The most common solution, for people missing all teeth in one or both jaws are complete dentures. Some people adapt well to dentures. Others find them uncomfortable, even intolerable, because of differences in jaw size and shape.
A denture or a complete denture as it is often called, is an appliance that is inserted in the mouth, replaces natural teeth and provides support for the cheeks and lips.
The teeth are made of plastic, porcelain or a combination of both. Dentures can be fabricated to fit over endodontically treated teeth and a complete denture can be attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit of the appliance.
WHAT IF I’M MISSING ALL OF MY LOWER TEETH?
One option is to have two implants placed in your lower jaw and a denture made that snaps onto these dental implants. This option allows your lower denture to be more stable while chewing than without implants. However, there will still be movement of your lower denture, and sore spots will occur if any food particles, especially seeds, are caught under it. As with all removable replacement teeth, you still will need periodic appointments for denture adjustment.
BAR ATTACHMENT DENTURE
Another option involves placing four to six implants, depending on your jaw size or shape, into your lower jaw. After healing is complete, the implants are connected with a custom-made support bar. Your denture will be made with special internal retention clips that attach onto the support bar, enabling the denture to snap firmly into place. This is called an “overdenture.” The advantage of this option is that it is much more stable than the first option and allows very little denture movement. Your denture is still removable for easy cleaning and maintenance.
SCREW RETAINED DENTURE
A third option involves placing five or more implants in your jaw and attaching a permanent denture. Your denture is held in place by screws or clasps that secure it to the support posts or bar. It doesn’t touch the gum tissue, which allows you to clean under the denture without removing it. This denture will replace all your missing lower teeth and will not be removed except at maintenance visits. Although cleaning under your denture without removing it is more time consuming and requires more dexterity, many patients who want a permanent denture prefer this option.
WHAT IF I’M MISSING ALL OF MY UPPER TEETH?
A similar range of treatment options is also available for your upper jaw. However, because the bone is not as hard as that in the lower jaw, people often need more implants to support their new replacement teeth. Depending upon the number of implants to be placed, it may be possible to eliminate the need for covering the roof of your mouth with a complete denture. This option allows you to fully taste your food and gives you a better sense of its temperature. Your denture will feel more natural. You will still have a removable denture, which makes cleaning the support bar and denture much easier.
IMPLANT RETAINED DENTURE
Depending upon the number of implants to be placed, it may be possible to eliminate the need for covering the roof of your mouth with a complete denture. This option allows you to fully taste your food and gives you a better sense of its temperature. Your denture will feel more natural. You will still have a removable denture, which makes cleaning the support bar and denture much easier.
A removable partial denture is designed specifically to meet the needs of the patient and can replace one or more missing teeth. A natural appearance and speech clarity is restored along with the ability to eat more efficiently.
PARTIAL DENTURE TYPES AND MATERIALS
Partial dentures are created out of a metal and acrylic composition or completely out of acrylic. A patient’s specific needs and anatomy dictate the design of the partial denture and every effort is made to construct a self-cleansing partial denture that preserves the remaining teeth and oral tissues.
Dr. Arnold will design your partial denture so that the chewing forces are evenly distributed over the entire surface are of the remaining teeth and soft tissues. Changes to your remaining teeth may be recommended to help equalize these forces.
Metal partials are generally preferred as they are structurally superior. They are thinner and more hygienic than an acrylic partial. Acrylic partials are typically used as a transitional or temporary partial. Dr. Arnold will consult with you to determine the appropriate partial for your situation.
BENEFITS OF PARTIAL DENTURES
A removable partial denture may help limit movement of your existing natural teeth. They also allow you to better grind and chew food improving digestion.
MEDICAL & DENTAL HISTORY UPDATE
Updating your medical and dental history with any significant changes is critical to maintaining your oral health and well-being. A variety of medical and dental conditions can alter a denture’s fit.
ANNUAL ORAL EXAM
Annual examinations can assist in detecting oral abnormalities including cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions. Early detection of these conditions is generally beneficial for treatment.
TISSUE & BONE ASSESSMENT
Ill-fitting dentures may cause bone and tissue changes and need to be corrected for your oral health. Our practice can assess and recommend solutions to suit your personal needs.
COMFORT, FIT & INTEGRITY OF DENTURES
Bite problems, speech impediments and tissue irritations can be caused by an ill-fitting denture and should be remedied. Leaving this condition unchecked can lead to complicated situations in the future. Dr. Arnold can assess your dentures for cracks, chips, and broken or loose teeth and suggest solutions.
DENTURE EXAM OVERVIEW
- Update of medical and dental history chart
- An examination of your oral cavity
- Tissue and bone assessment
- Denture stability and bite examination
- Cleaning and polishing of your denture
- Oral hygiene review
- DENTURE REBASING & REPAIRS
- DENTURE RELINES
- DENTURE REBASING
Rebasing may be recommended when the teeth of your denture are still in good condition and have not worn out in comparison to the denture base material. Rebasing is the process of replacing the entire acrylic denture base providing a stable denture without replacing the denture teeth. A rebase for a denture maybe required if your denture is old or is cracked. A rebase is very similar to relining, the difference being that, a rebase replaces all the pink-acrylic denture base material instead of just the lining.
Reasons for the rebase procedure may include:
- Broken or damaged denture
- Weakened or old pink denture base
- Replacement of an immediate denture
A variety of circumstance can lead to a damaged denture and should be addressed immediately. Repairs restore a fractured or damaged denture close to its original condition. Hal N. Arnold, D.M.D., M.S. Esthetic & Implant Dentistry can often provide denture repair procedures on a same day basis. Dr. Arnold will advise you of the condition of your denture and will recommend steps needed in preventing further breakage
A soft liner is a layer of soft, pliable material that is fitted between the surface of a denture and your oral tissues. It absorbs shock between the hard base of your denture and your gums. Soft liners can be used when creating new dentures or retrofitted into existing dentures.
Permanent soft liners provide comfort and relief for individuals with receded and flattened gum tissues that don’t respond well to the stress of dentures. They may also be a suitable solution for patients with chronically sore gum tissues or gums with sharp bony areas.
ADVANTAGES OF SOFT LINERS
- More comfortable to use
- Virtually all patients respond well to soft liner materials
- Easier chewing
- A proven technology with over 20 years of innovation
Soft liners require regular follow-up visits with Dr. Arnold to examine the fit of dentures and general oral health
Most dentures are made of acrylic and can be fabricated two different ways.
- A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed.
- An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues are allowed to heal under the denture.
- An upper denture has acrylic, usually flesh colored, that covers the palate (roof of the mouth).
- A lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.
Dentures over a normal course of time will wear and need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of the teeth. Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or change.
DENTURE EXAMS & MAINTENENCE
Your dentures are an investment and require care and attention to maintain their optimum performance. The fit of your dentures will have a profound effect on your oral tissues and health. An annual examination by Hal N. Arnold, D.M.D., M.S. will help ensure your denture is functioning properly.