We’ve come a long way since George Washington’s legendary wooden dentures; which, fun fact, were not actually wood at all, but just stained so severely that they took on the appearance of wood grain. Thankfully, modern dentures are no longer fashioned together bone, ivory, and gold wire, making them undoubtedly more comfortable for the more than 30 millions Americans who use them today. Whether you are missing only a few of your teeth, or have none left, dentures are a common and popular solution.
There are two types of dentures. The first that might come to mind are conventional, full dentures that completely replace a full mouth of teeth. Full sets come with a top and bottom piece that have colored acrylic bases which fit over your gums. The top piece entirely covers the roof of your mouth, while the bottom is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.
The process to cast a custom fit pair of dentures can take several months. This can include the healing of any extracted teeth to prepare for a full set, taking impressions of your jaw, and trying out wax models to make adjustments before the casts are made. During this time, you will be living with no teeth. To avoid this, there is an option for immediate full dentures, which are measured and prepared before any dental extraction. This allows you to have an immediate set of teeth, but comes with risks. After any teeth are removed, the jaw will shrink while healing, loosening the custom fit. Adjustments and additions will need to be made to your immediate full dentures for several months after any teeth have been extracted.
Partial dentures are a solution if you are not missing all of your teeth. These artificial teeth sit on a metal framework or plastic base that attaches to your existing teeth. This solution restores your full smile, and also prevents any of your natural teeth from shifting position. Partial dentures are a cheaper solution to dental implants, but still give a natural look thanks to the process of creating color-matched, custom molds.
Proper fitted and cared for dentures should be comfortable and stable. If you are unhappy about any missing teeth, or feel as though your dentures are not fitting correctly, give us a call at Leslie Hayes, DDS today.