Dentures are removable false teeth designed to replace missing teeth. They have evolved immensely since their introduction and the varieties available today are more comfortable to wear and just as natural-looking as natural teeth. Dentures can restore the functions of missing teeth and give you a more aesthetically appealing smile. This will make talking and chewing food easier and even preserve your overall oral health. If you need specialty dentures in Lomita, CA, turn to Washington Dental. We have a skilled team dedicated to practicing cosmetic dentistry. We can help you choose an ideal restorative dentistry treatment to restore the looks and functions of your dental.
We believe that preventative care is the most cost-effective and hassle-free way to protect your oral health and maintain a beautiful smile. If you have missing, damaged, or misaligned teeth, we invite you for a no-commitment consultation. We offer a range of restorative, cosmetic, orthodontic, and family dentistry services to help you discover your best smile.
Specialty Dentures Defined
Dentures are synthetic replacements for missing teeth. They are affordable and offer a non-invasive alternative to installing dental implants. Specialty dentures are also referred to as partial dentures. They come in handy when you don’t require full dentures and only need to replace a few missing teeth. You can use them to fill multi-tooth gaps caused by facial trauma or teeth decay, among other common causes of tooth loss.
Specialty dentures are just like dental bridges because they can replace several missing teeth at the same time and without the need for invasive surgical procedures. Your cosmetic dentist will take X-rays of your dental and create custom-made molds based on your precise requirements.
You must not underestimate the importance of replacing missing teeth. Gaps cause healthy teeth to shift, and this could change your facial structure and cause speaking or chewing problems. Using dentures can help you keep these concerns at bay.
Types of Specialty Dentures
Specialty dentures are just like complete dentures in the sense that most varieties can be removed and replaced. This makes them super easy to clean and maintain. Moreover, they are customized to restore the shape, functions, and appearance of missing teeth. The primary downside is that unlike other types of restorative dentistry, such as dental implants, dentures don’t prevent bone shrinkage after tooth loss.
Let’s have a look at the different types of specialty dentures:
Removable Partial Dentures
This type of dentures consists of false teeth attached to a plastic base that resembles your gums. Removable partial dentures feature a cast metal framework for proper reinforcement. When correctly fitted, they feel, function, and look like natural teeth.
Just like complete dentures, removable partial dentures can be removed and replaced with ease. They are the best option for patients who don’t make good candidates for implant-supported bridges (fixed partial dentures).
You can choose between two types of removable partial dentures. They include:
Cast Partial Dentures
If you have one or several remaining teeth in your upper or lower jaw, your dentist will likely recommend cast partial dentures. They feature a metal framework that holds together an acrylic that resembles the gums and the replacement teeth.
Acrylic Partial Dentures
This type of dentures is also referred to as “flippers.” The device may or may not feature clasps of wrought wire. Unlike cast-partial dentures, which can offer more lasting solutions for missing teeth, acrylic-partial dentures are more temporary. This is because they depend entirely on the gums for support and long-term use often causes gingival recession.
Implant-Supported Bridge (Fixed Partial Dentures)
Implant-supported bridge dentures use dental implants as abutments or primary support. Unlike removable partial dentures, fixed partial dentures are not removable. They can, however, be used to replace several missing teeth in a row.
Some of the key benefits of using fixed partial dentures include:
- The dentures are fixed, hence more secure
- They are considerably stronger compared to removable dentures
- They provide excellent protection to combat facial structure changes caused by missing teeth
- They offer better tooth positioning for a generally improved bite
Overdentures (Implant-Retained Dentures)
Overdentures or implant-retained dentures are also referred to as snap-in or snap-on dentures. They are pretty similar to fixed permanent dentures, only that they don’t permanently attach to abutments (metal posts). They are designed to click and latch onto the metal posts and are strong enough to support an entire set of teeth. Compared to complete dentures, they offer enhanced stability and better chewing function.
There are two types of overdentures. They include:
Ball Attachment Overdentures
Ball attachment overdentures are also known as locator attached implant retained dentures. A dentist installs them by first placing two dental implants in the lower jaw. These implants provide much-needed support once the dentures are snapped into place.
Bar Attachment Overdentures
If you need to replace all the teeth on your lower or upper arch, bar-attached overdentures may be ideal for you. This system involves connecting a bar to the dental implants for proper support of the dentures. The overdentures can be removed for cleaning, although the implants and bar remain fixed into place.
Some of the perks of using implant-retained dentures include:
- They are long-lasting
- They are more functional and comfortable to wear
- They are more natural-looking
- They can improve your bite and make chewing more comfortable
With traditional complete dentures, patients typically wait for 6 to 8 weeks after teeth extraction to allow the jawbone and extraction site to heal. However, with immediate dentures, this waiting time is unnecessary, and the devices can be used right after the natural teeth are extracted.
Immediate dentures are removable, just like their traditional counterparts. However, they are more convenient to use, especially if you can’t stand having a toothless smile for a day. On the downside, they are not custom-fitted to the gums, which may pose challenges for some patients.
There are two types of immediate dentures. They include:
Conventional Immediate Dentures
Conventional immediate dentures are made from the same material as traditional complete dentures. However, they are explicitly designed for use right after natural teeth are extracted.
Interim Immediate Dentures
Unlike conventional immediate dentures, which offer more permanent solutions for missing teeth, interim-immediate dentures are designed for temporary use. They can improve your facial appearance and the functions of your dental, but they are made from a flimsier material.
Understanding How Dentures Are Made?
Specialty dentures, just like traditional complete dentures, feature a plastic resin gum-colored base. It fits over the bone (alveolar ridge) that holds the natural teeth in place. The artificial gum is fitted with prosthetic teeth that protrude from the base. These fake teeth are designed to function like natural teeth and even resemble their appearance.
When you close your mouth, it creates a natural suctioning effect. This is what keeps dentures in place. With custom-made specialized dentures, your cosmetic dentist will ensure that the device fits properly. With your mouth’s natural suctioning effect and the added support from the palate (roof of the mouth), specialized dentures have a minimal risk of falling off when you laugh.
To create specialized dentures that are a perfect fit, your cosmetic dentist will take them through a fabrication process that involves the following steps:
Your cosmetic dentist will take measurements of your jaw and the impressions of your teeth. This process is completed using a plaster model that ensures accurate impressions of your mouth.
The next step involves using a mechanical device that acts as a jaw (articulator). A skilled technician will then attach the fake teeth into the articulator using wax. He/she will then carve the wax and shape it to create a natural-looking gum tissue.
The technician will now place the dentures into a holding device known as a flask. Plaster is then added to the dentures to ensure they maintain their shape. After this, the technician will add boiling water into the flask to get rid of leftover wax.
Acrylic is injected into the flask to replace the wax. A liquid separator is then applied to the plaster to prevent acrylic from sticking on the flask walls.
The technician carefully breaks off the plaster mold and removes the remaining plaster. Any excess acrylic is also trimmed out before the dentures are polished to give them a clean, gleaming look.
The dentures are ready, and your dentist will call you in for a fitting appointment. In case any adjustments are necessary, the device will be returned to the lab, and you will be scheduled for another fitting appointment.
It takes time to get used to wearing dentures. At first, you may feel self-conscious when talking, chewing, or laughing. The process of dentures balancing into the gap previously occupied by your natural teeth is gradual. It may take weeks for your oral muscles, ligaments, and nerves to learn how to work with the dentures to restore the functions of missing teeth.
Common Specialty Denture Concerns You Should Know
Whether you want to replace some or all of your teeth using dentures, there are some common issues you should be prepared to face. First, you may find it a little awkward to chew with your newly installed devices. It is best to start with soft foods and take smaller bites.
You must practice chewing slowly with both sides of your mouth to prevent the device from tipping. Slowly adjust to using the dentures and introduce more foods until you return to your usual diet. Also, it is vital to avoid foods that are too hard or sharp-edged such as bones, because they could damage your dentures. You can also protect the device from unnecessary damage by ensuring your foods and beverages are not too hot.
You may also need to do some practice before you can pronounce certain words correctly when wearing dentures. Try reading out problematic words and repeat them severally. In case you notice that the dentures are clicking when you are talking, try to speak slowly. Generally, replacing missing teeth should help you alleviate speech problems.
Even when dentures are custom-fitted, you cannot entirely rule out the risk of them falling off when laughing or coughing. You can discreetly reposition the device by biting down gently and swallowing. It will only take a few weeks for you to speak, chew, and laugh normally with your dentures with some practice.
Furthermore, your dentures cannot prevent bone loss or tissue shrinkage on the site of a missing tooth. This means your dentures may not fit well after a while, especially if you have them fitted immediately after extraction. Your dentist can address this concern by relining your dentures and adding material under their base for enhanced comfort.
Specialty Denture Care; The Do’s And Don’ts
Specialty dentures feel, look and function like natural teeth. Likewise, you can expect food and plaque to stick on them the same way they stick on natural teeth. Hence, it is imperative to prevent plaque buildup by cleaning your dentures each day, just like natural teeth.
Keeping your dentures clean will prevent bad breath and reduce the risk of gum disease. Here is what you need to clean the device:
- Mild soap or a denture cleaning solution (avoid using regular toothpaste)
- A soft-bristled toothbrush
- A soft towel
It is okay to clean your dentures once a day when you remove them. It is even better to make it a habit to clean them twice daily to remove bacteria, plaque, and stuck-on food. This will also prevent the fake teeth from staining.
Denture Care: The Do’s
- Remove your dentures after eating and rinse them with running water to remove loose food particles — Dentures are prone to breaking when dropped, so place them on your soft towel instead of putting them in the sink or on the counter.
- Handle the device with care when cleaning and avoid bending the clasps or plastic.
- Clean your mouth before wearing your clean dentures — If you still have natural teeth, use regular toothpaste to clean them, and don’t forget to brush your tongue, the roof of your mouth, and the cheeks. If you use denture adhesive, ensure that you remove it entirely from your gums.
- Pay special attention to your gums — Brushing them with a soft brush will remove plaque, prevent bacteria build-up and ensure proper circulation in your oral tissues.
- At night, brush your dentures before soaking them — Make sure you remove all the plaque and food particles. Also, brush the grooves that fit against the gums and make sure you remove all adhesive.
- It is good practice to soak your dentures each night to keep them soft and comfortable to wear — It is okay to soak the dentures in pure water. However, it is better to soak them in denture-soaking solutions available at your local pharmacy.
- Rinse the dentures once more before wearing them — This is a crucial step, mainly if you use denture-soaking solutions. Such solutions are great for your dentures, although they could make you vomit or feel sick if ingested.
- Don’t forget your dental checkups — Your dentist will set dates when you can have the dentures assessed for damage and professionally cleaned. During your visits, make sure you inform your dentist about concerns such as discomfort or too much slippage.
Denture Care; The Don’ts
- Don’t use abrasive cleaning materials such as regular toothpaste, strong cleaners, or hard-bristle
- Avoid using whitening kinds of toothpaste on the dentures because they contain peroxide. Also, don’t use bleaching products because they may weaken your dentures and cause discoloration. In case the false teeth get stained, talk to your dentist about this concern.
- Never soak dentures that feature metal attachments in chlorine solutions. Such solutions can corrode the metal or change its color.
- Don’t soak your dentures in hot or boiling water. This may cause them to warp and lose their shape.
Is It Necessary To Keep My Dentures In Water?
As long as you are wearing removable dentures, you must submerge them in denture solution or water when they are not in use. This is irrespective of whether you have partial or full dentures. Soaking them protects the acrylic from drying out and losing its shape over time.
If you leave your dentures exposed, they are likely not to fit well or become brittle. Moisture keeps the acrylic areas pliable, ensuring they remain comfortable in your mouth. Moreover, brittle dentures are more vulnerable to breakage when dropped.
Another good reason to keep your dentures in water overnight is to prevent contamination. Ensure you follow your dentist’s recommendations on storing the device overnight and preventing unnecessary damage.
Everything You Need To Know About Denture Adhesives
Denture adhesives come in handy if you want to give your dentures added stability. They are safe for use as long as your dentures fit correctly. There are two types of denture adhesives which include:
Paste Application Denture Adhesives
Paste application denture adhesives work best on wet dentures, although they can also get the job done when applied on dry dentures. During application, don’t place the glue close to your denture borders. The idea is to ensure the product does not ooze out.
Powder Application Denture Adhesives
Powder application denture adhesives are easier to use because you can clean off any product that ends up on unwanted areas. Sprinkle a small amount of the bond onto the tissue-bearing surface in a thin, uniform layer. Remove excess powder by shaking it off the dentures. Press down the device into place, and voila! You are ready to go.
You may consider using denture adhesive if:
- You want to enhance the retention, bite force, or stability of properly fitting dentures.
- You suffer from dry mouth, which reduces the denture’s adherence — Dry mouth is a common concern among the elderly. It can also be caused by neurologic disabilities such as strokes or by certain medications.
- You can also use an adhesive if you simply want to enhance your sense of security. This is often important for people who place tougher demands on their facial muscles, such as musicians or public speakers.
It is imperative not to use denture adhesives if:
- You are allergic to some of the denture adhesive ingredients
- You want to enhance the stability of poorly constructed or ill-fitting dentures. In this case, using denture adhesive can harm the underlying hard and soft tissues. You may suffer from soft tissue inflammation or bone loss caused by the movements of your ill-fitting denture.
- Your dentist has not evaluated the state of your dentures. As aforementioned, dentures don’t prevent the shrinkage or deterioration of the gum tissues and jawbone. If you feel the need to use an adhesive because the dentures feel loose, it could be that they need to be adjusted.
- You find it challenging to maintain proper oral hygiene. If your visits to your dentist are irregular and you find it vital to use denture adhesive more frequently or in an increased amount, this may be a sign that your dentures need adjustment.
Tips for Using Denture Adhesives
- Don’t use more adhesive than you deem necessary. It is better to start with the minimum amount and increase it gradually if need be.
- Apply three tiny dots of denture adhesive on the tissue-bearing area of the device and spread them evenly using a wet finger.
- Reapply the adhesive during the day if need be to maintain the desired effect.
- Only apply the adhesive on clean dentures.
- Visit your dentist regularly for denture adjustments.
Find the Washington Dental Near Me
Specialty dentures are an excellent option for you if you have missing teeth. They are just as natural-looking and aesthetically appealing as their natural counterparts and can help you restore your healthy-looking smile. If you have severely damaged or missing teeth in Lomita, CA, we invite you to contact us at the Washington Dental. Call today at 310-326-5183 for a free denture consultation, and let us help you smile with confidence again!