Partial & Complete Dentures
A person who is missing their teeth requires a prosthesis to replace the teeth and supporting gums and bone. In some (but not all) cases the answer is removable dentures , or “false teeth”.
In patients for whom a denture is a good option, a well-made denture should:
- be stable and comfortable in the mouth
- stay in place during normal movements and function
- give reasonable ability to chew
- allow normal speech
- provide adequate lip support to eliminate the “sunken face” look
- allow a warm, attractive smile
- maintain the correct “vertical dimension”, that is, the distance between the chin and nose, for comfortable jaw joints and muscles.
How long does it take to make a denture?
Every case is different, but an average would be four visits over three weeks, plus any minor adjustments required after initial wear. A partial denture may be simpler.
How long should a denture typically last?
This is a difficult question—some people have a fifteen-year-old denture that still fits like new, while other people need at least a reline every two years. The average would be at least a reline every five years. Factors such as osteoporosis and diabetes that increase bone loss under the denture will have you needing a reline or replacement sooner. Good quality dentures will usually need replacement because of changes to the bone and gums before the denture itself wears out.
Are there other alternatives to a denture?
Many people have the option of placing implants, small screw-shaped artificial roots, into the bone and having a prosthesis made on top of these. Occasionally a person will have problems tolerating even the best-made denture, and we may prescribe two or more implants to “snap” the denture onto in the mouth. In other cases, implants with a metal bar to snap on to are indicated. And in other cases, we can make a denture that is screwed into implants and "fixed", meaning that it is not removable by the patient.
Who makes dentures?
We do! Our dentists all enjoy working with denture patients, and we also have Andy, a full time licensed denturist on staff. As mentioned above, every case is different. At your initial examination, we will take some records and possibly a radiograph of your jaws, and discuss the type of treatment that is best for you. Please feel free to bring your spouse along, as well as any questions, old dentures, or photographs of your desired look. Call us today—we look forward to helping you with your oral health needs.