Dentures in Lake Worth, FL
Dentures are a type of tooth replacement that allows the wearer to remove and clean the teeth at any time. A complete denture replaces all of the teeth, while a partial denture replaces only one, or some of the teeth. Dentures are usually needed after tooth loss due to dental decay, periodontal disease, or sometimes trauma.
Complete dentures are usually made of acrylic. Partial dentures are usually a combination of metal and acrylic. The metal provides extra strength and retention.
Maintenance: Proper oral hygiene and recall visits are still required with dentures. A person's gums and bone change shape over time, usually at a rate of about one percent a year, on average. However, a denture does not change shape. Therefore, a space between the gums and bone is created over time that can cause the denture to be uneven and rock on the gums when biting. This leads to faster bone loss and breaking of the denture. To prevent this, a procedure called a “reline” is recommended about every two years. An impression is taken with the existing denture allowing the lab to provide a new layer of acrylic inside the denture which fills the unwanted space, giving back support and retention.
Screw-in (fixed) dentures are typically only removed once a year in the dental office to clean and check the health of the gum tissue.
When a person wears a removable denture for the first time, it can be VERY difficult to get used to. In fact, it may take several weeks to learn to speak normally again. However, everyone learns to get used to the feel eventually. Lower dentures are much more difficult to get used to than upper dentures. Fortunately, implants are a valuable option for many people nowadays and can be used to help hold the dentures in place. We usually try to explain chewing efficiency to patients using a scale from 1-10 for the different types of dentures. The lowest, zero, being unable to chew normal foods, and ten being healthy, natural teeth. A conventional denture is about a two. A snap-in denture is about a six. A screw-in denture is about a nine.
Conventional Denture: A conventional denture is a set of teeth that is made when teeth are missing. Sometimes a denture will go in immediately when the teeth are removed so that the patient does not have to go without teeth. This is called an immediate (or temporary) denture. Ideally, the teeth would be removed and allowed to heal for about six months and then dentures made. However, this is not realistic due to esthetic concerns, so we compromise by having them made ahead of time. This just means that as a person heals, and the bone and gums change shape, the denture will become more and more loose to a point where a new denture may have to be made at about the 6-month mark. So not ideal, but it’s either this or go without teeth. We, as dentists, are here to help you along the way.
Snap-In Denture: A snap-in denture, also called an over-denture, is when implants are used to hold the denture in place. Many times, without implants, an adhesive is required to keep the dentures from falling out during chewing, sneezing, etc. Implants can be placed in the jaw bone, allowed to heal, and then used to hold the denture from coming loose. The denture is still removable, but only when you choose to remove them. A big advantage of a snap-in denture to replace the top teeth is that the roof of the mouth can be un-covered improving taste, speech, and overall quality of life. Snap-in dentures are a major improvement from regular dentures. The minimum amount of implants required for bottom teeth is two, and for top teeth is four.
Screwed-In Denture: A screwed-in denture, also called a fixed-hybrid is a set of natural looking teeth that screw into implants. This requires that implants be placed into the jaw bone. The teeth can be screwed in within one day of having the implants placed giving someone a new set of teeth and new smile almost immediately. Four to six implants are required for top and bottom teeth each. At Palms Dental Care, we call this TeethXpress. This procedure leads to the best quality of life compared to dentures or snap-in dentures.
Partial Dentures: Partial dentures are used to replace one or more missing teeth. They are retained by either the remaining natural teeth or implants. Many times, there will be a metal framework with acrylic teeth attached, and pinkish gum-colored acrylic to match the gingiva. Sometimes, we can make all-acrylic partials where there is no metal. These typically are not as “sturdy” but are reasonably comfortable and people like them.
Flippers: Flippers are temporary partial dentures usually used during a healing phase to replace one or more teeth. Their main purpose is esthetics. Flippers, or transitional appliances, are not made to withstand heavy chewing forces and are therefore not recommended for eating. Also, they can feel cumbersome, but if esthetics is the main concern, then they are a good temporary option.