Dentures

Full & Partial Dentures in Downtown Atlanta, GA

Replace Your Missing Teeth

Dentures are a prosthetic replacement for missing teeth and the surrounding tissue.  A full denture replaces all of the teeth on either the upper or the lower ridge; while a partial denture only replaces a few missing teeth.  Dentures come in many varieties as discussed below and are available at our downtown Atlanta, GA dental practice.

Full Dentures:

Full dentures can be made from a variety of materials including metal alloys, resins, plastics, and now Zirconia (a very hard ceramic). By and large the most common is a resin material that is designed to mimic natural gum tissue.

The full denture is either ridge retained (fitted snugly to the tissue ridge formed by the bone of your jaws), or implant retained.  Implant retained full dentures can be retained by a special bar that is fit to the implants and the denture, or by a series of implants equipped with “snaps” that correspond to attachments on the full denture.  Implant retention offers more stability and chewing efficiency vs ridge and over-denture retention.

Immediate Dentures:

Immediate dentures are delivered at the same time the teeth are extracted.  A prior appointment is necessary in order to get the measurements necessary to make the denture prior to the extraction and insertion appointment.

Immediate dentures can be advantageous in that they can assist with the healing process, much like wearing a Band-Aid.

Due to bone and gum shrinkage that typically follows the removal of teeth; an immediate denture needs to be relined several months after the initial appointment.

Partial Dentures:

Partial dentures are exactly what they sound like, replacements for only partial loss of teeth.  A partial denture is retained (or held in place) by a framework that wraps partially around existing teeth.  This framework can be made from resin, but is more commonly fabricated from a smooth chrome base and custom fitted to each patient.

Partial dentures can also be retained with “precision attachments” a special key and lock method.  In this method some of the remaining teeth are restored with special crowns that serve as the lock of the attachment, while the framework of the partial has “keys” at certain points that fit into the locks.  Precision attachments can provide a more stable fit then conventional framework.

Fixed-Hybrid Bridges:

Implant-Retained Denture Solutions are dentures that are secured by implants in a variety of ways.  An implant retained denture can be a fixed hybrid, bar-retained, or snap-retained.

A fixed hybrid denture  is a non-removable denture solution.  First implants are placed and after an adequate healing time, special attachments are fitted onto them for retaining the bridge to the implants 

This device can be removed by your dentist, but is not removable on a day-to-day basis.  In this solution there is no palatal coverage, which could aid in comfort.

Dentures in Atlanta, GA 

Atlanta, GA Dentures

This is a full arch solution (meaning it replaces all of the teeth on either the upper, lower, or both), while beautiful and effective, it is a complex solution.  If you are interested in an implant retained partial or denture, give us a call to schedule a consultation.

How Dentures are made:

Denture making is a customized process, much like a handmade suit, the look, feel, and materials are discussed and chosen, and then measurements are made.

After an initial consultation to determine if dentures are right for you.  Dr. Kauffman will provide you with a records and measurements appointment.

At this appointment we will take upper and lower impressions, measure your midline, determine jaw position and ridge alignment, record facial structure, and discuss esthetic choices (i.e. tooth and tissue shades, and materials).

Acrylic baseplates will be made and fit to models made from the impressions taken.  Once the baseplates are finished then what is called a “wax try-in” will be made.  A wax try-in is a wax model on an acrylic baseplate that allows Dr. Kauffman to judge tooth position and vertical and horizontal positioning.  An appointment will be made to fit the wax try-in. 

After the wax try-in has been adjusted to satisfaction it will be sent in to a dental laboratory where the final denture will be made.

Delivery:

At the delivery appointment Dr. Kauffman will check initial fit and make some small adjustments if necessary. 

After we have ensured your satisfaction, we will give you detailed instructions for the transition and denture care.

When a denture is delivered it is expected that the patient may return to the office for several adjustments and to answer additional questions as needed.

Denture Adjustments:

It is perfectly natural for a patient to need some adjustments over the life of the denture.  After the initial delivery of a denture sore spots may become apparent.  A sore spot is when the pressure of a denture is unevenly distributed to one or more points of tissue.  Sore spots are typically easily identifiable and can be fixed with a simple adjustment.

If your denture base or tooth fractures or breaks, you should contact your dentist immediately.  Avoid over-the-counter repair kits as these can often cause more harm to the denture.  Many denture repairs can be made in the office and often same day.  In some cases the denture may need to be sent to a laboratory for the repair to be affected.

Full and partial dentures usually fit well for about 5 years.  Around the 5 year mark they may need to be relined.  Although you have a denture, regular visits to the dentist are still recommended in order to help ensure your optimal oral health.

Life with a Denture:

It is normal for the denture to feel large and bulky in the mouth at first.  Your salivary glands will normally start secreting an extra amount initially as well, but should settle back to normal within a short time.

Chewing efficiency with a denture is not the same as with natural teeth or an all-implant restoration solution, but with practice patients can achieve proficiency with most everyday foods.  By starting with smaller portions of soft foods and then working up to harder foods, mastery can be achieved.

As a part of the transition process you may need to relearn some annunciation.  Practice by reading aloud and saying tongue twisters or phrases that focus on different sounds (i.e. Route Sixty-Six).  The more you practice the easier the transition will be.

Denture paste is a common product advertised on TV, but any well-made denture should generally fit without the aid of paste.  If you are having issues keeping your denture seated or it has become uncomfortable contact your dentist immediately.

Caring for You & Your Denture:

Denture care is similar to caring for natural teeth.  Every night you should brush your denture thoroughly to remove any plaque or other debris buildup from the day.  Do not use toothpaste on your denture as it can prove too abrasive and may damage it. 

After brushing, a denture should be soaked overnight in a container of water mixed with an approved denture soaking solution (look for the American Dental Association or ADA seal of approval).  If the denture is not kept moist it can lose its shape. In the morning, simply rinse and brush your denture again and you are ready for a fresh start.

Dr. Kauffman recommends Protech Denture Cleaner™ (follow the link to place bulk orders online or call 800.872.8898) you can also order retail at www.practicon.com or by calling 800.959.9505.

Although you have a denture, you must still care for your mouth.  Gently brush your gums, tongue, and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush.  Maintaining an oral hygiene routine will help ensure your gum remains firm and healthy.

For more information on Dentures in the Atlanta, GA area call Thomas W. Kauffman at (404) 524-1981 today!