If you’ve lost all of your natural teeth, whether it’s from periodontal disease, tooth decay or injury, complete dentures can replace your missing teeth and your smile. Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. Without support from the denture, facial muscles sag, making a person look older. You’ll be able to eat and speak – activities that people often take for granted until their natural teeth are lost.
There are various types of complete dentures. A conventional full denture is made and placed in the patient’s mouth after the remaining teeth are removed and tissues have been allowed to heal – a process which may take several months to complete. An immediate complete denture is inserted as soon as the remaining teeth are removed, but will require future procedures to improve the fit after the healing is complete.
In the process of making your dentures, Dr. Holsteen and Dr. Rivard take measurements and makes models of your mouth during a preliminary visit. Several follow-up visits are required as part of the fabrication process: a second impression will be taken with custom trays made to fit your mouth, your bite will be evaluated and measured and our lab will provide a wax model of your new denture that we will “try-in” before the final denture is processed for you. All of these steps are taken to ensure that your denture will fit well and will restore to you the ability to speak more clearly and eat comfortably again.
Patients who are having an immediate denture prepared for them go through a similar process in the fabrication of the denture but receive the completed denture as soon as the remaining teeth are removed. Since healing following the extraction of the remaining teeth has not occurred by the time the denture is placed, additional appointments and procedures are necessary in the months following the delivery of the denture in order to “fine-tune” the fit of the denture.
For patients who still have some of their natural teeth that are healthy and want to replace the teeth that are missing, removable partial dentures may be a good solution. Partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to a pink colored plastic base that is supported by a metal framework.
Even if you wear full dentures, you still must take good care of your mouth. Brush your gums, tongue, and palate every morning with a soft – bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque.