Dentures | Delmarva Dental Services

Dentures

Dentures are removable appliances that replace missing teeth. Complete dentures replace all of the teeth and partial dentures replace some of the teeth in the upper or lower jaw. Dentures help support the muscles of the face and lips for a better appearance as well as improve chewing function. However you can never achieve the biting forces of natural teeth, fixed bridges or implant-supported replacements. Dentures tend to be bulky and will move some during chewing and speaking. They require adjustments, relines and repairs. Making a denture involves several steps. First an impression is made of the jaw or remaining teeth. At the second appointment a bite is made and then tooth color and shape are selected. The lab places the teeth in wax to give an idea of what the teeth’s shape, color and placement will look like. During the third appointment, the teeth that had been set in wax are tried in the mouth in order to check the appearance and bite. For the last appointment, the final denture is placed in the mouth and adjusted. Initially, there will be an adjustment period ranging from days to weeks. Speech will be temporarily affected and chewing will be a new learning experience. Sore spots usually occur in the mouth and will require some adjustment. Alternatives to complete dentures involve implants and alternatives to partial dentures involve fixed bridges or implants. Are Your Dentures Killing You? Many of our elderly are suffering needlessly. They are becoming weak and their life spans are being shortened due to malnutrition. Some are declining rapidly while others slowly and subtly. It is happening, right here, in our nursing facilities and in our homes. This malnutrition comes from an inability to chew food adequately due to poor fitting dentures. The jawbone shrinks from years of wearing dentures. Now the dentures move and there is little bone to hold them in place. Meats and high fiber foods like vegetables and breads are avoided because the chewing force is not strong enough, leaving the high fatty foods for consumption. Studies have shown that this type of diet can limit one’s life span and increase the risk of illness. This tragedy can be prevented by placing “implants” (titanium cylinders) in the remaining bone. Attachments are placed in the denture, which fit over the implants. This will hold the denture in place where greater biting forces can be generated. Many times this can be accomplished in one dental visit. In other instances it may take a number of visits over a period of time. My greatest reward is when patients tell me how they are now able to eat foods that they hadn’t been able to eat in years. Don’t let yourself or your loved ones suffer from malnutrition due to poor fitting dentures. Enjoy the foods you once loved and the better health that modern dental implants can offer.