Dentures can be used to restore a patient’s smile when a patient has significant oral problems such as extensive decay or gum disease. Creating a beautiful and well-fitting denture requires tremendous artistic and technical skills that only a skilled dentist can provide. Complete dentures are for those who have lost most or all of their teeth, while partial dentures are suitable for those who have some natural teeth remaining. A denture improves chewing ability and speech. Dentures also provide support for facial muscles to enhance your facial appearance and smile.
Immediate dentures are dentures that are delivered immediately after extractions. They are different from a regular denture because you never get a final check in the patient mouth to see it before the lab processes the denture into plastic. Due to this fact, many times the immediate denture is considered temporary denture for the first year and a permanent denture can be made with a teeth try-in for the patient to approve. Also the immediate denture can act as a spare in case any teeth chip or fall out at a later date.
When the immediate denture is delivered after the extractions, the doctor usually places sutures and adjusts the denture to facilitate the fit. It is important that the first day, the patient leaves the denture in place. This helps control swelling which without the dentures in place swelling can cause the denture not to fit. The following day, the doctor requires a post op appointment which small adjustments are made at that time. Usually it is easier for the patient to feel sore spots on the post op day because the anesthesia has worn off. The next week another post op appointment is done to remove sutures and possibly a tissue condition reline is placed to better fit the denture.
The first few weeks of wearing a new denture expect to eat soft foods. Eating hard food will cause any potential sore spots to hurt more. You will also use denture adhesives (polident cream) to keep the denture tight but not where the sutures were placed. Over the first 3-4 months your tissue heals the most and as it heals the denture will get loose. The dentist will place temporary relines every 1-2 weeks to snug up the dentures. After 2 months the tissue shrinks less and less frequent relines are needed. One year later a permanent lab reline is performed which is a separate cost and also requires two visits in one day.
Recommended dental care: Remove denture at night and soak in denture cleaner. Only use cold water to scrub the denture due to temporary relines can peel out with hot water.
Many people have heard of implants. These implants help help stabilize the dentures so that the patient can chew better. Most of the time, we recommend implants for lower dentures because the tongue moves the denture a lot. the patients benefits from at least two implants and the denture snaps onto these implants. They are economical and they also preserve bone like a natural tooth. Without teeth the boney ridge below the gums continues to shrink over the years and gives that wrinkled shrunken look of older people without teeth. Using implants can prevent this bone loss and maintain the lip and chin position.
Many people are not ready for dentures but still have some teeth remaining. These areas can be replaced with a partial denture. Many times these supporting teeth are not strong enough to support bridges but are good abutments for a removable bridge or partial denture. They can also be used as a temporary replacement while implants are healing under the gums.
Dr. Fremont has been providing affordable and exceptional dentistry in Pacific Beach La Jolla Clairemont and San Diego for over 30 years.