The American College of Prosthodontists, comprised of dentists expert in artificial teeth, says that approximately 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Many millions are missing all their teeth, impairing speech, chewing and facial appearance unless they elect to consult a skilled dentist, such as Thomas W. Kauffman, DDS, about tooth replacement.
For decades, full and partial dentures have provided people missing one, 2 or all of their teeth natural-looking and reliable tooth replacement. Dr. Thomas W. Kauffman recommends several types of dentures for his patients, working with each one to determine what option is best.
Types of Dentures
There are basically 2 types of dentures–partial and full. Either may be supported by dental implants surgically placed into the patient’s jaw for maximum stability, retention, natural feel and excellent functionality.
However, a traditional partial denture affixes to natural teeth on either side of the prosthetics via metal clasps. The natural teeth require some enamel preparation for proper seating and retention of the porcelain or resin teeth mounted on a light metal frame.
Traditional full dentures help people missing most or all of their natural teeth. Fabricated according to dental impression and the dentist’s instructions, full dentures stay in the mouth via suction or attachment to remaining natural teeth.
Many individuals opt for conventional full dentures . These prosthetics are placed after tooth extraction sites are fully healed, and dentures fit correctly over gums and bone which shrink as they heal. The fit and look of conventional dentures are adjusted over several “try-in” appointments to ensure functionality and aesthetics. Dr. Richardson focuses on creating a denture that looks natural and is appropriate for the individual’s gender, facial appearance, age and personal preference.
Other individuals opt for immediate full dentures. This denture goes in the mouth right after tooth extraction. One or 2 preliminary appointments take care of impressions and sizing before the dentist extracts the damaged natural teeth. After extraction, the dentist places the immediate denture right over the empty tooth sockets, and the patient leaves with a complete smile. Immediate dentures work well for many people, but do require adjusting in the weeks after tooth extraction. Many times, they need relining as bone and gum tissue shrinks.
Living with Dentures
Typically, patients adjust to their new teeth within a few weeks. Facial muscles learn how to bite and chew, and while speech may be a bit slurred at first, this resolves, too. Dr. Richardson wants his patients to see him if fit problems develop, especially if there are sore spots on the gums.
Also, patients learn a new at-home hygiene routine. They brush or soak their dentures with a product approved by the American Dental Association to reduce bacteria and eliminate bad breath.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dentures typically last from five to eight years. This is due to the natural wear of dentures as they aid in your oral function. With proper care and cleaning, you can extend the life of your dentures. They will, however, need to be replaced eventually.
If you go to an expert dentist such as Dr. Kaufmann for your dentures, then yes, they will be comfortable. The doctor will customize the dentures to match your mouth precisely, and Dr. Kaufmann will go over how to put them in correctly to ensure your dentures fit comfortably.
It’s very important to take good care of your dentures to ensure their longevity and to make sure your mouth stays clean and healthy as well. To maintain your dentures, remove them and gently brush them with a non-bristled brush every day. It’s also a great idea to soak them in a non-abrasive denture cleanser overnight.
When washing your dentures use only lukewarm water, and make sure to hold them over a towel or something soft when you’re drying them. You don’t want to accidentally drop and break them.