is needed.
You can choose dentures that are made of a partial metal base. When choosing partial metal for tooth restoration, you must understand that the material makes your dentures small. Your dentist will use resin to match the color of these dentures with your remaining teeth.
Signs that You Need Dentures
Many people think dentures are for senior citizens who have lost their teeth due to old age. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Young people could lose their teeth for different reasons.
The following are signs that you may need dentures to meet your dental health needs:
- You neglect your dental visits. Making at least two dental visits yearly is part of a healthy dental and oral health routine. During dental visits, your dentist will examine your mouth for signs of gum disease, tooth decay, and other complications that can cause tooth loss. If you do not visit your dentist regularly, your dental complications may be discovered too late. This could result in the loss of your teeth and the need for dentures.
- Loose or shifting teeth. Loose teeth are a sign of severe gum disease, according to experts. In this case, extensive treatment may be required. When the damage is too much, the only option will be to remove the teeth and replace them with dentures.
- Chronic toothache. Various reasons, including cavities, decay, or trauma, may cause a severe toothache. If your dentist cannot save the tooth through a root canal, extracting it may be the only way to deal with the pain. You will need dentures if you do not want to deal with the consequences of missing teeth.
- You have multiple missing teeth. Some people will ignore one missing tooth since it will rarely affect the function of other teeth. However, if you have lost numerous teeth through disease or trauma, you may feel the impact while speaking, eating, or smiling. Your dentist will recommend dentures to replace these missing teeth.
Types of Dentures
There are different types of dentures. Choosing a suitable denture will depend on your oral health needs and the number of teeth you need to replace. Common types of dentures include:
Commonly known as a full denture, a complete denture replaces the arch of missing teeth. This type of denture rests on top of your gums and relies on your mouth's roof for support.
You will need adhesive glue to keep this type of denture in place. The full dentures have a gum-colored base and artificial teeth attached to them. You have a complete denture. You may need to remove it while you sleep. This lets your gums rest and lets you clean and soak your dentures.
Partial dentures are a good option if you are missing multiple teeth from one of both jaws. While these dentures rely on your gums and palate for support, clamps hook them together. The remaining teeth in your mouth provide additional support to keep the partial dentures in position.
Instead of obtaining support from your jawbone and gums, the implant-retained dentures are attached to dental implants. A dental implant is a small metal device screwed into your jawbone as the tooth root. You can remove your implant-retained dentures and clean them when necessary.
If you need an immediate tooth replacement, your dentist will recommend immediate dentures. Unlike other dentures, your immediate dentures are made before the tooth extraction. The immediate dentures are temporary devices and will be replaced with permanent ones when your gums heal.
Procedure for Dentures
Your entire life could be affected when you lose your teeth. Tooth loss affects your smile and your ability to chew your food correctly. Dentures are a great way to replace teeth and allow you to speak or eat correctly. You can take the following steps to prepare if you are getting dentures for the first time:
- Choose the right dentist. Your oral health is a critical part of your overall health and well-being. Allowing a dentist to perform such a procedure will require trust. The process will be more straightforward if you already have a dentist you trust. Otherwise, you will need to ask family and friends for a referral.
- Understand your options. When your dentist determines you are a good denture candidate, you must choose between the available types. The number of missing teeth you want to replace will dictate the type of dentures you need.
- Consider your budget. When you want to replace your missing teeth using dentures, you may have a budget for the amount you wish to spend on the procedure. Therefore, you can consider the costs for each type of denture.
You will need to make several dental visits for dentures. Understanding what to expect from your dental visits during the fitting of dentures will make the process more manageable. The following are the steps you must take for the denture procedure:
The first step before every dental procedure is examining your oral health. During this examination, your dentist will check for signs of infection, tooth decay, and gum disease. Additionally, the dentist will check for other dental restorations that could hinder the fitting of dentures.
The removal of some teeth may be inevitable during the fitting of dentures. The denture could be prepared if you want an immediate denture after tooth extraction. Depending on the type of dentures you want, the procedure could take three to six weeks.
During this appointment, your dentist will discuss how you want your dentures to look and feel. The dentist will then take impressions of your mouth for a custom fit of the dentures. Your dentist will then advise you on different types of teeth and materials. You can choose the material that suits your desired outlook and budget.
Having a friend or family member attend the visit would be helpful for extra support. Additionally, the information you receive at this appointment may be overwhelming. The person accompanying you to the appointment could help you take photos and ensure that the material you choose matches the shade of your remaining teeth.
Using a custom-made tray, your dentist will take secondary impressions at the second appointment. This helps to capture the exact anatomy of your mouth. A wax bite may also determine upper and lower jaw relationships. Your dentist will help you choose the quality and color of your new denture.
Unlike popular belief, dentures do not always look artificial. Sometimes, they may be a pleasant improvement to the appearance of your teeth. With improved technology, false teeth can mimic your natural teeth.
The third denture appointment involves trying the wax-based dentures on your teeth before crafting the final dentures. If you have any concerns about the fit and shape of these dentures, you must discuss them with your dentist. This ensures that the final product feels comfortable and performs the intended function.
Collecting Your Replacement Teeth
Your last denture appointment is for collecting your final dentures. You may feel slight discomfort as your tongue, facial muscles, and mouth adapt to the dentures. However, this discomfort will resolve after a few weeks. If the discomfort persists, your dentist may need to adjust the denture's fit.
Benefits of Dentures
Dentures are one of the ways to replace missing teeth and improve your smile. Depending on the number of missing teeth, you can choose partial or complete dentures. The following are some of the benefits you accrue from choosing dentures for tooth replacement:
The ability to speak properly relies on the coordination between the facial muscles and oral features like the tongue and teeth. You may experience difficulty speaking when you have multiple missing teeth. Dentures can help fill the gaps and improve pronunciation for individuals who have lost one or all their teeth.
Improve the Appearance of your Smile
Missing teeth can distort your smile significantly. This could cause you to feel self-conscious when you smile or interact with others. Tooth loss can also cause facial sagging and wrinkles. Dentures will help you regain your confidence by replacing the missing teeth. You have the opportunity to choose dentures that look like your natural teeth. This makes your smile look natural.
Dentures are Custom-made
Fitting dentures involves taking a mold of your mouth and gums. This helps ensure that the restorations are as comfortable as possible. Oral discomfort can be very disturbing, even when missing teeth are replaced. If your jawbone or gums change over time, you can return to the dentist to adjust your dentures.
Ease in Maintenance
Unlike other tooth replacement options, dentures are removable. This makes it easy for you to clean them. You need no special care to keep your dentures in good condition. You just need warm water, a soft-bristled toothbrush, and a clean towel. Removing the dentures allows you to clean your gums and tongue effectively.
Dentures are Cost Effective
Dentures are a cheap way to replace your teeth and boost your smile. Different materials for dentures have different costs. Therefore, you can choose a denture type and material that suit your budget. Dentures are both restorative and cosmetic. Thus, the cost of these restorations may be partially or fully covered by your insurance.
You can negotiate a dental discount plan with your dentist if you do not have insurance coverage. However, you must discuss the payments before the procedure begins.
The process of fitting dentures is quick and less invasive. After the extraction of your teeth, you will not undergo a surgical procedure. Instead, your dentist will take a mold of your gums and make false teeth. The only recovery you need after fitting dentures is for your mouth to adjust to the foreign material, which takes several weeks.
Dentures Decrease Other Dental Health Complications
Tooth loss can increase the risk of other dental complications. The gap left by the missing tooth exposes the gums to bacteria, which could result in gum disease and tooth decay. The remaining teeth could also shift, resulting in misaligned and crooked teeth. Partial dentures cover the gums and prevent the teeth from moving.
Disadvantages of Dentures
A denture is designed to replace one or more missing teeth. Although dentures provide numerous benefits for your oral and overall health, you should understand these setbacks before settling for dentures as a tooth replacement option:
- Weaker bite. Unlike other restorations, like dental implants, dentures are not attached to the bone. Therefore, they are weaker and produce a weaker bite. This could make it challenging for you to chew on hard foods. The dentures may become unstable with time, reducing their strength significantly.
- Easily shift. The removable nature of dentures makes it easy for them to move around your mouth when you speak or eat. Before your mouth becomes used to the false teeth, you may need to eat slowly and avoid chewing on hard foods.
- Easily damaged. You must remove your dentures while you sleep or clean them. Since the false teeth are fragile, a fall could easily damage them. Additionally, you must always store the dentures in water to avoid drying them out.
Care for your Dentures
Complete and partial dentures can replace missing teeth and improve your smile. The dentures are designed to mimic natural teeth and can be made of different materials, including metal and acrylic. Although dentures are false teeth, they need regular cleaning and maintenance. Cleaning your dentures will involve more than brushing.
Food particles and plaque can stick to dentures just like natural teeth. Plaque is the thin film of bacteria that remains after eating or drinking. Failure to clean your dentures could result in bad breath and gum disease, among other oral health complications.
You must clean your dentures twice a day to maintain proper oral hygiene. Although brushing your teeth is essential, you must remove your dentures for a thorough cleaning. The following are cleaning instructions for dentures:
- Place a soft towel on the bathroom counter before removing your dentures. This protects the dentures if they fall when you remove them.
- Remove the dentures from your mouth and rinse them with warm water.
- Use a soft toothbrush to brush off the dirt and bacteria from your dentures.
- Soak your dentures in warm water overnight if you are going to bed. You should avoid using hot water on your dentures. This is because the hot water can change the shape and distort the fit of the dentures.
You should brush and floss your remaining teeth if you have partial dentures. Although toothpaste is unsuitable for cleaning dentures, you can still use it to clean your gums and tongue. Other denture care and maintenance tips include:
- Remove your dentures and rinse them with warm water after every meal to avoid a buildup of food particles.
- Handle your dentures with care to avoid breakage or damage.
- Avoid the use of teeth-whitening agents on dentures.
- Consult with your dentist immediately if your dentures are damaged or broken.
Even when you have complete dentures, your dental appointments are essential. During these routine checkups, your dentist can check for signs of damage or other oral health issues that could affect the dentures. You should make an immediate appointment if you experience the following:
- You feel uncomfortable. You should be used to your dentures a few days after your denture-fitting appointment. If you still feel uncomfortable after a long time, you should visit your dentist for a review.
- Your dentures no longer fit properly.
- The dentures appear broken or worn out.
- The dentures make disturbing noises when you eat or talk.
Find a Competent Cosmetic Dentist Near Me
Your dentist may recommend dentures if you have lost teeth due to gum disease, cavities, or trauma. Dentures are artificial teeth that are custom-made for your lower or upper jaw. Dentures can be partial or complete, depending on the number of missing teeth you have.
Dentures are a popular option to replace missing teeth because they enhance your smile and involve a less invasive procedure. With advanced technology, dentures can mimic the color and shape of your teeth, making your smile look more natural.
Additionally, there are different materials from which you can choose, which makes dentures a cost-effective way to replace your missing teeth. Fitting dentures includes an initial dental examination and the taking of gum impressions. The dentist will then send these impressions to a dental lab, where your artificial teeth are made.
Your oral health is a critical aspect of your life. Therefore, you will need a skilled cosmetic dentist to fit your dentures. At Washington Dental, we offer expert cosmetic dental services for all our clients in Lomita, CA. Call us today at 310-326-5183 for a consultation.