Full & Partial Denture Services in Cleveland
If you've lost all of your natural teeth, for whatever reason, full dentures can replace your missing teeth and improve your smile and self-confidence. You'll be able to eat and speak better – two things that most people usually take for granted until they lose all of their natural teeth.
A full denture, also called a complete denture, provides support for your cheeks and lips by replacing missing natural teeth and the bone and gum tissue that held them in place. Without support from the denture, your facial muscles will sag, giving you a droopy, tired and much older appearance.
Dentures can be created to very closely resemble the appearance of natural healthy teeth. In fact, there may be little change in your appearance, and there's a good chance that your smile may become the healthy, natural appearing smile you've always wanted.
There are four types of complete dentures. The type of denture technique used is based upon the individual needs of each patient.
- Conventional Full Denture
This is created and placed in the patient's mouth after all of the remaining natural teeth, either upper jaw, lower jaw, or both, have been removed and the gum tissue has healed. Several months may be required to ensure complete healing.
- Immediate Full Denture
This is placed in the patient’s mouth immediately after the remaining natural teeth have been extracted, at the same visit. Several preliminary appointments with the dentist, and possibly an oral surgeon, are used to create the final denture and prepare the patient for the surgical visit. It's important to note that with an immediate full denture, the patient does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. Immediate full dentures usually will require a reline procedure to readapt the lining of the denture to the final contours of the healed tissue. In some special situations, the immediate full denture may function as an interim or temporary denture to accommodate the patient's chewing and appearance needs during healing. In these situations, a new, conventional denture will be created to replace the immediate full denture.
If you have a few healthy natural teeth, the teeth may be modified so that their roots may be used to support the base of a complete full denture. Root canal therapy is performed on the teeth that will be used for support. Then, the height of each tooth is reduced to the level of the gum line. In this way, the roots-and the bone and gum tissue which holds the roots in place, can give additional support for the full denture. This is especially important for lower full dentures which can be difficult to maintain in place with stability.
- Implant Supported Full Denture
A complete denture can be made to fit over dental implants, which can serve as artificial roots in the manner of an overdenture. In some cases, retentive attachments are placed on each implant and within the denture base. The denture can then be snapped in and out. In other cases, a bar is created to fit over the posts attached to the implants. In this situation, the retentive attachments are part of the bar and the denture base, and once again, the full denture snaps onto the bar. Well-placed implants with healthy gum tissue can actually help reduce jaw and gum tissue shrinkage as time goes by. This can be an important element in denture stability and comfort.
- Denture Adhesives
Although dentures are made to fit securely, a denture adhesive may be suggested to help during the adjustment period. This will provide a feeling of tightness and stability and help the retention of dentures which lack needed bone support.
A loose denture, which makes chewing difficult and can change facial features, may be helped by a reline. A denture that doesn't fit properly may cause irritation, sores or infection. Denture adhesives can temporarily help loose fitting dentures, but long-term use of adhesives may not be a good idea since they may mask the real reason that the denture is loose. If in doubt, check with Dr. Jaffe.
Caring for Dentures
Just like your natural teeth, dentures must be properly cared for. They can actually be very delicate and may break, chip or crack if dropped just a few inches. When handling your dentures, stand over a folded towel or a sink filled with water. When you're not wearing your dentures, store them safely away from pets and children.
Daily brushing will remove food deposits and plaque and helps to prevent the denture teeth from becoming permanently stained. It's best to use a specially-designed denture cleaning brush, although a soft bristled brush can also be used. Don't use hard bristled brushes which can cause unnecessary wear. An ultrasonic cleaner can also be used, but it's no substitute for a thorough daily cleaning.
To clean the denture, rinse off loose food particles, moisten the brush, and use it to apply the denture cleaner. Be sure to brush all surfaces of the dentures.
Store the denture in water, since allowing the denture base to dry out can cause changes in its shape which will affect its fit. Do not store the denture in hot water, however, since that will also change its shape. When you're not wearing them, store your dentures in a cleaning solution or plain water. Look for denture solutions that display the American Dental Association's Seal of Acceptance which represents safety and effectiveness.
Call the office immediately if your dentures break, crack, chip, or if any of the denture teeth become loose or come out. Your dentist should be the only one to make adjustments and repairs. A person who lacks the proper training will not be able to make, repair or adjust the denture. The denture can be damaged, its fit and function may be seriously harmed, and oral tissues can be changed and permanently damaged. Never attempt to repair your dentures with over-the-counter glues. They are not effective, and often contain harmful chemicals. Don't use them.
Eventually, your dentures will need to be relined or remade due to normal wear. Denture relining involves adding new denture base material to the inside of the denture base to get a better fit of the denture base to the contours of the gum tissue and bone ridges. The expected denture life is 5-7 years. The body changes over time, not the denture.
Even after you've lost your natural teeth, regular examinations by Dr. Jaffe are necessary and important. Our mouths, the bones and oral tissues, are susceptible to many serious diseases, including cancer, and should be examined on a regular basis. Dr. Jaffe will advise you about the frequency of these important checkups.