Some patients will be required to wear dentures. This may be due to a variety of reasons including trauma, general wear and tear, infection or simply the natural aging process. The reason people need dentures is not just aesthetic or for eating food but also for speech and self esteem.
There are several different types of denture either intermediate or complete and being made from either metal or acrylic.
These are used when several, but not all, of the teeth are missing. Constructed from Cobalt Chromium or Titanium they tend to be very strong. They are secured to the existing healthy teeth with either metal or tooth coloured clasps. One of the main benefits of metal is that they are custom built to match the existing mouth tissue. Furthermore a medical grade alloy is used and this is hypoallergenic.
The dentures we supply can be made with tooth coloured clasps,( as opposed to metal), making them appear very natural. Metal dentures tend to be smaller than plastic ones and do not fully cover the roof of the mouth. This improves the sense of taste and enjoyment of eating. As you would expect the metal provides strength and enables a degree of flexibility which is advantageous due to the mouths constantly changing shape.
All these factors combine to produce a very comfortable feeling product.
After an initial assessment to determine if metal dentures are right for you, an impression of your teeth and gums will be taken. This is then sent to the lab to be custom made for each individual. This can take up to several weeks. For between 1-3 teeth, the process is quite simple, however if the denture has a longer span the lab will require a bite registration.
Once the dentures have been fitted,(seated), and adjusted for comfort we will ask you to return to be reviewed a few days later.
These tend to be easier to fit and are somewhat less expensive. They are perfect for patients who need only a minimal number of dentures but where there is a high chance that they may need to be added to at a later date.
Whilst we have discussed what dentures are constructed from we need to explain the different types of dentures ie intermediate and complete.
These can be fitted at the initial appointment with your dentist. If dead or badly damaged teeth have been removed prior to the dentures being seated, this will allow the gum to heal underneath.
An impression will have been taken and a customised set of dentures will be made by the dentist. Patients who opt for this choice eliminate issues with eating and speech as they do not have a period of time with no teeth at all.
These tend to be offered to more elderly patients usually being fitted in patients who have lost all of both their upper and lower teeth. It may have been necessary to remove any existing teeth prior to this.
The main advantage of complete dentures is that they can improve facial shape by giving the jaw line more definition. Ultimately this can give back a patient confidence in their appearance and have a really positive impact on their lives.
Here at we make a point of counselling patients prior to treatment as they may have numerous dental issues and need time to make the right choice. We welcome carers or family members to attend to help make those who are very elderly or confused as comfortable as possible about the changes happening to them.
Complete dentures have a skin tone base made of acrylic. This fits snugly over the gum area for a more natural result. (We can offer a choice of several skin tones to match a variety of ethnic backgrounds).
The upper denture will cover the roof of the mouth so there may be an issue of reduced sense of taste. The lower denture is horse shoe shaped to keep the tongue free but there can be a problem with securing the lower one making it more difficult to wear. As with metal dentures, complete ones are custom made in the lab from an impression.
Some patients struggle with the fact that the lower denture is not permanently fitted. However the facial muscles in the tongue and cheek will gradually adapt to secure it. Additionally you may find that you have an increased saliva flow and that you experience mild irritation. In extreme cases we would advise you to contact us and come in for a reassessment but in most cases these symptoms settle quite quickly.
As with any denture damage can occur and we offer a repair service using a strengthening solution.
On average they should last between 5 and 10 years but may need relining or rebasing during that time.
It must be remembered that the dimensions and shape of the mouth itself are constantly changing and a check up at the very least on an annual basis is recommended.
Dentures are quite delicate so extra care should be taken when removing or inserting them. They will require brushing daily to remove plaque and stains.
At night, or during long periods of sleep, we would advise removing them to allow the soft gum tissue underneath to recover. Whilst removed it is vital that patients also clean their tongue, palate and gums with a soft bristled brush.