What are dentures?

Dentures are sometimes called ‘false teeth’. They’re prosthetic devices designed for patients that are missing some or all of their natural teeth.

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Why would someone want to get dentures?

It’s far harder to eat and chew food without teeth, but it’s also harder to speak properly. Missing teeth can also lead to a sunken, collapsed look around a person’s mouth. Restoring the teeth with full or partial denturesnot only makes it easier to eat, chew, and talk but it also eliminates the ‘sunken look’ and the patient’s face is more natural and appealing.

Who should get dentures?

Anyone that is missing all their natural teeth is definitely a candidate for dentures. In some cases, the patient and dentist decide that the existing teeth are too far gone to save, and the best course of actions is to extract the remaining teeth and move forward with dentures.

Do dentures look real?

Absolutely! The color for teeth and gums is carefully selected, and the natural differences in tooth shape and size are carefully chosen based on each individual’s age, gender and unique facial qualities. Dentures are made to duplicate the patients natural gum tissue while providing the proper structure and support for lips, cheeks and face.

How do dentures work?

An upper and/ordenture is placed into a patient’s mouth and rests on the gums. The dentures are custom crafted to provide a precise, comfortable fit. Upper dentures have a natural ‘suction cup’ to the roof of a patient’s mouth. The lower denture is often anchored into place with a set of implants –artificial tooth “roots” that are placed into the jaw. The denture then snaps onto the implant for a firm, comfortable fit.

What’s the treatment process for dentures?

Treatment starts when the patient meets with the dentist for a denture consultation to determine if dentures are really the best option. If the answer is ‘yes’, a series of appointments are scheduled, and the treatment process begins.

If the patient needs extractions, or if they decide to go with implants on the lower jaw, a series of appointments will take place to prepare the mouth for the actual dentures. After that, the dentist will make impressions of the patient’s gums. Those impressions are then sent to the lab and a trained lab technician creates a custom set of dentures.

Occasionally a patient will come in that is missing all of their natural teeth. When that happens, a ‘wax’ try in appointment will take place a couple weeks after the impression appointment. During this critical step in the denture process, the patient is fitted with a mockup of their denture that includes a set of pre-made acrylic or composite teeth, set in wax. During this appointment the dental assistant will make sure the patient is happy with the general size, shape, position, and color of the new denture teeth.

Next, a delivery appointment takes place. At this appointment, the new dentures are fitted into the patient’s mouth and adjusted to make sure they have a comfortable fit and bite.

Finally, the patient will come as needed for adjustment appointments. These are necessary if the patient has any sore spots or other issue. Typically, follow up adjustments continue for a few weeks while the patient becomes more comfortable with their new set of teeth.

How long does all that take?

It’s usually three weeks from the initial denture consultation to delivery on a new set of dentures. Follow up appointments vary from patient to patient, but we’ve found that it will usually take one to two weeks for past denture patients to get comfortable with their new teeth. Patients that have never had dentures and need some teeth extracted will still get their dentures in three weeks, but they’ll need some additional time, typically six to eight months, to completely heal and get their ‘final fit.’