When a person looses all of their natural teeth, due to decay, periodontal (gum) disease, injury, or other causes, complete dentures help restore these patients into health and restore their smile. Having no teeth has a dramatic negative effect on a person’s ability to eat and speak. Additionally, without the support from a denture, the facial muscles sag making a person look much older, and the space between the upper and lower jaw is significantly reduced which sometimes causes jaw problems. For all of these reasons, dentures are a wonderful solution to a patient who has lost all of their teeth, improving nutrition, appearance, and overall quality of life.
Dentures look just like natural teeth. Dr. Thompson will discuss with you how you want your “new teeth” to look, and can work off previous photos of you to make your teeth similar looking to the teeth you once had, include minor abnormalities to make them look more natural, or give you that perfect, white, smile that you may have always wanted.
After dentures are made, it is expected that there may be a few sore spots that may come up over time and that need to be adjusted, especially within the first few weeks after your dentures are made. This is because your mouth is getting used to the new dentures and the soft tissues also changes over time. It is very important to call the office as soon as you feel any slight irritation, so that the denture can be adjusted. It is also important to have a yearly check up with Dr. Thompson to make sure your dentures continue to fit well, that the soft tissues inside the mouth are healthy, and for a regular oral cancer screening.
Although dentures are a wonderful way to replace missing teeth, they will never feel like the natural teeth that you once had, and take some getting used to. One way to make your dentures feel more like natural teeth, help keep them in place, and improve chewing ability and power, is to incorporate implants into the picture. These dentures are called Implant Over-Dentures. The implants are placed under the gums into the bone, and after a healing period, the dentures are made so that they can be attached, or snapped on top of the implants. A conventional upper denture typically can stay in place relatively well without the use of implants due to the suction that is made with the roof of the mouth. The lower denture, however, typically moves quite a bit, no matter how well the denture fits, due to the fact that there is no suction on the bottom, and can shift with the constantly moving tongue. For this reason, with most denture cases, Dr. Thompson highly recommends at least two implants for the lower denture to snap onto to keep it in place and dramatically improve chewing function.
Immediate and Interm Dentures
Either Immediate or Interm (temporary) dentures are indicated when a person still has teeth that need to be taken out and needs to replace them with dentures. The great thing about both the Immediate Denture and Interm denture options are that the teeth can be taken out and the dentures inserted the same day, so that the patient does not have to go without teeth. The reason for Immediate and Interm Dentures is that during the first 6 months after teeth are taken out, the tissue and bone undergoes dramatic changes, resulting in your dentures not fitting well. These dentures are meant to help get you through this “healing phase” until your tissues and bone stabilize before making your final denture. The difference between Immediate and Interm dentures is that the Immediate denture eventually becomes your final denture, and the initial denture that was made prior to the tooth extractions is sent to lab/relined after the six (6) months of healing. The interm denture is completely replaced by a final conventional denture that is made after the six (6) months of healing. Dr. Thompson will discuss with you which option best suits your individual needs.