Full & Partial Dentures Millbrae, CA
Full or partial tooth loss, if left untreated, doesn't just affect a person's self-image — it can also increase the risk of developing nutritional problems and other systemic health disorders. Fortunately, there's a reliable and time-tested method for treating this condition: full or partial dentures.
Dentures are just one option for replacing missing teeth; some of the others include fixed bridgework and dental implants. Each method has its particular pluses and minuses, which should be carefully considered. The best option for you will depend on your individual situation.
To learn more about our denture services and find out if you are a good candidate, call us at (650) 697-2073 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Warren at our Millbrae, CA office.
How Do Removable Dentures Work?
Full or partial dentures consist of a gum-colored base made of plastic resin, which fits over the remaining alveolar (bone) ridge that formerly held the teeth. The prosthetic teeth projecting from the base are designed to look and function just like your natural teeth. Dentures are held in place primarily by the suctioning effect of their close fit against the alveolar ridges — that's why it's so important that they are fitted properly. The upper denture also gets extra support from the large surface area of the roof of the mouth (palate), which generally makes it extremely stable.
At first, wearing
dentures may require some getting used to in terms of talking and
eating, as the dentures become “balanced” in the space formerly
occupied by the teeth. But over time, the muscles, nerves and
ligaments of the mouth learn to work in new ways, which allows these
functions to occur normally. Dentures also help support the facial
skeleton and the soft tissues of the lips and cheeks, which can help
create a more youthful appearance.
Conventional Full Dentures
After a period of
time, permanent dentures that conform to your mouth with near-perfect
accuracy can be fabricated. These are carefully crafted to look as
much like your own natural teeth as possible, and are able to
function properly in your mouth for a long time.
Removable Partial Dentures (RPDs)
Usually made of cast
vitallium, these well-constructed, metal-based removable partial
dentures are much lighter and less obtrusive than those made of
plastic. They are a little more expensive than plastic dentures but
will fit better. They are, however, much less expensive than implants
or fixed bridgework.
How Dentures Are Made and Fitted
The denture process takes about one month and five appointments with your dentist in Millbrae: the initial diagnosis is made by Dr. Warren; an impression and a wax bite are made to determine vertical dimensions and proper jaw position; a "try-in" is placed to assure proper color, shape and fit; and the patient’s final denture is placed, following any minor adjustments.
First, an impression of your jaw is made using special materials. In addition, measurements are made to show how your jaws relate to one another and how much space is between them (bite relationship). It's crucial to balance your bite in order to enable normal speech and eating. The upper and lower dentures must come together and properly stabilize each other. The color or shade of your natural teeth will also be determined.
Next, the impression, bite and shade are given to the dental laboratory so a denture can be custom-made for your mouth. The dental laboratory makes a mold or model of your jaw, places the teeth in a wax base, and carves the wax to the exact form wanted in the finished denture. Usually a "wax try-in" of the denture will be done at the dentist`s office so any adjustments can be done before the denture is completed.
The denture is
completed at the dental laboratory using the "lost wax"
technique. A mold of the wax-up denture is made, the wax is removed
and the remaining space is filled with pink plastic in dough form.
The mold is then heated to harden the plastic. The denture is then
polished and ready for wear.
What to Expect After You Get Dentures
If you've recently
lost your teeth and received an immediate denture, it's normal to
find some tissue shrinkage and bone loss occurring. Therefore, in
several months you may find that your immediate dentures no longer
fit well. You will have two choices at this point: You can have your
immediate (temporary) dentures re-lined. This means that material is
added under the denture's base to better conform to the new contours
of your alveolar ridge. A better option is to move to a set of
conventional full dentures, which will last longer and fit better.
With proper care, dentures offer a functional, aesthetic and
economical solution to the problem of tooth loss.
Care of Your Denture
It's best to stand over a folded towel or a sink of water when handling your denture, just in case you accidentally drop it. Brush the denture (preferably with a denture brush) daily to remove food deposits and plaque, and keep it from becoming permanently stained. Avoid using a brush with hard bristles, which can damage the denture. Look for denture cleansers with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. Pay special attention to cleaning teeth that fit under the denture`s metal clasps. Plaque that becomes trapped under the clasps will increase the risk of tooth decay.
Hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid to clean dentures is also acceptable. Other types of household cleaners and many toothpastes are too abrasive and should not be used for cleaning dentures. A denture could lose its proper shape if it is not kept moist. At night, the denture should be placed in soaking solution or water. However, if the appliance has metal attachments, they could be tarnished if placed in soaking solution.
Even with full
dentures, you still need to take good care of your mouth. Every
morning, brush your gums, tongue and palate with a soft-bristled
brush before you put in your dentures. This removes plaque and
stimulates circulation in the mouth. Selecting a balanced diet for
proper nutrition is also important for maintaining a healthy mouth.
Over time, adjusting the denture may be necessary. As you age, your mouth naturally changes, which can affect the fit of the denture. Your bone and gum ridges can recede or shrink, resulting in a loose-fitting denture. Loose dentures can cause various problems, including sores or infections. Dentures that do not fit properly can be adjusted. Avoid using a do-it-yourself kit to adjust your dentures, as this can damage the appliance beyond repair. Glues sold over the counter often contain harmful chemicals and should not be used on a denture.
If your denture no longer fits properly, if it breaks, cracks or chips, or if one of the teeth becomes loose, see your dentist immediately. In many cases, dentists can make necessary adjustments or repairs, often on the same day. Complicated repairs may require that the denture be sent to a special dental laboratory.
Over time, dentures
will need to be relined, re-based, or re-made due to normal wear. To
reline or re-base a denture, the dentist uses the existing denture
teeth and refits the denture base or makes a new denture base.
Dentures may need to be replaced if they become loose and the teeth
show signs of significant wear.
Common Concerns With Dentures
Eating will take a little practice. Start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth at the same time to prevent the dentures from tipping. As you become accustomed to chewing, add other foods until you return to your normal diet.
Continue to chew food using both sides of the mouth at the same time. Be cautious with hot or hard foods and sharp-edged bones or shells. Some people worry about how dentures will affect their speech. Consider how your speech is affected when you have a number of your natural teeth missing.
words may require practice. Reading out loud and repeating
troublesome words will help. If your dentures "click" while
you`re talking, speak more slowly. You may find that your dentures
occasionally slip when you laugh, cough or smile. Reposition the
dentures by gently biting down and swallowing. If a speaking problem
persists, consult your Millbrae dentist.
can provide additional retention for well-fitting dentures. Denture
adhesives are not the solution for old, ill-fitting dentures. A
poorly fitting denture, which causes constant irritation over a long
period, may contribute to the development of sores. These dentures
may need a reline or need to be replaced. If your dentures begin to
feel loose, or cause pronounced discomfort, consult with your dentist