What You Need to Know About Dentures

Dentures represent a time-honored solution to the issue of missing teeth, blending the worlds of cosmetic and restorative dentistry to offer individuals a chance to regain a complete, functional, and aesthetically pleasing smile. 

This comprehensive buyer’s guide, tailored for Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry patients, aims to navigate you through the intricacies of choosing dentures, ensuring you make an informed decision that aligns with your dental health needs, lifestyle preferences, and budget.

Understanding Dentures

Dentures are a way to restore your smile by replacing teeth that are missing. In addition to their aesthetic value, dentures are exceptionally important for the maintenance of oral health, the support of facial muscles, and the facilitation of proper chewing and speech. Dentures can be broken down into two primary categories: complete (total) and partial. Each form of denture caters to a different set of requirements, based on the degree of tooth loss.

Complete Dentures

Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are absent from either the upper or lower jaw (or both). They rest on the gums and can be further categorized into two types:

  • Conventional Full Dentures: Placed once the remaining extracted teeth and gum tissue had sufficient time to recover, which may take several months.
  • Immediate Full Dentures: Inserted immediately after the removal of the remaining teeth. While immediate dentures offer the advantage of not having to be without teeth during the healing period, they may require more adjustments as the bone and gums shrink during healing.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are appropriate for people with some natural teeth remaining. These dentures fill the voids left by missing teeth and keep neighboring teeth from slipping. Partial dentures are often made up of replacement teeth bonded to a pink or gum-colored plastic foundation, which may be connected by a metal framework that maintains the denture in place.

Choosing the Right Type of Dentures

When selecting dentures, understanding the various available types is essential for making an informed decision that matches your needs, lifestyle, and budget. At Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer a range of options to suit different dental conditions and preferences.

  • Complete Dentures: A complete set of prosthetic teeth fitted on a flesh-colored acrylic base is designed for toothless people in one or both jaws. They rest on the gums and are removable for easy cleaning. 
  • Partial Dentures: Ideal partial dentures bridge gaps left by natural teeth created by missing teeth. They are attached to a metal framework that connects to your natural teeth, keeping them in place.
  • Implant-Supported Dentures: A more stable option, these dentures are anchored by dental implants surgically placed in the jawbone. Implant-supported dentures provide a secure fit, preventing the movement that can occur with traditional dentures.
  • Custom Dentures: These dentures offer the most natural-looking solution and are customizable to the finest detail, including tooth color and shape. They are crafted to fit the unique contours of your mouth, providing excellent comfort and aesthetics.

Choosing the right kind of dentures depends on several factors, including the health of your gums and jawbone, the number of teeth missing, and personal preference. Our team at Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is here to guide you through each step, from the initial consultation to the final fitting, ensuring that you select the best option for your smile.

Materials Used in Dentures

Dentures can be made from various materials, including acrylic resin, porcelain, and metal alloys. Each material has its pros and cons:

  • Acrylic Resin: Favored for its adjustability, compatibility with the gums, and lower cost. However, acrylic dentures may wear down faster than porcelain and must be replaced more frequently.
  • Porcelain: Offers a more natural appearance and feel and is more durable than acrylic resin. However, porcelain can be heavier and may cause more wear on natural teeth that bite against it.
  • Metal Alloys: Used primarily in partial dentures for the framework, providing strength and durability. Metal parts are usually hidden and not visible when smiling.

The Process of Getting Dentures

  • Initial Consultation: Discuss your needs, concerns, and preferences with your dentist. This may involve X-rays or impressions to assess your mouth’s structure.
  • Preparation: Depending on the type of dentures and your oral health, preparatory work such as tooth extractions or treatment for gum disease might be necessary.
  • Fitting: For complete dentures, impressions of your gums are taken to custom-fit the dentures. For partials, the fit ensures that the dentures align with your remaining teeth.
  • Adjustments: Once your dentures are ready, you’ll have fitting appointments to make any necessary adjustments, providing comfort and proper function.

Living with Dentures

Adjusting to dentures takes time, and initial discomfort is normal. Here are some tips for adapting:

  • Start with Soft Foods: Gradually reintroduce more complex foods as you become accustomed to your dentures.
  • Practice Speaking: Read aloud and practice speaking to adjust to the feel of the dentures.
  • Use Denture Adhesive: If your dentist recommends, adhesive can help stabilize dentures, increasing comfort and confidence.

Caring for Your Dentures

Proper care extends the life of your dentures and maintains oral health:

  • Daily Cleaning: Use a soft-bristled brush and non-abrasive denture cleaner.
  • Soak Overnight: Most dentures need to remain moist to keep their shape. Use water or a mild denture-soaking solution.
  • Handle with Care: Dentures are delicate and can break if dropped.

Cost and Insurance

Denture costs vary depending on the type, material, and any additional treatments required (e.g., extractions and gum preparation). While dental insurance typically covers a portion of the cost, specifics vary by plan. Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers financing options and payment plans to help manage the investment in your dental health.

Choosing dentures is a significant step towards restoring your smile, confidence, and quality of life. At Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we understand the importance of this decision and are committed to guiding you through each step of the process. 

From selecting the correct type of dentures to ensuring their proper fit and function, our dedicated team ensures you receive the highest quality care and achieve the best possible outcomes. 

Remember, the journey to a restored smile with dentures is not just about aesthetics; it’s about reclaiming the joy of eating, speaking, and laughing with ease and comfort.