Complete Dentures for a Confident Smile

Full Dentures Palos Verdes CALiving without teeth can negatively affect a person’s health and relationships. Not being able to chew properly or eat a  variety of nutritious foods can severely compromise overall health and well being. There can also be significant problems while speaking caused by missing or loose teeth. Facial esthetics and the quality of one’s smile is often affected, causing strain at home, in the workplace or just day-to-day when interacting with others. At Rolling Hills Dental Group, we offer partial and complete denture services  to our patients so that they can regain a healthier and active lifestyle. Here are the various types of dentures explained.


What are Full Dentures?

Full or complete dentures are used when all or most of the teeth in each jaw need replacement. If a few natural teeth are still available those must also be removed to accommodate the one-piece complete denture.

what are they?

The dentures consist of a set of false teeth (generally 14) on a gum colored acrylic base which should fit snugly on the gums. In the case of a denture for the upper jaw, the base covers the gums and the palate. The fitting is important for two reasons. First, the denture must not irritate the gum tissue it comes in contact with. And secondly, the dentures stay in place because of the suction between the moist gums and the denture base.

  • Preparation – Preparation of full dentures requires removal of any existing teeth. Impressions of both jaws are taken before the extraction and sent to a lab along with material and color specifications. Once the dentures are ready, the dentist tests them on the patient and may make minor adjustments to them allowing them to fit snugly and comfortably.
  • How to care for dentures – Full dentures are removable. They must be removed for cleaning after every meal and replaced. At night, complete dentures are removed and must be stored in water or a soaking solution. Failure to soak them will result in the dentures drying up and possibly warping. That will render them useless. Dentures do not provide tooth roots and hence, the bone around the empty sockets tends to dissolve away (resorption). The gums shrink, and the dentures will need a relining for proper fitting. Life of dentures, with good care, is about seven years after which they must be replaced. Fixed bridges are brushed like ordinary teeth.
  • Limitations – Dentures have several limitations among them the need for relining. Other limitations would be loose fitting and occasional dropping out, the need for soaking at night, and possible limitations in chewing ability.


Which Dentures to Choose?

If you are thinking of replacing missing teeth you have many options depending on how many teeth need to be replaced..

  • Removable Partials – If it is one or two adjacent teeth,a removable partial denture is an option. These are dentures with clasps at both ends which attach to the teeth on either side for support
  • Flexible dentures – These are a type of removable partial dentures and being flexible adhere better to the gum, with less irritation than acrylic dentures. These are meant to be temporary dentures, worn while the actual dentures are being manufactured.
  • Fixed Bridge– A better option are dentures without clasps. These are called fixed bridges and are permanently attached to crowns made on support teeth.
  • Full conventional dentures – These are used when most of the teeth in a jaw need replacement. Any good teeth are also removed and a set of teeth on an acrylic base is made. They adhere by suction against the gums.
  • Dentures without pulling teeth or over dentures – It is natural for people to abhor the idea of having teeth pulled (although extraction can now be managed without pain). You can have your dentures without removing teeth which are otherwise healthy. These are also called dentures without extraction or overdentures. Instead of extracting teeth, the dentist will smooth them down so that they do not interfere with the fit of the denture. In some cases, those teeth may require a root canal to block access of any infection from the mouth. This generally not necessary in seniors, as their root canals have in many cases, narrowed enough to block infection ingress. Overdentures have the advantage of avoiding bone resorption at least around those sockets where teeth roots are retained.
  • Dentures without a roof plate – These are also called dentures with snaps. A complete set of teeth is made with a removable base which can simply snap on or off four or five implants.

You may still wonder which dentures are most comfortable and suitable for you. This question can be answered by a good dentist after having examined you and discussing your desires and financial options. However, the following guidelines my help you to determine what might be right for you.


Know your Options:  Implants, Extractions or Neither

Implant supported complete dentures are normally fixed, and therefore often classed as bridges. This is the closest denture option to having natural teeth. They avoid the disadvantage of bone resorption, do not place any limitations on what you eat, and do not have to be removed for cleaning. Another option to the fixed implant supported denture (bridge) is  a denture with snaps. This can be removed and put on at will.

If you do not want to have extractions, an overdenture is another option. The overdentures also have the advantage of preventing bone resorption. An overdenture is a prosthesis that rests over prepared teeth roots, which not only help in the retention of the denture, but they also prevent excessive resorption of the jaw bone.


Dentures Through the Ages

Normally dentures are associated with the elderly. The fact is that the need for dentures will normally depend upon the quality of a person’s oral health. Oral health itself will be a function of good oral hygiene practice. Dentures can be an ideal tooth replacement option for patients who are at their 40s and beyond.

Dentures for seniors and especially at ages of 80 and beyond are not easy to prepare. The bone quality may not be very good and the cost of implant supported dentures may be high. In these patients, special procedures need to be performed to restore the density and thickness of the residual jaw bones. Some of these procedures used for preparation of dentures for elderly patients are:

  • Alveoloplasty – Denture bearing surfaces of the jaw bones tend to become “knife edged” as it ages. As a result, patients feel uncomfortable while wearing dentures. Alveoloplasty is a process in which the jaw bone is recontoured so that the denture bearing area is rounded and has maximum surface area to enhance the denture retention.
  • Bone Grafting – This procedure is done for  patients who do not have sufficient quality or quantity of jawbone to wear a denture. In these patients, a bone graft is placed in the jaws to improve the retention, support and stability of the dentures. The bone used in the grafting procedure is usually taken either from the same patient, or through an animal or artificial source.

Rolling Hills Dental Group dentists prides themselves on providing painless dentistry using the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art technology. The doctors can transform your smile into the beautiful, bright smile that you have always dreamed about. We have several choices available for cosmetic and restorative dental work and our dental care team will help you determine which one will work the best in transforming your smile. We are near Bristol Farms in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.

Thinking about Partial Dentures? Read more here.

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