Dentures in Charlotte, NC
Dentures Charlotte NC
Dentures are a replacement for missing teeth. When we think of dentures we usually think of a complete denture. Partial Dentures are dentures that replace some teeth in an arch but not the entire arch. Dentures are made of an acrylic resin, but sometimes metals can be used in conjunction with the acrylic, especially in partial dentures.
Patients usually end up in complete dentures because over time they have lost teeth and the teeth remaining are not strong enough to eat on comfortably and too weak to support a partial. Two main causes of tooth loss are teeth decay and periodontal disease. Usually a combination of both lead to the loss of all of their teeth.
Although oral hygiene and regular visits play a huge role in preventing teeth loss. There are people more prone to teeth decay and periodontal disease. But working with our patients, we are able to mitigate these processes or at least extend the life of their teeth.
There are definitely situations, where the teeth are not salvageable because of the destruction of the teeth or supporting bone structure is too great. This is where dentures become useful.
Partial dentures will almost always be preferable to complete dentures. With partial dentures, there are some teeth supporting and retaining the denture. In a complete denture we rely on tissue to provide retention.
Types of Dentures
There are partial dentures which we’ve briefly touched on. They clip onto the existing teeth to replace the missing teeth. Although they are not like real teeth, they are great esthetically and function well.
Complete dentures tend to come in two types. The conventional denture and the immediate denture. If patients come to us with no teeth, then a conventional denture is made. But if patients have a few teeth remaining, we can have the impressions made and a denture is estimated and made. That way the patient can hang onto their remaining teeth until the denture is completed. It can take many visits over many weeks to complete a denture the conventional route. An immediate denture can be made rather quickly.
The advantages of doing a denture the conventional way, is that there isn’t much estimating, so the denture tends to fit better. We get to try the denture in with teeth before completing the denture. So there are no esthetic surprises. Going with an immediate denture has it’s advantages too. You don’t have to go without your teeth but the downside is that the fit will need to be dialed in over time.
In our office, the immediate dentures are most common. Even with the hassle of an unpredictable fit and esthetics, it tends to be more favored than going without teeth for a couple of months. With an immediate denture, during the interim, we will usually reline the inside of the denture with a soft reline material. This will help keep the patient comfortable until the bone has settled down from the extractions. After all the healing is done we can reline the denture in a lab and this can serve as their permanent denture.
Actual Patient of Dr. Tang, these were a set of Immediate Dentures.
Steps to Make a Denture
We’ll discuss the steps in making a denture. This will be for a conventional denture, but can also be modified for an immediate denture.
The first impression, we make an evaluation of the patients’ existing bony structure and we’ll also do a radiographic examination. Then an impression is take of the upper and lower arches.
Our second appointment will be one of the most important visits. We’ll get back custom trays / wax rims from our lab. We’ll use these trays and rims to determine the extent of the denture border. Then we’ll use the rims to gauge the height of the replacement teeth. We do this through several methods. We’ll check the chewing, bite as well as speech patterns. Then’s also the esthetics that we’ll check. At this appointment we’ll also select the shade of the replacement teeth.
The third appointment we try in the teeth set in wax. We’ll check the bite, speech and chewing. And obviously the esthetics. The patient and dentist and staff will observe the denture in the mouth, make sure it looks great. Make sure the shade is suitable and the facial features are filled in nicely.
If all is good, we send the dentures off to be processed. And we deliver the denture at the next visit. We’ll make initial adjustments, adjust the occlusion and fit as needed.
And the patient will come back at varying intervals for minor adjustments which will subside after a few visits.
Getting used to your denture
At the beginning, your denture will feel bulky and unnatural. But after sometime, it should get better. There is definitely a learning curve to using dentures.
We instruct our patients to practice with their dentures. Speaking and eating are going to be a challenge. Reading the newspaper in the morning with the denture in is a good exercise. When eating good, eat on both sides at the same time. That way the denture does not rock. Also you'll have to resist the urge of biting into things, cause that will also destabilize the denture.
And ultimately we must remind ourselves that dentures are NOT a replacement for teeth. But a replacement for NO TEETH.
Caring for your Denture
They should be treated almost like teeth. Special tooth brushes are available to brush the denture. Solutions are also available to clean the dentures.
Daily habits should include NOT sleeping in the dentures. And allowing the dentures to stay moist. So when they're not in your mouth, placing them in a container with a little bit of water is appropriate. Also dentures can be fragile, if dropped against the porcelain sinks. So always leave a towel on the sink as you remove your denture in the bathroom.
And even though there are no teeth in your mouth, you need to brush the gums and keep the tissue healthy.
Dentures will still need adjustments overtime. Oftentimes there can be sore spots that need to be adjusted. Teeth can chip and denture itself can be chipped or fractured.
A lot of the minor chips and fractures can be repaired either in the office or sent to a lab.
Typically with the changes in the bone and gums a reline can be in order. Essentially the inside of the denture will be remolded to fit the changes in the mouth.
But after many years of wearing the denture, the teeth and denture can wear down to the point, that we’ll need to remake a new denture.
Adhesives are great for denture wearers. They’ll help retain dentures in compromised situations. But use it with caution, because the adhesive can sometimes mask the true problems. There may be a fit issue with the denture so an exam with the dentist is order.
Exciting New Options for Denture Wearers
Dental Implants have opened the doors for many more opportunities for dentures. With the placement of a few implants, we can convert some dentures or make a new denture that locks onto the implants. These dentures are called over dentures and they are a substantial improvement over the traditional dentures.
Eating efficiency is significantly improved. The bulkiness of the denture can be cut down, since we are not reliant on the tissue and bone as much to retain the denture. Another advantage is that the implants will keep the bone levels stable around them.
If you’re looking for dentures in charlotte, Give us a call today 704-321-0980