At San Anselmo Family Dentistry we provide denture services. Dentures are prosthetic teeth that are used to replace natural teeth that are lost for various reasons. Dentures can be partial or complete, depending on the teeth they are replacing. At San Anselmo, we offer both types of dentures depending on the patient’s needs.
WHAT ARE DENTURES?
Partial dentures are used when a few natural teeth or even one tooth still remains. The artificial teeth are made out of a resin that can be set in the shape of your natural teeth and then hardened. The teeth are attached to a gum-colored plastic base and then held in place with a metal framework. A partial denture can also be fixed in place by a bridge that fits over adjacent teeth and is cemented in place.
A partial denture that fills the gap formed by missing teeth also helps to keep the existing teeth in place. Without the partial denture, teeth on either side of the gap would start shifting their position eventually leading to all the remaining teeth getting misaligned. Whether a partial denture is fixed or removable is decided by the dentist after examining the patient.
Complete dentures are required when a patient has lost all their natural teeth or when the teeth have to be removed due to damage or decay. The complete denture represents the entire set of teeth that are set in a gum-like base and fitted in the mouth. Conventional complete dentures are removable and can be worn during the day when the patient needs to eat and speak, and removed at night.
The dentures are usually fitted eight to twelve weeks after the removal of the teeth to allow the gums to heal completely. During the healing process, the gums shrink slightly and the shape of the mouth changes. The dentures are prepared only after the healing period, so that they fit the new shape of the mouth perfectly and won’t need too many adjustments. Immediate dentures can be used in the eight to twelve weeks that the gums are healing. These dentures are just a temporary fix so that the patient does not have to be without teeth while waiting for the conventional dentures. Immediate dentures don’t fit as well as conventional dentures because of the changing shape of the jaw and can’t be used for the long-term.
If you are missing teeth and require dentures, then give us a call at San Anselmo Family Dentistry and book an appointment with us. We will first give you a thorough oral examination and will then decide a course of treatment. We will let you know all your options and answer any questions you might have. For complete dentures, a few teeth might need to be extracted before we can proceed. During a following visit, once the gums have healed, impressions of your jaw are taken. For partial dentures, impressions of the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth/teeth are also taken. The impressions are used to create molds which are in turn used to create a 3D model of the inside of your mouth.
ENSURING YOUR DENTURES FIT PERFECTLY
Based on the shape and size of your mouth, the artificial teeth are prepared and set so that they fit exactly. For partial dentures the replacement teeth are made to resemble the color of your natural teeth as closely as possible.
It takes a few weeks for the final dentures to be ready, after which you will be called in for a fitting. The dentures will be placed in your mouth and any adjustments that have to be made will be done at this time. If you experience any pain or discomfort, you can let the dentist know so that changes can be made accordingly.
Once your dentures have been fitted, we will give you a set of instructions on how to care for them. Even with artificial teeth, good dental and oral hygiene is required. Your new set of teeth will take some getting used to and you might need to practice chewing and pronouncing some words after you get them. With a little time and patience, you will feel completely normal. If you do experience any problem with your dentures, do come in for a checkup.