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Dentures in James Island

What Are Dentures?

Man in dental chairDentures are appliances inserted in the mouth to replace natural teeth and provide support for the cheeks and lips.

Most dentures are made of acrylic and are fabricated in two different ways

  • A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed.
  • An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues are allowed to heal under the denture.
  • An upper denture has acrylic that covers the palate (roof of the mouth).
  • A lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.

The teeth are made of plastic. Dentures can be fabricated to fit over endodontically treated teeth, and a complete denture may be attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit of the appliance.

Dentures, over a normal course of time, will wear and need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of the teeth. Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer, so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or change.

An immediate denture may be the best solution when complete extractions of the remaining teeth are unavoidable. It allows patients to avoid the embarrassment of living without teeth. After the extractions sites have completely healed, we will construct a complete denture for long-term use.

Although many patients have no problem wearing an upper denture, some people find it difficult to wear and eat with lower dentures. Several implant-supported replacement options are available when all the lower teeth are missing. These include

  • Ball Attachment Denture—two dental implants placed in the lower jaw and a denture made that snaps onto these implants.
  • Bar Attachment Denture—this option involves placing four to six dental implants, depending on jaw size or shape, into the lower jaw and connecting them with a custom-made support bar. The denture clips to the support bar and is called an overdenture.
  • Screw-Retained Denture—this option involves placing five or more implants in the jaw to attach a permanent denture. The denture is held in place by screws or clasps that secure it to the support posts or bar. It doesn’t touch the gum tissue, which allows the patient to clean under the denture without removing it.
  • Individual Implants—the final option is to have each tooth individually replaced, so that they will appear to be growing out of the gum tissue and most closely resemble the appearance of natural teeth. This option usually requires eight or more implants.

Replacement options may also be limited by the current size and shape of the jawbone.

A similar range of treatment options is also available for your upper jaw. However, because the bone is not as hard as that in the lower jaw, people often need more dental implants in the upper jaw to support their new replacement teeth. These include

  • Implant-Retained Upper Denture
  • Individual Upper Implants
  • Bar Attachment Denture

A removable partial denture is designed specifically to meet the needs of the patient and may replace one or more missing teeth aesthetically. A natural appearance and speech clarity is restored, along with the ability to eat more efficiently; however, bone loss will continue without implant treatment.

Partial dentures are created out of a metal and acrylic composition or completely out of acrylic. The patient’s specific needs and anatomy dictate the design of the partial denture, and preserves the remaining teeth and oral tissues, but bone loss is inevitable.

Metal partials are generally preferred as they are structurally superior. They are thinner and stronger than a completely acrylic partial. Acrylic partials are typically used as transitional or temporary partial.

Older woman smiling

Caring For Dentures

A removable partial denture replaces missing teeth and helps to chew food better! Here are some tips on caring for the new dentures

  • Only a dental professional is qualified to adjust the denture or partial
  • Dentures should be brushed inside and outside daily with a soft, large nylon denture toothbrush with round-ended bristles
  • Use denture creams instead of toothpaste, which are too abrasive and will scratch the denture. Rinse with cold water
  • Dentures warp if placed in hot water
  • Inspect the denture regularly for worn teeth
  • Worn and stained dentures may be unattractive and cause the dentures to function poorly
  • Be sure to visit our dental professional regularly
  • Have loose dentures checked immediately, as they can cause friction and pressure on the gum tissues and bones
  • When not in use, cover dentures with water or a denture-cleaning solution to prevent them from drying out

Take the Next Step

With so many denture options, one may be right for you. Contact our office today and schedule an appointment to discuss dentures as an option.

Dentures James Island, Charleston SC | (843) 795-1111