Why do dentists recommend dentures? – They do it to restore chewing ability, for the longevity of the remaining teeth and aesthetics. If you have gaps in your teeth your chewing function, although manageable, is compromised and the teeth bear a higher load than they should. Teeth at the front of your mouth have a different function to those at the back, if you are utilising front teeth to chew and break down your food they are being worked in a manner that they are not designed for and the condition of these teeth will deteriorate at a more rapid rate. Your chewing ability will be altered with any denture and you will need to draw on your resources in patience to master the art! For full upper and lower dentures the concept is to divide your food evenly onto each side of the mouth and chew. While a partial denture is relatively stable food will make its way under the denture and require you to rinse it after eating, this ensures that your gums aren’t placed under any undue stresses.
Partial dentures can be customised to suit both the pocket and situation of the wearer. They come in 3 different forms;
Metal framed - these are the strongest and best of all the partial dentures, teeth are mounted on a customised frame and usually utilise the teeth remaining in the mouth for strength. The frame is small and does not feel too overwhelming. It does have its limitations however in that adding any further teeth may pose some problems and if there is too sizable a change a new denture is required
Valplast denture – these are very aesthetic and are made of a lightweight flexible nylon plastic they can be a very small piece such as a single tooth or a little more extensive. Unfortunately they cannot be added to at a future date if teeth break down and are beyond repair.
Acrylic dentures – these are the most commonly used and although are a lot bulker than the other two can be added to. They are incredibly durable and function well for most users being the most cost effective of all the choices.
Full Dentures have a life span of approximately 10 years, the teeth of the denture wear down as does the bone of the jaw. If your denture is under 10yrs old then it is advised that the surface interface between the gums is assessed approximately every three years and resurfaced. Upper dentures are easier to wear as the shape creates some suction onto the roof of the mouth. Unfortunately a lower denture just rests on the bone of the jaw and has much less stability.
The Making of a Denture
- When making dentures for patients Dentist’s need a minimum of 2 – 5 visits for the fitting process. Firstly models are taken of the upper and lower jaw’s (a second model may be needed for some denture types). Then the Dentist needs to check on the alignment of the upper and lower jaw to monitor the chewing action and how the muscles work. Next is the process where teeth are fitted into the predesigned framework to make sure that they are a suitable size, shape and colour for the wearer, only when this is achieved are the dentures fabricated into a finished piece.
- Adjustments will need to be made at the fitting appointment and smaller ones afterwards to ensure the wearer is comfortable.
- If it is your front teeth that need replacement dentists can remove the teeth and insert the denture at the 2nd visit, this is knowns as an immediate denture. You basically walk in with your teeth and walk out with dentures.
Struggling with your existing Dentures – Rolls Royce Option
Implant retained full dentures - this is where 2-6 implants are placed at measured distances in the bone of either, or both, the upper and lower jaw. They appear as rounded metal stubs protruding from the gum and the denture is modified by having small “cap-like housing” placed in corresponding areas of the denture. Pressure is applied for the denture to clip onto the implants and give you tooth like stability. Maintenance of the gums is the highest importance after this procedure has been done and annual changing of the rubber ‘O’ rings that sit in the housing will need to be factored in when undertaking this treatment.
- to stabilise lower dentures mainly, but upper denture also if the shape of the palate (roof of the mouth) doesn’t allow suction of the denture to hold it in place
- No denture movement in the mouth while talking
- Improved eating function
- 1 or 2 step procedure