SERVING MESA, PHOENIX, Gilbert, TEMPE AND SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA
Historically, when a person has lost their teeth, dentures have been fabricated to replace them. A partial or full row of artificial teeth on artificial gum tissue reinstates adequate chewing, speech, and a natural-looking smile. With a lifelike appearance and strong fit, a well-made denture can have an incredible impact on a patient’s life. Removable dentures are one of the most common solutions to replace missing teeth. The technology used with dentures has advanced rapidly in recent years, and this has improved the results that can be achieved with this restoration.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are fixtures that look like natural teeth and gums, and conventional dentures are made to be removable. More advanced dentures are now made to attach to dental implants. They sit on the upper or lower arch, over the gums, and posts are stabilized in the jawbone to enhance the integrity and function of artificial teeth. Modern dentures are much easier to wear and are more natural looking than ever before.
Am I A Candidate For Dentures?
Mesa dentists Dr. Scott LeSueur and Dr. Charles Dodaro often recommend dentures to patients who have sufficient bone structure and density to accommodate them. However, when possible, a traditional dental implant can significantly improve a dentures function. In many cases, you can also improve the fit and performance of your dentures by using mini dental implants in conjunction with your dentures.
Types of Dentures
Full dentures are used to replace an entire arch of missing teeth. Your set of full dentures will be custom created to ensure exceptional results that fit comfortably. If you need to have some teeth extracted right before your dentures are placed, Dr. LeSueur and Dr. Dodaro might fit you with a set of immediate dentures while your mouth heals following the tooth extractions. Once your gums have healed properlyand normal shrinkage has occurred you will return to our Mesa dental office to have your dentures made permanently.
Partial dentures are used when some of your natural teeth are still present. As with full dentures, our partial dentures are customized to ensure a proper fit. Your partial denture will fill in the space left by missing teeth and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting to fill in the gap, allow for better chewing, and provide greater esthetics at a reasonable price. Dental crowns may be placed on the adjacent remaining teeth to support your partial denture when needed.
Are Dentures Uncomfortable?
We take care to design dentures around the unique oral structure of each patient. Through detailed measurements and high-quality imaging, it is possible to fabricate a denture that fits closely against natural tissue. Denture fit is integral to comfort. The closer the fit, the less the denture will move against the gums when one chews. If you have dentures currently and they are causing discomfort, we encourage you to contact our office where we can evaluate your oral appliance and its fit over your existing bony structure. Long-term denture comfort has improved with the inclusion of dental implants into the restorative process. When dentures are affixed to a few dental implants, instances of rubbing against the gums or slipping out of place can be virtually eliminated.
How Are Dentures Placed?
Conventional dentures are inserted directly over the gums. Patients are instructed to insert their dentures using their fingers to gently press the fixture into place. A full or partial denture should never be “bitten” into place.
“This office is very friendly. I am new to the area and they waited for me on a Saturday when I got lost on my way to their office. I enjoy every person in this office, especially my dentist Dr. Glenn. He is very detailed in his treatment plan, patient when I have questions, and very caring. Thank you for great service Dr. of Smiles.” -Dawn
How Are Dentures Created?
Several steps are involved in creating a new denture even before the actual denture process begins. Before commencing with tooth replacement, we may need to remove remaining unhealthy teeth or provide dental care to restore remaining teeth before developing a treatment plan for a partial denture. After any necessary pre-treatment procedures have been conducted, the creative process begins:
- An initial impression is taken to create a custom tray that will obtain a more accurate depiction of the mouth.
- A final impression is taken with the custom tray, providing a highly-detailed model of the arch, including the gums and bony structure. This impression is critical to the fit and stability of the final denture.
- During the final impression, the patient goes through imaging while the putty material is setting. This enables us to incorporate all oral structures, including the tongue, gums, cheeks, and muscles into the final design.
- A wax try-in visit occurs, in which the denture base, which looks like gums, is placed over the arch. There are no teeth in the denture yet. This try-in allows us to observe the fit and comfort of the base.
- If needed, adjustments can be made and re-evaluated. This step is vital to the fit and retention of the final denture, so we carefully measure the bite before sending the base back to the lab for the next step.
- A functional and aesthetic try-in is performed when teeth have been added to the denture base. This fitting allows us to ensure that teeth are in the right place, are the right size and color, and that the bite is functional.
- Dentures are delivered once teeth have been affixed into the denture base as requested. We can still make minor adjustments at this time if needed to perfect the fit of the final denture.
Alternatives to Dentures
We offer several options to replace missing teeth. Our dentists generally recommend dental implants for all patients who are suitable candidates since they provide you with the most effective long term solution to your tooth loss. We also offer dental bridges for patients who are not candidates for dental implants, but would prefer an alternative to dentures.
How Long Will Dentures Last?
Over time, dentures wear down and need to be replaced. With good care, most dentures will last five to eight years. During this time, fixtures will most likely need to be relined. Adjustments to the base may be necessary to improve fit as the jawbone continually changes shape.
What Can You Eat While Wearing Dentures?
Patients with dentures can eat most of the foods they love without any special preparation or risk of complication. The exceptions include steak and other dense meats and certain fruits and vegetables. Denture wearers can still enjoy meat and harder fruits and vegetables, such as apples by cutting or slicing foods so they can be chewed more easily.
How Should Dentures Be Cleaned?
Dentures need to be cleaned daily in order to prevent bacterial buildup in hidden places. If bacteria accumulate on dentures, fixtures may develop a bad odor. Dentures can be soaked, but it also helps to brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Patients are advised to brush all sides of the denture, remembering that debris can adhere even to the underside of the denture base.
In addition to brushing dentures, patients also need to use a soft brush to gently cleanse the gums and tongue. Daily cleansing of the soft tissues in the mouth stimulates circulation and removes invisible debris that could lead to gum disease. Dentures need to be kept hydrated. If the fixture dries out it can become brittle and susceptible to damage. Dentures can be soaked overnight in plain water or a denture solution at room temperature.
If dentures become loose or damaged, it is imperative to see the dentist right away.
Are Dentures Covered By Insurance?
Some dental insurance plans offer coverage for at least some of the restorative aspects of denture treatment. Patients should contact their insurance provider for details about their desired treatment. As needed, patients may obtain financing assistance to cover care not covered by their dental benefits.
Schedule a consultation
If you want to learn whether dentures are right for you, talk to a dentist in person and them evaluate your teeth. To schedule your consultation, call (480) 834-6991 or email Scott LeSueur and Charles Dodaro Cosmetic Dentists in Phoenix, Arizona today.