DenturesDentures have been around for hundreds of years, and during this time the materials and techniques used to manufacture them have improved tremendously. Nowadays, modern dentures can provide a cost-effective and non-invasive way to replace missing teeth, comfortably restoring your smile and ability to eat without the need for any surgical procedures.

How Could Dentures Help You and What are the Different Types?

There are several different types of dentures1, and they can be used to fill in the gap left behind by a single missing tooth, or by multiple missing teeth. Full dentures are used to restore complete arches of teeth. Conventional dentures are removable, consisting of an acrylic base that is gum colored and which supports one or more replacement teeth. Some dentures are strengthened with metal or will have specially made attachments fitting onto or around natural teeth and which help to hold the denture more securely in place.

Dental Flipper

A dental flipper is an economical type of denture designed purely for temporary use. Our dentist, Dr. Benjamin Hull might suggest you have a flipper if you have lost a tooth which cannot be immediately replaced, for example, if you have knocked out a tooth right at the front of the mouth and which might ultimately be replaced with a dental implant or another treatment that requires a little longer to complete. It is a great solution which is designed for short-term use and which will help to restore your smile cosmetically. Dental flippers are not meant for longer-term use as they are not terrifically comfortable to wear.

Partial Denture

A partial denture is a good choice if you are missing more than one tooth and especially when these missing teeth are in different areas of the same arch and where a fixed dental bridge wouldn’t be possible. A partial denture has a metal base made from cobalt chrome alloy, a material that is extremely strong and light-weight, helping to create a more comfortable denture that doesn’t feel too bulky. Pink gum-colored acrylic is attached to the cobalt chrome base, and this supports the replacement teeth. Partial dentures usually have wrought metal clasps which are fabricated to fit discreetly around existing teeth, helping to hold the denture more firmly in place. Partial dentures can also have special attachments which fit onto dental crowns fitted over natural teeth, preventing the denture from moving. They can also be supported with dental implants. Sometimes it is possible to add more teeth to a partial denture, for example, if you already have a partial denture but need to have another tooth removed.

Full Dentures

Full dentures restore an entire arch of teeth and can be used to replace both the upper and lower arches in people missing all their natural teeth. The denture rests entirely on the gums, using the bony ridge that used to support natural teeth for retention. The dentures are designed to provide the correct support for the facial muscles in the cheeks and lips and to restore correct facial dimensions between the upper and lower jaw. Full dentures have a gum-colored base, and which supports the denture teeth. Upper dentures cover up the upper palate, while lower dentures are a horseshoe shape, fitting around the tongue and only covering the bony ridge that used to support your natural teeth.

I’m Worried My Dentures Will Look Artificial

Here at Ivory Dental, we go to considerable trouble to ensure all our dentures are fabricated using high-quality materials, including denture teeth that look and feel as natural as possible. These denture teeth are available in a wide selection of different shapes, sizes, and colors, and our experienced dental team can help you to select the teeth which will be most complementary to your appearance. We can arrange your denture teeth to replicate your natural teeth closely, or if you prefer, they can be designed to give you a more cosmetically perfect smile. It is your choice!

Will I Have to Wait for My Dentures After Tooth Removals?

We know lots of people fear being left without teeth after their natural teeth are removed, but please don’t worry as we will make sure this doesn’t happen to you! We can make a temporary denture to be worn immediately after tooth extraction. This immediate denture will be used while your gums settle down after tooth extraction because the gums will change shape considerably during these first few months. During this healing period, we might adjust or reline the fitting surface of your immediate denture, so it continues to fit reasonably comfortably. Once your gums are healed completely, the immediate or temporary denture is replaced with your more permanent denture.

What to Expect When You Initially Begin to Wear a Denture

Just like any new dental appliance, your dentures will initially feel a little strange. Persevere with wearing the denture, and it will soon begin to feel more comfortable and natural. Usually, a second follow-up appointment is necessary a week or so after your denture is fitted. During this second appointment, we can adjust your denture if needed, to ensure it fits comfortably. Be prepared to spend a little time getting used to eating with dentures, and begin with softer, easier to chew foods, gradually introducing harder foods as you become accustomed to wearing them. Your speech may initially be affected, and it is worth practicing speaking in front of a mirror. If your dentures feel as if they are moving out of place, reposition them with your tongue and gently bite down to reseat them fully.

What About Implant-Supported Dentures?

Another option is to consider dentures which are supported by dental implants. Often a complete upper or lower denture can be firmly held in place with relatively few dental implants, so treatment is very cost-effective. An implant-supported denture has special attachments on its fitting surface and which clip onto the dental implants. Once in place, it cannot move. Implant-supported dentures are a great solution if you find your dentures are a bit loose or are at all worried about them moving when you speak or eat. An implant-supported denture can be an excellent and affordable solution which will make it easier to eat a greater range of foods more comfortably.

There are lots of different options for replacing missing teeth and dentures are just one possible solution. If you have lost teeth or are facing tooth loss, Dr. Hull can examine your mouth and will discuss all the treatment options he feels will work best for you.