There is a point for many people in which their teeth start falling out. This generally happens as people get older. Often caused by poor oral care, teeth become decayed, gums become infected and gumlines begin to recede. Eventually, teeth may begin to fall out or need to be extracted. There are also various accidents that may occur that end up knocking someone’s teeth out.
Whether your teeth are falling out, being extracted or have been knocked out, you should consider different replacement options. One of the most popular options for the replacement of a significant portion of missing teeth is dentures.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are dental prosthetics that are intended to replace a large portion or all of a patient’s teeth. These appliances are custom fitted for patients, and can often be made to look very similar to the teeth that are being replaced.
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Dentures help to provide a certain level of functionality, as well as cosmetic appearance. They can be custom made to look like the teeth of a patient before they were replaced, or they can be made to look how the patient wishes their teeth had looked. This includes the shade of the teeth. With teeth replacement prosthetics, a patient can smile like they used to, without feeling self-conscious. This boost in confidence can lead to a boost in overall mood and happiness.
Dentures are also practical, as they help a patient to continue to bite and chew. This is especially so for patients with partial dentures. With teeth replacement prosthetics, patients can continue to eat a lot of their favorite foods.
Because of both the cosmetic and practical advantages, dentures are an excellent replacement option for patients with a significant amount of lost teeth.
Full and Partial Replacements
While many people think of full dentures when they think of teeth replacement prosthetics, there are actually different options. For some patients, a full set of dentures are required to replace an entire row of missing teeth, while other patients can benefit from the placement of partial dentures to replace a portion of their missing teeth.
While full dentures involve the use of suction to hold the teeth in place, partial dentures are generally held in place using metal clasps that are anchored to healthy teeth. This allows the patient to easily remove their teeth replacement prosthetics when necessary, while also having an additional level of support. Partial replacements also help to keep healthy teeth from migrating—causing even more problems with a patient’s oral health.
Which option you end up with will depend on the amount of healthy teeth that your dentist can preserve. If almost none of your teeth can be saved, extraction and full teeth replacements may be a good option. For a significant amount of healthy teeth, partial dentures may be the way to go.
The placement process will depend on the type of dentures that the patient has placed. Below is the placement process for full dentures (which is similar to other placement processes):
- Step #1: The patient will visit their dentist for a consultation, and to have them examine the extent of the damage that has been done to the teeth, gums and jawbone. The dentist may choose to extract teeth. If this is the case, a healing process will be required.
- Step #2: After extraction, the dentist will make an impression of the patient’s gums. This impression will be used to create custom teeth replacement prosthetics for the patient.
- Step #3: The patient and dentist will discuss what the actual dentures will look like. This is the fun part for many patients, as it allows them to customize their teeth so that they look however the patient would like them to look. This may include choosing the shape, size and even shade
of the teeth.
- Step #4: The dentist will use wax rims to figure out the orientation of the bite of the patient. This will help the dentist to create the perfect prosthetic for the patient.
- Step #5: Everything will be sent to a lab for the creation of a mock-up of the teeth replacement prosthetics. Once those are ready, they will be sent back to the dentist to check the fit. If there are any adjustments that need to be made, the dentist can make them at that time. If everything
looks okay, the final teeth replacement prosthetics will be created. They will then be sent to the dentist, and the dentist will check the fit and appearance of the dentures. If the dentist and patient like the dentures, the patient will go home that day with their new set of teeth!
It will take some time for the patient to adjust to their new teeth. If there is any pain or discomfort after the adjustment period, though, the patient should visit the dentist.
If you have missing teeth, or teeth that need to be extracted, speak with your dentist about dentures.