Okay, so you are ready to get dentures; now what? Do you have to go toothless for weeks and weeks, or is there a better way?
If you have teeth that need to be extracted, an immediate denture may be indicated for you. Simply put, it is a denture that is made before your teeth are extracted and immediately put in your mouth upon the extraction of your teeth. This is an excellent service, because it gives you teeth right away! It has to be relined and adjusted by your dentist later on to compensate for your changing jawbone but at least you have teeth! The other way is to have your teeth extracted, wait weeks and weeks and then have a denture made.
A permanent denture is usually made after all the bugs are worked out of the immediate denture. By this time, the patient will know what kind of look and feel he/she wants. A permanent denture is then made, leaving the immediate as a backup.
Are all dentures the same?
No! When it comes to denture acrylic and teeth, you get what you pay for. There are bargain basement dentures and there are the top of the line dentures. The difference; top of the line dentures have the most esthetic and durable denture teeth and the best acrylic, which is usually thin, strong, durable and lifelike. The best denture teeth alone can cost as much as a complete bargain denture. The cheap dentures may fit well, but will usually wear out quickly.
Partials, Overdentures, Semi-precision Dentures, "Flippers"
Partial dentures are usually made with a metal framework with thin clasps that go around the remaining teeth. A partial denture is more secure than a full denture but few patients enjoy wearing them. They are removable.
Overdentures are dentures that rest over remaining prepared teeth in addition to the jawbone. These kind of dentures afford the patient increased retention and stability.
"Flipper" dentures are correctly called transitional dentures because they are supposed to be temporary. They are usually without clasps and are meant to tide the patient over until a bridge or other permanent dentistry can be done. Unfortunately, these temporary dentures often become permanent. Don't let it happen to you!
Semi-precision and precision dentures are specialty dentures with sophisticated interlocking pieces to fit into special bridgework. They offer high retention and cost.
Implant Retained Dentures
This type of denture has given a whole new meaning to successful dentures. Every single patient I have treated with implant supported dentures has raved about the outcome. More comfort, better chewing, extremely better stability and support, and no slippage!
Provided there is adequate bone, dental implants, followed by a denture are often an excellent way to restore a difficult and complicated loose denture situation!
An oral surgeon or periodontist is usually involved in placing the actual implants. Then a general dentist or prosthodontist completes the denture using the implants as retention points to firmly secure the denture in the mouth. The dentures can be made removable or screwed down to the implants for even more stability.
Implant retained dentures are usually done for patients with little retentive jaw bone; the denture literally has nothing to grip onto. If you decide to go this route, be prepared to visit multiple specialists and be patient. Implant dentistry is often involved but the rewards are HUGE.
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©2013 Nicholas Zacharczenko, D.D.S. All rights reserved.