Dentures are a prosthesis that replace your natural teeth. They come in two forms: complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures completely replace your teeth, while partial dentures replace just a portion of your teeth. Dentures are typically made from an acrylic resin.
Why would I need dentures?
When a mouth is missing teeth, it can be very unhealthy and can lead the face to develop a sunken look. This can make a person appear look prematurely aged. But functionally, when a person has lost many or all of their teeth, it can affect their nutrition because the remaining teeth may be unable to fully chew food. Replacing your teeth with dentures can help you chew the foods you love, strengthen the muscles in your face, and help pronounce words better—all the things that your original healthy teeth were designed to do.
What other options do I have?
Ask Dr. Ertl to discuss your specific case, but for two alternatives may be bridges and/or dental implants.
What is a complete denture?
A complete denture replaces all the teeth in your mouth. A complete set is appropriate when someone has lost all of their teeth, or when someone’s only remaining teeth are unhealthy and need to be removed.
What is a partial denture?
A partial denture is used when only some teeth need to be replaced. Healthy teeth remain in the mouth where they act as anchors for the partial denture. The partial denture firmly connects to these anchoring healthy teeth with metal attachments.
What is an upper dentures?
An upper denture is removable replacement teeth for the upper teeth only. Some report finding these easier to adjust to than complete dentures.
What is an overdenture?
An overdenture is a conventional denture used with one or more of your natural teeth as anchors. The denture fits over the remaining teeth, which are prepared to provide support for the appliance. Overdentures require more preparation and can be more expensive than conventional dentures, but they also provide a stability that makes eating easier and more comfortable.
What is a conventional denture?
A conventional full denture is a removable teeth replacement appliance. It is fabricated and placed after the remaining teeth have been removed and the tissue has healed, a process that can take six weeks to several months. During this phase, the patient is without teeth, but they can use a temporary denture or immediate denture.
What is an immediate denture?
An immediate denture is placed immediately after Dr. Ertl has removed your remaining teeth. This saves you from going six weeks to several months without teeth as the tissues heal and the bone stabilizes. However, immediate dentures often require more overall visits, which raises the costs of the procedure. Once in place, the immediate dentures actually help reduce the initial swelling from the teeth removal. After the healing process is complete, the immediate dentures will be adjusted for fit, or they may be completely replaced by permanent conventional dentures.
What can I expect from the denture procedure?
The majority of procedures begin with numbing the mouth and removing existing unhealthy teeth. Sometimes, oral surgery is needed to prepare the mouth for dentures, but it is not always necessary. Next, Dr. Ertl will make a wax bite impression. This is the model for the new denture. If an immediate denture is being placed, he will make the necessary measurements before the final teeth are removed. After the dentures are fabricated there will often be several additional appointments to fine-tune things such as color, fit and shape.
What can I expect after I am fitted with dentures?
First, you will need to care for your new dentures and keep them clean. Dr. Ertl will advise you on how to o this. Cleaning your dentures and keeping them in good working order is important to help them last for many years. Second, things will certainly feel different initially. This is particularly true in the beginning as you acclimate to your new set of teeth. At first, the dentures may feel bulky or seem awkward while chewing. At this early stage, increased saliva and some discomfort is common, but these symptoms should diminish over time. Denture wearers need to get used to speaking and eating with their new teeth, and this too takes some time. If discomfort or fit problems persist, adjustments or new dentures may be necessary.
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