Tooth loss can be a traumatizing event and one that affects your self-confidence, speaking, and dental health for years if left untreated. Luckily, there are several types of treatments that can give you back your smile, including dental implants and dentures.
Of the 35 million people living in the US who are missing some or all of their teeth, roughly 90 percent wear dentures. If you are missing teeth or if you need to have some or all of your teeth surgically removed, you are not alone—and you deserve the facts about the types of dentures available for your specific needs.
The major categories of dentures are temporary and permanent. Keep reading to learn more.
Also called “immediate” dentures, these are just what they sound like: temporary stand-in dentures. These are used when you need to get one or more severely damaged or diseased teeth removed with oral surgery. Temporary dentures are molded before you undergo surgery and are placed into your mouth immediately after the teeth are removed to help maintain the shape of your gums and face during the healing process. They also help to make sure your other teeth don’t crowd into the newly freed space.
Because your gums change and shrink as they heal, temporary dentures typically aren’t fitted perfectly and will need to be replaced with permanent dentures as soon as possible.
Unlike temporary dentures, permanent (or “conventional”) dentures are molded to your mouth only after your gum tissue has completely healed following a tooth extraction. This typically occurs 6 to 8 weeks after your oral surgery. Because of this, permanent dentures created to fit perfectly with your gums.
And don’t worry, they don’t pop out like in old movies, and you definitely don’t keep them in a glass of water on your bedside table. Those days are long gone!
Here’s how the process works: first, your dentist will help you pick the type of denture that best suits your individual needs, depending on how many teeth have been removed. Then over several follow-up visits, they will take an impression of your jaws. They use this impression to create a wax bite impression, which is used to produce a plastic model from which the dentures are constructed. The permanent dentures that are mounted to your gums will be made from plastic and realistic, tooth- and gum-colored acrylic.
Permanent dentures offer a perfect, comfortable fit to the shape of your mouth and are durable enough to be worn for the rest of your life provided your mouth does not undergo any more drastic changes.
There are two types of permanent dentures:
Full dentures are used when it is necessary to remove or replace all your natural teeth. They’ll look like your natural teeth in addition to pushing out your lips and cheeks to avoid a sunken appearance. They are mounted into your mouth after your gum tissue has fully recovered from oral surgery, which can take a few months.
Your dentist might recommend partial dentures if you only need to replace several missing teeth. Unlike full dentures, which are fitted to your gums and mounted by bonding them to your teeth, partial dentures are usually held in place with metal clips—bits of wire that wrap around your tooth almost like braces. Also unlike full dentures, partial dentures might be partially made of chrome cobalt (a very strong type of metal) instead of plastic.
Dentures help thousands of patients feel better about their smiles every year. However, they’re not the only solution for missing teeth.
Similar to permanent dentures, dental implants are meant to stay with you for the rest of your life. But instead of being bonded to your teeth, they are surgically anchored to your jawbone using small titanium rods that mimic tooth roots.
Most dental implants require lengthy healing intervals before a replacement tooth can be placed, but My Teeth Today allows Dr. Wes to replace your missing teeth with beautiful new teeth in a single day. After consultation and examination, in just one appointment, qualified patients will receive six implants and their new, hand-crafted smile without bone grafts. This method can even be used to replace a single tooth, so your smile will have zero gaps and your life fewer interruptions.
Interested in learning more about dentures and other tooth replacement options in Knoxville? Contact our office and we’ll be happy to help!