DENTURES

WHAT ARE COMPLETE DENTURES?

A complete denture is a set of fake or false teeth. It is comprised of acrylic teeth set in a pink base (which replicates the gum). Complete dentures are customized for each patient. The upper denture is held in place with a combination of suction and surface tension and the lower is held in place with muscle movements.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO A COMPLETE DENTURE?

A set of upper and lower complete dentures is the least expensive way to replace all your teeth

WHAT ARE THE LIMITATIONS?

Dentures generate only 20% of the chewing force that natural teeth have. This means it will take more effort to chew food. The denture rests solely on the gums so chewing pressure is transferred to the gum tissue. This can cause painful issues for some tissue types including ulceration of the area.

Conventional dentures are also not secured in the mouth and so they are prone to moving. Food can get caught in and around the dentures and this needs to be cleaned out regularly (every time you eat).

When teeth are removed it is important to remember that irreversible changes occur in the mouth. The bone shrinks and is no longer in its intended place and this may affect both the look and the fit of the dentures.

HOW LONG DO DENTURES LAST?

Dentures need to be replaced over time. There are several reasons for this including:

– the wearing down of the acrylic teeth. For those patients with both upper and lower dentures this usually takes a significant amount of time – perhaps 10 years plus
– fracture of the teeth or denture base – this is unusual for patients with both upper and lower dentures
– the changing shape of the mouth after teeth have been extracted

HOW DO I CARE FOR MY DENTURES?

Conventional dentures should not be worn all the time and should always be removed at night. Much like your feet needing a break at the end of the day your mouth will need a break from the dentures. If not removed patients may develop mouth painful mouth sores and even fungal infections.

Dentures should be thoroughly cleaned with a toothbrush and soap and water at least once a day (twice is preferable) and should be rinsed off after any food intake.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO MAKE MY DENTURES?

Multiple visits are necessary for good denture construction:

01. Preliminary impressions
02. Individualized impressions
03. Jaw relationship recording
04. Trial of tooth position including various test to check aesthetic, bite and speech
05. Insert of dentures
06. Review after one week
07. Review after one month

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT LIKE MY DENTURES?

There are several options open to you if you do not like your dentures however in the first instance, we need to establish exactly what it is that you do not like.

For instance, if your denture is moving too much then we can look at an option of placing two or three dental implants to aid stability. The denture can still be removed in a case like this and so it still has some degree of movement. This is an implant retained overdenture.

Perhaps your denture applies too much pressure to your gum, or you may not like the large size of the complete denture in your mouth. Again, with the assistance of 4 to 6 implants you could have a securely placed bridge fitted. The bridge will not be able to be removed from the mouth by yourself and it will not move around in your mouth.

There are solutions available to you so please check in with your dental specialist.

PARTIAL DENTURES

WHAT IS A REMOVABLE PARTIAL DENTURE?

A removable partial denture (RPD) or partial denture is a removable prosthesis that replaces one or more, but not all the teeth. They are called removable because patients can remove it and insert it themselves, this facilitates cleaning. Traditionally RPDs use metal clasps around remaining teeth to retain and stabilise the denture in the mouth. One or more implants or crowns can be used to improve retention and stability and to decrease the number of visible clasps, improving aesthetics.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES?

Removable partial dentures are a very cost-effective way to replace several teeth and gum tissues. They are especially indicated if a patient does not want or cannot have surgery to place implants. They are also useful when the gaps without teeth are long and fixed bridges are not recommended.

WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES?

Removable partial dentures cover large portions of your teeth and oral soft tissues and therefore can retain food and bacterial plaque easier. Good oral hygiene and regular check-ups are essential. Clasps or retainers can be visible when talking or smiling. As they are not fixed in the mouth, they allow for a certain amount of movement. Some patients also find the bulk objectionable.

WHAT ARE THEY MADE OF?

There are two types of removable partial dentures, full acrylic, and metal acrylic. Full acrylic dentures are typically designed to be used for short periods of time or as provisional teeth replacement, they are bulkier and less stable. Metal acrylic partial dentures consist of a cast Cobalt-Chrome framework to which acrylic teeth are attached. They are thinner and more resilient.

HOW LONG DO THEY LAST AND WHAT ARE THE RISKS?

Removable partial dentures can last 8-10 years, but this is highly variable. The most common problem would be decay or gum disease around the remaining teeth, especially if the denture and the teeth are not cleaned properly every day. The acrylic teeth would wear and will need to be replaced. Also, the metal clasps can deform or break if not handled with care.

HOW LONG UNTIL I HAVE MY TEETH?

Several appointments are required to compete the removable partial denture, typically 4 to 5. Remaining teeth and gums should be thoroughly examined to ensure that the mouth in in optimal health to receive a prosthesis. Any dental restoration or gum treatment must be carried out beforehand.

IMPLANT OVERDENTURE

What is an implant overdenture?

An implant overdenture is a removable prosthesis that covers and rests on implants. The implants are inserted into bone, which heals and bonds to the implant surface. The prosthesis can be removed and inserted by yourself which makes it easier to clean. The implants provide anchorage for extra retention and or support, so the prosthesis is more stable and easier to eat with.

Usually 2 implants are enough for the mandible (lower jaw) and 4 for the maxilla (upper jaw). However, sometimes more implants are necessary if the bone/gums quantity and quality are low.

An examination of your mouth and bone is needed to determine the optimum number and position of the implants for the best possible result.

How is it better than a denture?

When we lose teeth, the bone around the teeth (alveolar bone) slowly resorbs and disappears making more difficult to have comfortable and stable dentures as the time goes by.

Implants can help slow the rate of bone loss and improve the stability and the comfort of your dentures. This is especially true for the lower jaw.

How long do they last?

Overdentures are made of acrylic and sometimes, reinforced by metal.

On average, overdentures may last 8-10 years; however, they require servicing and maintenance to ensure their longevity.

The clips that attach the prosthesis to the implants will need to be replaced as they wear and the part of the prosthesis that rests on your gums will require adjustments additions of acrylic. Teeth will also wear over time.

What risks do dental implants have?

Implants are very predictable, and seldom fail to integrate into bone in healthy people. Smokers, people with poor oral hygiene or gum disease or with poor general health have a higher risk of implant failure or complications.

You must maintain your implants and the gums around them clean.

Are all dental implants the same?

There is no one universal dental implant that is best for all situations. We tend to select the implant to be used from one of the 4 major global manufacturers of dental implants. The reasons for this are:

– we have a range of options to choose the best implant for your unique situation
– that there is ample independent research to show that the implants work predictably
– that these companies are well established so parts will be available for a long period of time
– parts are also available worldwide kin case you relocate to another country

These companies’ products can be more expensive however peace of mind is worth it.

What are the disadvantages?

Overdentures are removable and like conventional dentures in terms of feeling and volume.

They are, however, cheaper than fixed bridges and easier to repair.

What is the overdenture made from?

The overdenture is made of acrylic and sometimes reinforced by metal. Several types of attachment or clips configurations can be chosen depending on the individual circumstances, sometimes a bar joining all the implants will be required, and the overdenture will rest onto it.

How long until I have my teeth?

For conventional overdentures the prosthesis is made before the surgery, and after the surgery, the clips or attachments can be incorporated.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding with any treatment you may consider seeking a second opinion from an appropriate qualified health practitioner

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