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Dentures & Partials
Instead of dental implant surgery, many of our patients choose dentures to replace missing teeth. We offer both partial and full dentures, depending on the needs of the patient. Dr. Schick custom-crafts each set around the unique needs and goals of the patient. Our dentures are made of the highest-quality materials available so that you will be able to eat, speak, and smile with confidence.
Dental Health and Dentures
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available – complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.
Complete dentures can be either “Traditional” or “Immediate.”
Immediate Dentures are fabricated in advance and placed the same day the remaining teeth are taken out. Because there will be shrinkage of the bone and gums from healing the denture soon becomes unstable. At six weeks post operatively Dr. Schick brings the patient in for “Tissue Conditioning,” which is the placement of temporary lining material to compensate for this shrinkage and provide stability while healing. This can be sooner if needed. Each case is unique. Sometimes Tissue Conditioning may be done 2 times, six months after the final extractions the immediate denture is relined with permanent acrylic to make it fit exactly how your tissue has healed. This ” Reline” must be done for the dentures to remain as stable as possible and be functional.
Traditional Dentures are fabricated for placement in the mouth approximately 8 to 12 weeks after the initial visit and impressions. How quickly the dentures can be fabricated is dependent upon how many teeth were removed, their condition and how infected they may have been. Each case is unique. Dentures should be relined when they feel like they no longer fit correctly or if you have had weight loss.
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When the dentures are 5-7 years old you should see Dr. Schick and be evaluated for a new set of dentures. When the teeth are worn flat you can no longer chew food properly. Often times the jaws are over closed because of this erosion of the denture teeth. This can lead to chronic tired sore muscles in the jaws and TMJ problems. You may think you are chewing your food well, but in reality, if it is not chewed in a proper manner, it cannot be digested correctly and the nutrition cannot be extracted by your body. This has nothing to do with your weight and has everything to do with proper nutrition.
Everyone seems to know someone, a relative or friend who have dentures and never have any problems with them. They also seem to know someone who takes their dentures out to eat or just keeps them, especially the lower one, in their pocket because it is uncomfortable or not functional. Please understand that no two denture cases are the same. What works for them may not work for you. Upper and lower dentures are completely different problems. With the upper denture, you have the roof of the mouth to help provide suction to keep it in. The lower denture just sits on a ridge with little or no suction.
A removable partial denture usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, strengthened by a metal framework, which holds the partial denture in place in the mouth. Metal clasps are part of the framework that holds on to the remaining (abutment) teeth. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. Not only does a partial denture fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from changing position. A precision partial denture is removable and has internal attachments rather than clasps that attach or snap to the adjacent crowns. This is a more natural-looking appliance showing no metal in your smile and putting less stress on the abutment teeth than metal clasping.
Are There Alternatives to Dentures?
Yes, dental implants can be used to support permanently cemented bridges, eliminating the need for a denture. The cost is usually greater, but the implants and bridges more closely resemble the feel of natural teeth. Dental implants are becoming the alternative to dentures but not everyone is a candidate for implants. Consult our office for advice.